Fans of Superhero movies, in general, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe all celebrated this week as it was announced that Sony and Disney made a deal that will bring the two movie universes together and bring the web-slinger into the Avengers fold. So how will all that happen? That’s the question on the lips of everyone who loves the Marvel Movie universe, and probably more than a handful of people at Sony, Disney and Marvel films.
To speculate on what Sony and Marvel have in mind for Spider-Man, we first need to look at what exactly they have agreed too.
1. Sony still holds the rights to Spider-Man.
They control the character, as far as his movies go, they will “continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.” Marvel gets free use of the character, but neither company will have to share any profits from any film he appears in. Marvel doesn’t get a cut of any Sony produced Spider-Man movie, Sony doesn’t get any money from any Marvel/Disney produced film he appears in. The new Spider-Man will début in Marvel Studios film, before getting his Sony début in July 2017.
They control the character, as far as his movies go, they will “continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.” Marvel gets free use of the character, but neither company will have to share any profits from any film he appears in. Marvel doesn’t get a cut of any Sony produced Spider-Man movie, other than what Sony already pays to use the character. Also, Sony won’t get any money from any Marvel/Disney produced film he appears in. The new Spider-Man will début in Marvel Studios film, before getting his Sony début in July 2017.
It seems like an odd arrangement, but both sides will benefit. Marvel gets back the use of its flagship character, and Sony gets their Spider-Man appearing in a Box Office ruling Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Sony also could have use of other Marvel Universe characters to appear in Sony produced Spider-Man films.
2. Marvel’s Movie Plans
Adding Spider-Man to the MCU shakes up the studios plans somewhat. Not only in content, but in schedule. Sony’s next Spider-Man film is now scheduled for July 28, 2017. That date was where Marvel had scheduled their Thor sequel, Thor: Raganarok. To make room for Spider-Man, Marvel’s third phase is going to have to be pushed back a little. (That not even taking a possible Sinister Six, or a possible Spider-Man related female hero movie into consideration.) How will this effect the bigger narrative being set up for the eventual Infinity War? Or will Marvel have to risk moving their crown jewel?
Marvel may need the Time Gem to get enough room on the schedule for all their movies.
3. There will be a New Spider-Man…
and he’ll début in a Marvel Movie, not his own.
Conventional wisdom says he will first appear in the next Captain America movie, Captain America: Civil War, in May 2016, before appearing in his own (Spectacular Spider-Man, maybe?) in July 2017. Spider-Man played a pivotal role in the comic book series the movie is based on.
It comes as no big shock that Andrew Garfield, the actor who played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the last two movies, won’t be returning to the role. Also out is director Marc Webb. Sony Producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad however will both be producers to the new movie, but Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige and recently resigned Sony Pictures President Amy Pascal will also be producing. But according to the Hollywood Reporter, the Amazing Spider-Man producers (Tolmach and Arad) will “both be executive producers on the new Spidey film it’ll be “with no real say in the creative direction of the franchise.”
4. Who will wear the Spider-Man’s mask?
Much is being made of who will be the next Spider-Man. Not just the actor playing him, but the actual character beneath the mask. Sony had previously stated that their Spider-Man was Peter Parker, and they were not going to explore any other possible bearers of the mantle.
Now with the new status quo, many people are calling for the casting of a Person of Color as the new Peter Parker. While others want the Ultimate Universe Spider-man, Miles Morales to be the new Spider-man While I think getting Miles in to the movies is a great idea, I want to see that transition. There are millions of fans of the movies who have never seen or have even heard of Morales. But suddenly putting him in a story as big as Civil War, when most of the audience could be expecting Parker, could backfire. The news is only a few days old, but casting information is already making the rounds, with the studios looking for a “younger” actor to play the role.
Civil War should keep Parker as Spider-Man… even as a different actor, people know who Parker is. His origin has been told twice in the last 14 years. And while a POC Peter Parker doesn’t bother me. I think perhaps keeping him caucasian makes more sense, if nothing, to set up the arrival of Miles.
I think Miles Morales should début in Doctor Strange! I am not sure we should see Morales in the red and blues (or his own red/black version ) in that film, but perhaps they could start his connection to Spider-Man there. Then both characters can be in the 2017 Spider-Movie. Who is left in the role after that is up to Sony and Kevin Feige, but Peter has had 5 movies (and a Broadway musical) to himself since 2002.
I think it would be good for the character to give him a rest, and let Miles shine for a while.