My phone was pleasantly ringing non-stop this morning with the groundbreaking news announced by Marvel last night on marvel.com. The news is that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment have come to a deal that will see Spider-Man appearing in a film set in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as well as a new Spider-Man film to be released on July 28, 2017. Currently it is not confirmed which MCU film the iconic webslinger will appear in, but Comicbook.com released an article this morning claiming it will be Captain America: Civil War. This will also delay indefinitely the release of the previously planned Sinister Six movie, a concept that was set up at the conclusion of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sinister Six was to be helmed by The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard.
According to the Marvel.com article, Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal will co-produce the new Spider-Man film. Sony will still finance, distribute, and maintain full creative control of the film since they still own the rights to the property.
Fans have been anxiously awaiting this news ever since rumours began spreading online that Sony and Marvel had entered discussions about incorporating Spidey into the MCU. This was particularly exciting to anyone who has or is reading the comic book story arcs. Spider-Man plays an integral part in the MCU comic book world, and to have his witty, slightly cocky banter going head to head with the other superhero juggernauts, fans will finally get to see one of the most popular superheroes stand alongside the rest of the Avengers.
This is a win win for both Marvel and Sony no matter which way you look at it. The 5 Spider-Man films have collectively grossed over $4 billion, making it the most successful franchise that Sony has ever launched. The Avengers and Iron Man 3 hold the first and second records for the largest opening weekends ever. The Avengers opened to over $207 million domestically, a record that no film has even come close to matching. Spider-Man held this record at one point in 2002 when it became the first film in history to open with over $100 million in domestic ticket sales in a single weekend.
The hype surrounding how this incorporation will pan out will be incredible over the next year. It seems that Sony will be rebooting Spider-Man again with a new cast. This time, the reboot makes sense, since the already established New York worlds in both the Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man series make no mention of any other local superheroes or Chitauri aliens.
But Marvel (and Joss Whedon) cannot miss the opportunity that has befallen them to introduce Spider-Man to the MCU. At the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we need a post credit sequence of downtown Manhattan destroyed (yet again); Spider-Man then swings into the frame and asks, “Hey guys, need a hand?” The audience cheers will drown out all the other movies playing nearby.