Since last year, one of the biggest questions circulating in entertainment news (or at the very least, the entertainment news I care about enough to follow) has been: “What’s to become of that there Spider-Man?” Since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underperformed at the box office and with the critics (both for good reasons), rumors have been circulating of talks between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios about everyone’s favorite wall-crawler returning home to Marvel to join in on all the lucrative, high-quality movie making. Well, this week, those rumors were finally put to rest when it was announced that Spider-Man would finally be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I think I speak for everyone when I say: YES! YES! YES! OH THANK YOU, LORDY LORD YES!
But then again, not everyone is quite as plugged in to the whole comic-book-turned-movie news thing as I am – a fact that became apparent when, upon hearing the news and excitedly messaging a friend out of the need for someone to vent my joy at, I was met by a blankness that could probably only be matched by myself if someone tried to talk to me about… Well, y’know, something that actually matters. So for those not in the know, this week on FFR, I’ll take you through what’s happened, what it means and how I feel about it.
Spider-Man is joining the MCU…..but quite leaving Sony
Since before the first Sam Raimi movie, the screen rights to Spider-Man have been held by Sony Pictures, meaning that Spider-Man could only appear in films produced by Sony. This meant that all that wonderful Marvel Studios fun, where characters can appear in each other’s movies, take part in team-ups, etc., was something that Spidey couldn’t really join in on. Until now. Spidey is set to appear in an upcoming Marvel Studios film, most likely Captain America: Civil War – unless Marvel jumps right the hell in, throws a Spidey suit on a stuntman and does a last minute re-shoot for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, so they can throw him in a post-credits scene. But don’t hold your breath on that one. Spidey is then set to make his proper MCU debut in 2017 in a brand new film that seriously – seriously – better not suck.
The hope everyone had was that the Spidey film rights would get sold back to Marvel, wresting him away from mean old Sony, but that isn’t the case. Sony still owns the film rights, but is sharing our friendly neighbourhood superhero with Marvel. The new film in 2017 will still be a Sony movie, but with Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege producing, to make sure Sony doesn’t go all… Well, go all Sony. Avi Arad, the producer of every previous Spider-Man movie and the man many blame for the woeful state of Spider-Man films today, will be given a meaningless Executive Producer credit, and barred from providing any creative input.
While none of this guarantees that the next film will be great, it’s essentially taken the franchise out of the hands that put it in the shape it’s in today and ensured that we have a much better chance of getting something that won’t make me want to pour acid in my face.
Andrew Garfield’s day as Spider-Man is done
This was basically a foregone conclusion even before all this news, since Garfield had apparently been looking to get out of his contract since before ASM2, and rumors indicated that Sony was looking to find a new face for the franchise. Word is that Sony and Marvel are already staring the casting process up, with Logan Lerman and Dylan O’Brien being the frontrunners. There was a lot of hope that Miles Morales, the alternate universe Spider-Man of mixed race (African-American/Latino) heritage would be the MCU Spider-Man, but sadly that doesn’t appear to be the case. While I never hated Garfield as Spider-Man, I can’t say I’m sad to see him go, and can understand the need to start with some new blood.
Drew Goddard’s Sinister Six movie is apparently still happening, just maybe not for a while
One of the many, many problems that plagued ASM2 was that a disproportionate chunk of it was dedicated to setting up The Sinister Six, a spinoff movie which would see Spider-Man’s greatest villains team up to do something or other. The only thing we’ve really known about the movie since it was announced was that Drew Goddard, the director and co-writer of Cabin in the Woods, would be in the director’s chair and writing the script. With Spidey joining the MCU, the future of the project seems like it should be in doubt, but Sony have gone on record saying that it’s still happening.
And honestly, I’m glad. Spidey finally getting to come out and play with his Marvel buddies is fantastic news, but it would have been a shame if it had come at the cost of a potentially good flick, and I think Drew Goddard could really give us one. If Marvel and Sony wanted to be total badasses, they’d offer Goddard the job of directing the 2017 movie, maybe even using the script Goddard wrote as a starting off point.
The Marvel movie schedule will change to accommodate the new Spider-Man film
Pretty much immediately, Marvel released the new schedule for their next few years worth of content, adjusted for the new Spidey movie. The new movie will take the spot previously held by Thor: Ragnarok, releasing on July 28th, 2017. Everything after that, with the exception of both halves of Avengers: Infinity War has been pushed back slightly. The only major change is that The Inhumans, which was previously slated for release in November of 2018 to July of 2019.
Given that right now you’re probably asking “Who the Hell are The Inhumans”, this probably isn’t gonna affect much, and I can’t say it’s a great loss. Look, I’m sure Marvel has some very cool plans for the characters, I mean hey they live on the dark side of the moon and have a giant teleporting bulldog, but I’d just as well wait for that if it means getting a potentially decent Spider-Man movie that much sooner.