#1028 – Spider-Man and the MCU

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Late Monday night news broke that Marvel and Sony had reached an agreement that would bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was completely floored by the announcement as I thought these monolithic corporations could never come to such an agreement.

According to the deal Spider-Man will appear in an MCU movie before appearing in his own movie, which will premiere on July 28, 2017. That Spider-Man series, which will feature a new actor in the lead role, will be co-produced by Marvel and Sony. Specifically Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige will produce the new Spider-Man movie with Amy Pascal, who just recently stepped down as the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sadly Sony will maintain final creative control, but I have a lot of faith with Feige co-producing the new movie.

This move has pushed back the release dates for four of Marvel’s own movies: Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans. The move also throws a wrench in Sony’s plans for its own Spider-Man spinoffs like The Sinister Six and a movie based upon the female members of Spider-Man’s universe.

I was shocked by this turn of events, but I am definitely excited for the possibility. Here are some thoughts I had after processing the news.

  • Spider-Man definitely has to be part of Captain America: Civil War. In the comics Peter Parker was the poster child for both registration and anti-registration. Civil War needs a hero like Spider-Man who has an actual secret identity. I can see Spider-Man showing up in Civil War and both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers going after him, attempting to draft him to their side. This would give Spider-Man the opportunity to show up without the need for another origin story. Stark and Rogers are more established in the MCU and this would give Peter Parker an opportunity to be a pawn in their game, giving the audience someone with whom they could really identify.
  • People have said that Fox should cut a similar deal with Marvel to get the X-Men into the MCU. Unfortunately Fox isn’t hurting as much as Sony was. Every new Spider-Man movie made less than its predecessor. X-Men: Days of Future Past was almost the highest grossing movie in the entire X-Men franchise. Sony needs Marvel to help rescue its most important property. At this point Fox doesn’t need Marvel to help it save the X-Men. Wolverine and company are doing just fine.
  • I hope a new actor as Spider-Man means an entirely new Spider-Man universe. Sam Raimi got things mostly right; I just wasn’t a fan of organic web shooters. I hated how Amazing Spider-Man tried to create a whole bunch of back-story with Oscorp at the center. Not everything needs to be connected; Spider-Man’s origins don’t have to have anything to do with the Green Goblin’s, Rhino’s or the Vulture’s.
  • I am excited at the possibility of Norman Osborn entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is one of Marvel’s most interesting villains and he has been wasted in Sony’s efforts up to this point. Osborn is so much more than a crazed businessman; he brought down the entire Marvel universe and rebuilt it in his image during the Dark Reign Also, if the Green Goblin ever shows up, I finally hope they let him wear a green mask with purple underwear. That’s all I want to see.
  • For Sony’s first joint venture with Marvel, I’d love to see Spider-Man face a villain he hasn’t fought onscreen before. I read somewhere that Kraven the Hunter would make a great movie villain. He doesn’t need a backstory involving corporate espionage; he’s just a highly skilled killer who wants to take down his biggest trophy yet.
  • I’d like to see a younger, nerdier and funnier Spider-Man. Amazing Spider-Man 2 got close with all of Peter quips, but there need to be more. I don’t think Sony ever fully understood Peter Parker because they were too busy marketing Spider-Man. Hopefully Kevin Feige and Marvel can take us back to Peter Parker, which will give us the best version of Spider-Man we’ve ever seen.

Based upon the amount of digital ink I’ve spilled, I’m definitely excited about this new wrinkle in the MCU. Spider-Man has never been my favorite hero, but even I know Sony hasn’t done him justice. Hopefully Marvel and Sony can give Spider-Man the movie he deserves and seamlessly incorporate him in the MCU.

What do you think of Marvel and Sony’s announcement?


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