After The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to meet Sony Pictures’ financial and critical expectations and reach the high bar set by some of its predecessors, the studio’s plans for their own franchise were scrapped. They had jumped the gun going into Marc Webb’s sequel, having announced all sorts of spinoffs, including Sinister Six, before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 even debuted and their lack of foresight and rushed planning ruined their ambitious before they could begin.
Cue fandom begging for Marvel to come in for the rescue!
Rumors and reports that Marvel Studios were in talks with Sony about how to help with Spider-Man surfaced periodically until the infamous Sony Pictures leak of 2015 confirmed these talks to be entirely true. Those controversial internal communications put Sony in a position where they had two choices: 1) continue on the downsloping and negative-buzz-generating path or 2) put Spider-Man in a world where other heroes exist finally.
We all know how that played out and Tom Holland is now playing the new Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first introduced in Captain America: Civil War. And next up, before rejoining The Avengers again next year for Infinity War, he gets his solo superhero debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming. We visited the set of Homecoming in August where I had the chance to sit down with Amy Pascal to talk about the unprecedented partnership between Disney, Sony, and Marvel.
I kind of want to start at beginning with how Marvel and Sony came together to bring Spidey back to the MCU.
Amy Pascal: We made five Spider-Man movies. And we needed to do something different. And we tried doing a lot of different things as you all know and documented. But the thing that we hadn’t done was put him in the Marvel universe, and put him in a world where there are other superheroes. Because he was always the only superhero. And there’s only so many times that you can tell the story of, “I really want everyone to love me and if I tell them I’m Spider-Man, they’ll love me…but I can’t tell them!” So, we’ve told that story as many ways as I could figure out. And Kevin [Feige] and I had been working together since the very first movie, because he used to get coffee for Avi [Arad], if you can believe it. He was very good at getting coffee, though.
He’s an even better producer, but he’s also good at coffee. So it felt like we needed to do something else and this felt like the right thing to do. And Kevin and I had been talking for a very long time about that. And here’s the thing that I wanted, I emphasize for all of you, because I think this is really important and I don’t think it will ever happen again in the history of the movie business: you have three studios that came together to have this movie being made. And no studio likes to share anything with anyone, let alone three studios. And truthfully – there is nothing cynical I can find in this statement – everybody did it because they wanted Spider-Man to be great. Truly, it was because Spider-Man is great, the character is great and people love him. That’s good for Disney. That’s good for Marvel. And that is certainly good for Sony. So, the fact that all these companies were willing to work together to make that happen, to make – you know – believing that everybody needed each other in order to have that happen. I think that’s pretty miraculous.
Straight up passion to deliver the best Spider-Man ever is the driving force behind this partnership and that’s thanks to you all, the fans. Let’s hope they deliver so the relationship can continue long-term.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. Directed by Jon Watts. Produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
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