‘Spider-Man’ Producers Cast Doubt on Potential Marvel Movie Crossover

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spider man avengers movie crossover Spider Man Producers Cast Doubt on Potential Marvel Movie Crossover

Many a comic book movie fan briefly got butterflies in their stomach this week, when the news broke that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – which has begun its theatrical run outside the U.S. – features a button scene (read: mid-credits scene) that is actually a promo for X-Men: Days of Future Past, which arrives in the States just a few weeks after the Spidey sequel. However, before everyone could get too excited about Sony and 20th Century Fox taking the first baby step towards a crossover with the respective studios’ Marvel properties, the truth came out: it’s really part of an agreement worked out between Sony and Fox, so that Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb could return on the sequel (paving the way for him to direct Part 3 as well).

Nonetheless, the idea of a film crossover between all/some of the quadrants of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – Marvel Studios’ shared universe, Sony’s Spider-Man universe, and Fox’s X-Men and Fantastic Four universes – is something worth talking abut, especially as the aforementioned studios move forward with their plans to grow their superhero franchises horizontally (read: spinoffs), as well as vertically (read: sequels). Our Rob Keyes broke down the subject in depth earlier this week, but as always it’s the executives and producers behind these comic book adaptations that will be the ones who can get this ball rolling properly down the ramp.

Spider-Man franchise producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach previously said – in the days after The Avengers stormed the box office but before Amazing Spider-Man rebooted the webslinger’s film series – that “Everything is possible,” as far as crossovers featuring Peter Parker and other non-Sony owned Marvel superheroes are concerned. (Oscorp Tower nearly made a cameo in The Avengers‘ New York after all.) However, the game has changed over the couple years since then, which partly explains why Arad and Tolmach are now being a bit more firm with discouraging fans from getting excited about Spidey teaming with the likes of Captain America and/or Wolverine, among others (following the Amazing Spider-Man 2/Days of Future Past news this week) – similar to what Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige did 5-6 months ago.

Marvel Movie Crossovers Spider Man Wolverine Avengers Spider Man Producers Cast Doubt on Potential Marvel Movie Crossover

Here is the latest quote from Arad on the crossover subject, when asked during an interview with IGN:

“I think I’m probably a little bit of the militant here. I think it will take a moment in which we’ve run out of ideas. There’s so much to tell about Spider-Man. There’s so much to tell about the Sinister Six. The relationship between Spider-Man and Venom will bring a whole other world in… Peter Parker is unique; he’s really different. He’s not an Avenger. He’s not an X-Man. He’s unique and we revere that… We don’t need [a crossover] yet.”

Sony has Amazing Spider-Man 3 slated to arrive in 2016, followed by spinoff films Sinister Six and Venom, which is what Arad is referring to here; most of the producer’s recent interviews to promote Amazing Spider-Man 2 have, in fact, been as focused around the “whole other world” that the sequel lays the groundwork for. Similarly, as we discussed in a recent article concerning the potential Sinister Six lineup, Venom might be the recipient of a multi-film character arc; one that begins with an introduction in Amazing Spider-Man 3, Venom joining and then rejecting the other Spider-Man villains in Sinister Six, before Alex Kurtzman’s Venom solo feature depicts the title character as a proper anti-hero protagonist.

That is to say: it’s possible the Spider-Man film series will jump right from Andrew Garfield’s run as Peter Parker into the Venom saga, before continuing onward without an extended break into Amazing Spider-Man 4 (which could potentially feature someone other than Garfield as Spidey). So long as the ambitious plans for the future of the Spider-Man franchise – be they similar to the idea outlined here or not – don’t fall apart (knock on wood), there won’t really be a need and/or space for a crossover with other Marvel properties, as Arad points out.

Amazing Spider Man 2 Venom Spider Man Producers Cast Doubt on Potential Marvel Movie Crossover

Tolmach echoed Arad’s thoughts on the subject of a Spider-Man/Avengers and/or Spider-Man/X-Men/F4 crossover, during that same interview:

“You know Avi always refers to that question as a stunt. If you were to do that, you know, Spider-Man in the Avengers is a stunt. And I get why everybody – you know, fans and audience members and movie goers – I understand it… When you think about the Sinister Six and you think about Venom and you think about Carnage and you think Spider-Man in whatever way you want in association with those movies, they feel like they’re built for Spider-Man. Like that’s where his story needs to go and wants to go and it has to be about more than a stunt.

“Stunts can be cool but it’s also a business, and so the other side of the answer is they’re owned by different companies. And there’s a ton left in Sony’s world; there’s a lot of business left because there’s a lot of story left. So for them to want to take this character and put it with Marvel and Disney is a huge undertaking and probably, as Avi’s saying, isn’t necessary until you feel like, ‘Wow, we’re sort of out of ideas. What should we do?’ And we’re far from out of ideas.”

Certainly Avengers had the potential to be the sort of “stunt” that Tolmach is referring to here, as does the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past; a crossover of sorts, which brings together the cast members of the X-Men present-day trilogy and the X-Men: First Class series cast in the same movie. Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon found a way to bring together Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a narrative that was satisfying on its own terms, while the hope is director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg’s film adaptation will do justice by the acclaimed Days of Future Past comic storyline from Chris Claremont.

If Spider-Man joining forces with the other Avengers, X-Men, and/or Fantastic Four is handled in an equally capable fashion from a creative perspective, then a crossover would be welcome indeed, no matter whether or not the Spider-Man producers have “run out of ideas” by that point. It may be unlikely right now, but who knows; maybe Arad and Tolmach will change their song again, by this time two years from now…


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014.

Source: IGN

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. holy crap!! I just realized something … the original Secret Wars is like 30 years ago!

    for those who have never read it or don’t remember it very well (or even if you do) – go get yourself a copy of a hardback edition of the whole series – THAT is how a Marvel crossover is done. Back then Jim Shooter was the man in charge and now for the film world it’s Kevin Feige – and I’m sure with Stan the Man, always giving his blessings.

    Marvel’s true secret has always been to find just the right person(s) to creatively steer the ship at just the right time. In the 1980s when Secret Wars came out – it was ground-breaking and in 2012 when the Avengers movie came out it was the same thing. And from the looks of it Kevin Feige and his creative team know what they’re doing -and the box office proves it.

    and to further prove it: The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer …. it is perhaps one of the BEST movie trailers in a very long time (may be since the Matrix) – giving just the slightest sliver of the main characters and story but showing just enough visually to get any viewing intrigued – with the action, humor and the new world it will explore (ie. it’s NOT a re-make/ boot/ hash of anything). And the closing song: Hooked on a Feeling …. clearly it’s a subliminal message from Marvel: “trust us this is going to be a fun movie”

    • I don’t agree. Feige hasn’t proved his chops when it comes to cross over properties. I agree with Fox in that Feige is a whole lot of boasting, little action.

      If the three studios were going to do a royalties deal, Feige shouldn’t be in charge. Just make sure Stan Lee and Jim Lee/Chris Claremont are in charge for god’s sake, of the film rights and make sure all three studios get properly compensated!

  2. I could still see Sony and Fox doing something together, depending on how Fox handles the new FF and their interpretation of NYC.
    X-men seems to be doing the Star Trek thing with their own current universe, so it stands to say that they can change their own history and it won’t necessarily conflict with Spider-Man’s NY.
    Disney/Marvel have their own cinematic tone of story-telling and this HUGE universe, X-men will dry up without their main body of characters (Wolverine, Prof X, Magneto, Storm, Mystique) once they get tired of the role (or god forbid, someone Heath Ledgers) then the X men franchise will start to stall. Fantastic Four is boring without Silver Surfer or Doom. I’m, quite honestly, not very familiar with any of their storylines or villains but they can probably squeeze a third movie featuring Galactus or something. And Spider-Man’s universe can only go so far, but they have more potential for growth than Fox, but after ASM 4, maybe they can deal together. Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery will be running thin unless he fights the Sinister Six again and again.

    • I agree with this to a certain extent and the reason is because Kevin Feige is a big glory hog. He tries to drive the direction of all these characters, even though they don’t belong to him.

      He needs to admit that *he* is NOT Marvel, Marvel is a series written by the likes of Chris Claremont, Jim Lee and the others. It is not written by him or is his alone. And yeah I agree for any potential cross over, they should have Jim Lee or a Veteran writer from Marvel just divide up the film rights for everyone equally.

    • Really x men is the only franchise if done right could go on and on for 10 plus movies.
      The problem with the avengers is there is not enough villains. You can keep changing members but you need strong enough bad guys.

      X men has the biggest depth of bad guys out of all the marvel comics. Actually x men is technically as big as marvel itself.

      Magneto, mr sinister, apocalypse, juggernaut, omega red, sentinals, sabretooth etc and can even go to space for there storylines.

      If you think abou it.

      You could have a cable and bishop based movie. You could have a mr sinister movie. Apocalypse movie. Archangel movie, juggernaut movie

      That’s 5 movies right there.

      Spider-Man is similar to x men because he has so many villains aswell.

      But I think they have used way to much villains already similar to x men. Obviously venom and carnage would be epic.

      If fox were smart they would use this time travel storyline to re introduce cyclops and gambit and reboot after apocalypse movie.

      • The problem with the avengers is there is not enough villains. You can keep changing members but you need strong enough bad guys.

        I was ready to disagree with until you started naming a d*mn good list of bad guys. I always forget about Sinister -he just never got enough panel time.

        You could have a cable and bishop based movie. You could have a mr sinister movie. Apocalypse movie. Archangel movie, juggernaut movie

        This where I do disagree though; Cable and Bishop eh, wouldn’t be bad but like you said, the strength of the hero is more or less based on the strength of the villain (which is why we will never see a Wonder Woman movie). Archangel and Juggernaut falls into this boat also.

        Now an Apocalypse movie is EXACTLY what needs to happen; they should follow the script from the Age of Apocalypse storyline. I mean it mentioned every hero in the Marvel universe and what happened to them -the best storyline ever

        Now, back to the Avenger list of foes:
        The Scarlet Witch -she’s killed more Avengers than any other bad guy by herself… . like ever and I’ve never liked her -I always thought her power was ridiculous, deadly apparently but ridiculous nonetheless. It looks like the next movie will pick up when she was turned from the dark side.
        The Kree and The Skrulls
        Kang the Conqueror
        Masters of Evil
        and of course Ultron
        Honorable Mention: Taskmaster


  4. I’d pay good money to watch a team up movie with Spidey, Wolverine, cyclops, Captain America, captain fantastic & Invisible Woman, hulk, Maybe ironman, no Thor, no Hawkeye, no black widow, no nick fury…. Maybe Spidey needs a hand with the Sinister 6

  5. I have mixed feelings about Sony’s Spider-man producers. Arad gets blamed for a lot of things. In some ways, I think he has been instrumental in insuring that the Marvel brand has survived and had an opportunity to develop into what it is today. On the other hand, he has also had a hand in some of the less than satisfying products touting the company’s moniker. You hear the man in interviews and can tell when he’s being a sleezy salesmen, and there are other times when you can tell he genuinely cares about the successful continuation of the Spider-man character in all mediums. These heroes have been his bread and butter nearing 3 decades, if not longer, he has to care a little. The new guy (Tolmach) is just… I don’t know. He’s new, it’s harder to let him get away with the salesman moments. Regardless, I am very excited about TASM 2, and I hope they continue to adapt their approach so that their films can continue to improve over time. Marvel Studios is definitely learning lessons along the way and adapting their approach, so should these other companies if they hope to have longevity.

  6. “He’s not an Avenger.” Uhh… yes he is, Avi, a big boy like you should know how to do his homework.

  7. I really would like a crossover I think that would be really cool but they make a really good valid point when they say if Spider-Man was going to be an Avenger it would end up being more of stunt than anything else I agree with that granted a stunt like a crossover can be worked in a way where it becomes more story line and character based like the Avengers itself but it still is a stunt one way or the other. I also understand the part about how they are super busy right now trying to expand Peter Parker’s world and I like how they bring up SInister Six and Venom it gets me excited for them :) I wonder how they will go about doing them in movies though heres what I mean by that… lets start with Venom the story of Eddie Brock is hes a guy whos pissed off and blames Spider-Man for ruining his career and finds an alien creature that bonds with him and turns him into Venom now he swears vengeance upon Spider-Man… but my question is how do you make a guy who looks like such a creepy monster (call me a wuss if you feel like it but I can never get over how creepy Venom looks) and hates one of the most beloved super heroes out there and sometimes murders his enemies by consuming them… how do you make that a guy you can root for in a story… If it was Flash as Venom that may be different because he’s generally a good guy using the suit to fight baddies but Brock is a different kind of complex and violent in different ways, Venom also has the potential of being a crappy Horror movie like the first Ghost Rider 9which was lame as cna be I might add… and I am a fan of ghost rider which makes it worse :( ) which was so uncreative it didn’t develop a unique Genre of its own what I mean by this is that certain Super hero movies tend to develop their own kind of Genre that mixes with the elements of a super hero movie take Iron man for example the movie is a techno thriller and super hero movie put together or the Amazing Spider-Man is kind of a super hero movie mixed with a drama story about a teenager’s hard life or Thor is kind of a mythology story mixed with a super hero story… a movie like Ghost RIder really was just a flat out horror movie when it needed to have aspects of a super hero movie in there… sorry I don’t mean to bash on that movie so much when I really have to talk about Venom instead but what I’m trying to say is that a Venom movie could fall into the same trap as Ghost Rider did, it will be different though because a lot of people wouldn’t even call Brock’s Venom a super hero they may call him an anti-hero… so what mixture of tones would work well here a story about an angry man who longs for revenge mixed with an anti hero type story? I really don’t know I hope its good I think it will be I am blown away by how cool their creative team is for this universe. Okay now on to Sinister Six… well my fear for this movie is a little similar to my fear for Venom’s how do make the main characters like able and root able when they are the villains and want to kill Spider-Man? How are they going to be like cool guys who just hink rules are stupid and they get to break them for fun like OCean’s eleven I presonally hope not I just don’t think that would work from a story aspect, but lets take a look at some potential villains for the film shall we… okay so youv’e got Electro who will probably be in it who is always described in the interview with Fox or any of the film makers as a guy who feels alone and mistreated by others who wants to get revenge on them for bullying him and he also feels betrayed by Spider-Man in a sense so he wants to get back at him really, moving on you have the Rhino who will also probably be in it but we will probably see more depth to him later on, then youv’e got the Lizard who just wants his arm back and wants Spider-Man to not get in his way about it, and I would assume that based on the trailers that Dock Ock and Vulture will also be in the movie and you also have Green Goblin. Goblin really represents the most villainous of the six to me because all he wants is to hurt Spider-Man while the others just really want him out of the way… but based on these descriptions it looks like all of them are hurt and confused in a lot of ways and just want to have some solution to it so that can work to their advantage in the movie an make them somewhat understandable for their actions, at least with them they can be less dark like Venom but who knows… I can’t wait for either of these movies even though I am worried about them I am sure they will be so much fun to watch :)

    • I kind of agree with you on Ghost Rider EXCEPT, I think they went too much “superhero” movie instead of being more faithful to Ghost Rider’s darker elements. He’s a bounty hunter for the Devil, but most of the time he’s farting around and stopping petty criminals, trying to get the girl, and he accidentally engages in many of his fights with the big baddies.

      Mephisto gives Ghost Rider his mission, but he never actually engages anything until the end, he’s twiddling his thumbs all day until night time and then EVIL finds him and then he changes uncontrollably, I couldn’t tell if he was doing anything himself, or if The Ghost Rider was it’s own personality in the movies.

      I would’ve had him be freakining scary, but still the lesser of two evils (how I hope the new Batman will be. Terrifying, but in an awesome way.) When he comes on screen I want to be, “OH SNAP, HERE WE GO.” During the Cage Ghost Rider movie, whenever he changed I was like, “Oh, okay, finally. Let’s see him actually fight instead of using the elements or enviroment once and winning the fight.” (which is a whole different complaint when it comes to the flat fights with absolutely no sense of weight to them)

      He should’ve been actually ON A MISSION instead of the plot finding him after the comedic scenes have run on for a little while. He hunts them down, but then Blackheart is all, “Yo, we both want the same thing, to kill the Devil, let’s have a reluctant alliance,” and then he works with Blackheart to kill Mephistopheles, BUT, Blackheart betrays him last second and he ends up killing Blackheart instead. Mephisto is all like, “Hey bro, you definitely just tried to kill me so… I’m damning you to Hell.” BAM set up for a sequel where he breaks out of hell like in the comics.
      Hopefully, we all leave the theater thinking, “Whoa.. that was epic… and the sequel will be nuts…”
      And since we’re on the subject of crossovers, Sony used to own the rights to the character so… Spidey and Ghost Rider sticking it to a common enemy might’ve been mind blowing. I take that back WOULD have been mind blowing.

      • Ghost Rider isn’t that interesting so dropping him was wise.

        Forget Ghost Rider, bring back The Punisher and Micronauts. Now we’re talking!!

  8. Feige would never do a fox or sony crossover because there is little Disney/marvel will gain in doing it. On the other hand a crossover gives fox/sony yet one more movie to retain the licensing rights.
    When the time is right I think marvel will try to buy them back from sony/fox.

    One thing that is a positive right now for Marvel is that they have major brand recognition will all three studios cranking out 1-2 movies a year.

  9. So much more to tell about the Spider-Man universe? Hardly. What Arad listed was pretty much ALL there is. After that they will have to resort to rebooting it all and trying to re-tell it again (granted I think people are going to get bored of this current incarnation of the franchise well before they are “tapped” for ideas)

  10. Please , make The Amazing Spider-Man Universe HUGE ! We don´t need a crossover. :)

  11. I think that one of the main issues here is that somewhere along the line, the movie producers, filmmakers, etc., have all forgotten one very important aspect of what makes Marvel’s characters unique: The Marvel universe, comic book wise as well as cinematically, were actually created to interact with each other. Plain and simple. Spidey swinging through the streets of Manhattan is expected to swing past Avengers mansion, Four Freedoms Plaza/Baxter building,etc., because that’s how a true shared, interacting universe works! There is NO such thing as a “world” where Spider-man is the ONLY superhero in town…Fantastic Four the only “super team” in town? Not even plausible! The X-Men are New York City’s ONLY defense against evil doers? Not on your life! That’s not at all how the Marvel universe works at all! As far as Marvel’s cinematic universe goes, there’s simply NO difference!

    The key to the success of Marvel’s brand of film making is how well the interactions of it’s characters play out on film! Case in point; The Avengers, helmed by the master craftsmean himself Joss Whedon was a spectacle of the ages! Joss weaved together many of Marvel’s best known superheroes in a cohesive plot and created a masterpiece! What he did is what FOX and SONY fail to do and keep failing at: The PROPER shared universe! Spider-man is indeed awesome, but what Mr. Arad said about “running out of ideas”, has already happened, sorry to say. When I hear about an actual “Aunt May” feature film, an animated Spider-man comedy feature film, and a possible “Sinister Six” film, where our hero “Teams up” with the Sinister Six super villains against another villain (Carnage), I have to ask myself “Okay…so FOX is considering these truly odd ideas, and yet claim that there’s still so much to tell…riiiiiggghhht…doesn’t add up!

    First of all, how many times will SONY bore the audience with another “Origin of Spider-man” story? Enough already! We got it! By Fox continually rebooting Spider-man redundantly over & over again, the fans are becoming bored of the character’s franchise. They want NEW! Spidey teaming up with other Marvel heroes is not a bad thing! in fact, it’s actually quite innovative and would very much refresh the Spider-man franchise! Marvel studios created a masterpiece with “The Avengers” and look how well it did! It’s one of the few films in history in the “over a billion at the box office” club! Because Marvel studios totally got it right and understands how their heroes work..because they’re Marvel’s superheroes! Marvel created them and very much knows how to utilize them in a cinematic setting, just as they do within their comics! In fact, all of Marvel’s properties went on to pretty much make a mint cinematically! Because they know how to produce their product. And they’re NOT afraid to have the heroes of the Marvel universe interact with each other! SONY and FOX will unfortunately be doomed to utter failure due to their fear of interacting with Marvel studios. There’s only so many stories featuring Spider-man that can be told until fans become bored of them. This will eventually harm the brand if it hasn’t already done so, as “The Amazing Spider-man 2″ fell a bit short of what FOX was hoping for at the box office. Andrew Garfield is an AWESOME Spider-man, but even he is only as good as the material he’s given to work with. The movie wasn’t too bad, but imagine how good it could have been had Marvel studios got hold of it, particularly with interactions of Marvel’s other heroes. Yes, the fans would love it, pay much money to enjoy it and the stories could be told the way they were meant to be!

    Secondly, aside from SONY restricting Spidey so much, even if so artistically, fiscally SONY is obviously not thinking clearly; to work with Marvel studios by bringing Spider-man over and allowing different artistic visions of the character to be imagined or re-imagined would be truly a huge plus! There’s a reason why Marvel studios films are consistent winners at the box office. Simply put, they know what they’re doing with their various franchises. I think that SONY and FOX studios will continue trying to emulate the success of Marvel studios, but with marginal to limited success if at all. SONY has fiscal concerns of their own currently, which begs the question of how well can they continue to produce Spider-man films? Today, the average big budget blockbuster film probably costs around 200-300 million to produce. If the return isn’t significant to offshoot the cost of producing these features, then you’re losing the battle financially. If you don’t have the funds to adequately finance a project like a Spider-man film, it’ll show, via the quality of the special effects, costuming, perhaps even talent, etc. I think that SONY really needs to consider these factors. I’ve read that Marvel studios is willing to do a “60-40 deal” with SONY, where Marvel studios would handle the higher end of financing a project which would allow our favorite webhead to interact with the superhero denizens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU); I say SONY truly needs to get with it and shake hands on tat deal ASAP. It’s a no brainer. Either that, or give/sell the rights to Spider-man back to Marvel. It’d only make sense. As previously stated, Marvel’s heroes were all meant to coexist within the same universe. Marvel studios saw it early on and capitalized on it. SONY and FOX (with their latest upcoming attempt at a Fantastic Four feature), don’t seem to get it yet, and continue to play the “This is the only hero(es) in our universe” game, which will ultimately result in some pretty harsh financial realities for both studios, not to mention risking the actual character brands.

    Finally, while Marvel studios obviously would love to have Spider-man head home to the MCU, at this point, Marvel studios is such a powerful force within the world of Superhero movies, they actually don’t need him. And to be honest, that actually hurt my soul to say that. But the truth is the truth. Marvel Studios is at an apex and truly show no signs of slowing down at all! They have quite a signigand number of characters to choose from to take Spidey’s place in their ranks. Buuuuuuut, if Spidey could be on hand for “Captain America: Civil War”, “Avengers: Infinity Wars”, it’d be a magnificent masterpiece of cinema, the likes of which the world has never seen! This in and of itself would be a win-win for both, Marvel studios AND SONY! I say move forward with it and make it happen! C’mon SONY…YOU CAN DO IT!! (So can you, FOX!!)