Avi Arad: Spider-Man Would Have to be the Star of a Marvel Crossover Movie

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Marvel characters Avi Arad: Spider Man Would Have to be the Star of a Marvel Crossover Movie

It’s common in discussions of the Fantastic Four, The Amazing Spider-Man or the X-Men movies for some comic book fans to insist that all of the Marvel characters’ movie rights should be returned to Marvel Studios. Whether or not this would be a good idea is academic right now, since in the case of most major characters it’s just not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Spider-Man, for example, remains Sony/Columbia’s highest-grossing film franchise, and with at least two additional sequels planned after The Amazing Spider-Man 2,it’s unlikely that the web-slinger will be moving into the Disney clubhouse any time soon.

If the Marvel characters can’t all be united under one studio, however, there remains the possibility that Disney, Twentieth Century Fox or Sony might be open to forming a temporary alliance and creating a crossover movie. Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige was very cautious when asked about this possibility, saying that although he would “never say never,” it wasn’t something that would happen any time soon.

Feige might sound overly pessimistic, but the latest comments from Spider-Man producer Avi Arad, in an interview with the Toronto Sun, don’t exactly inspire hope. Although Arad – who is something of a mediating influence between the studios, having produced Iron Man and the Fantastic Four movies as well as the Spider-Man franchise – was open to the idea of creating a crossover, his guidelines for such a film are likely to cause friction.

“I think there are some stories that will fit beautifully into a cross. Spider-Man would be incredible mixed up with those other universes. But if we want to do that, the crossovers, it has to be a story that is absolutely centered on Spider-Man. We cannot be second banana to anything out there. Because this is the king. This is the one that influenced young people from birth.

“I’m not preaching, but Spider-Man, Peter Parker, who is in all of us, is too important to go in and use it as a sidepiece for corporate purposes. The studio may disagree with me, some fans may disagree with me. I don’t care.”

If there’s anything that will facilitate the creation of a Marvel crossover between studios, it’s an air of compromise and negotiation, neither of which are particularly apparent in Arad’s attitude. It’s difficult to imagine a studio executive like Feige, who is already hesitant about the idea of a crossover, being persuaded by a demand that the Marvel Studios characters play second fiddle in a Spider-Man movie.

The Amazing Spider Man 2 X Men Days of Future Past 570x294 Avi Arad: Spider Man Would Have to be the Star of a Marvel Crossover Movie

Unfortunately, Sony may not disagree with Arad. When initially asked about the possibility of a crossover, the Sun reports that he responded sarcastically, “Oh yes, studios are incredibly friendly to each other, they have breakfasts with each other.” It’s disappointing, but understandable that Sony, Disney and Twentieth Century Fox would be distrustful or even hostile towards the studios producing the direct competition for their biggest franchises – even if those franchises do all share the Marvel banner.

That’s not to say that there have been no efforts made to reach out. In 2012, X-Men franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner said that she’d love to take all the screen versions of the characters and “mingle them in the way they were written.” Hopes of a crossover were recently reignited by Sony’s inclusion of a button scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past after the credits for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and towards the end of production on The Avengers the idea of having an Oscorp building share the same New York City skyline as Stark Tower was (very briefly) raised.

There’s a major difference, however, between small teases and Easter eggs within the separate movie universes, and a full-on crossover where each studio would likely be pushing for its own characters to take center stage. If those higher up on the corporate ladder within the studios’ power structures share Arad’s uncooperative attitude, then discussions of what a crossover movie should be about are probably academic as well. For the moment, at least.

Do you think that Disney, Sony and Fox are ever going to share their toys? Would a potential crossover even need a “king” superhero, or would it be better as an ensemble movie? Tell us what you think about Arad’s Spider-Man-centric crossover idea in the comments.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out in US theaters on May 2, 2014, followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23.

Source: Toronto Sun (via CBM)

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. it’s just too bad that marvel was in a desperate situation and had to sell the movie rights to their characters or they were going out of business. it’s also too bad marvel didn’t have the foresight to start their movie studio sooner. then they would be a unified universe. BUT, who knows how their films would have turned out if they started all those years earlier. I also think Avi Arad is just mad because he had no faith in his former employers ability to make films and jumped ship. now marvel is pretty much king of the box office and he will never see that much success at Sony, so he’s got to make his jabs when he can. oh well.

    • Yes, it was unfortunate. Interestingly, it was Arad himself who was wise enough to make the financial maneuver to save Marvel. I just wish they had had the foresight to NOT include the term, “in perpetuity” in all the damn contracts! That’s what’s killing Marvel from getting their properties back.

      And we can speculate all we want but the reason why the movie rights were sold off in the first place was, I don’t think Marvel had the confidence in the superhero movie genre (or the finances to do it right). And lets also face the fact it wasn’t until the last 15 or so years that CGI has advanced to the point that it made all of our current superhero movies viable. Could you imagine trying to do any of them with conventional tech? I shudder to think of how bad they would all look.

  2. Marvel should just create another spider man like character… just like what alan moore did with the watchmen ala dr. manhattan/captain atom just to see what its like to see “spiderman” with the avengers they can even just call him bugman for all i care just to stick it to arad’s slimy face

    • Cricketman.

    • Thats probably why marvel killed wolverine in the comics because they know they will not get wolverine back anymore.

    • They have tried something like that with Mutant X but it didn’t work too well. Sure, they have made deal with Fox but I’m very certain it costed them a lot.

  3. I still remember, the 1994 spiderman series (one of my favourites) was cancelled because Avi arad had some problems with Margaret Loesch (head of the network airing the show. Looks like the guy doesn’t mesh well with people and i can see why. And if they do a crossover, i would want it to follow the secret wars storyline of the series, with spiderman,captain america, iron man, storm, fantastic four, black cat and the villains as Doctor Octopus, Doctor Doom, Alistair Smythe, The Lizard, and the Red Skull. Since we already have most of these characters introduced (doctor doom can be introduced in the upcoming reboot and doc ock in the sinister six movie along with smythe). It can work as an alternate dimension storyline.

    • Adaptation of the comic ‘secret wars’ can be too messy as there are too many characters in the story. The story from the show is just right IMO. This way fox has storm and fantastic four in it(they probably would want to include wolvie also.), sony has spiderman, black cat and lizard(lizard changes sides in the middle of the story), and marvel has iron man and Captain America. Win Win for everybody (maybe)

  4. Entertainment industry cover up department: The supervising art director for Django Unchained, Interstellar (2014), Amazing Spider Man, Spider Man 3, Iron Man 1 &2, A Few Good Men, Lethal Weapon films, Charlies Angels and many other films lost at trial last month on charges of sexual a s s a u l t, libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress of award winning transgender singer Bralalalala. The director had been offering solicitation of the singers products but the singer did not realize it required sex until she was a s s a u l t e d on his couch after being declined a ride home. The girlfriend of the director lured the singer and other women to the house at other times on strictly platonic professional related pretenses. The directors effort to sue the singer and random others was dismissed. The criminal case remains pending and this civil case is not appealed. The case was not reported to keep the social status quo being that the victim is transgender and the assailant is a director of so many blockbuster films.

  5. what about me!? can anyone tell me whose studios i belong to?,maybe marvel studios can use miles morales spiderman, who owned the rights to miles morales spiderman?

  6. If they are going to combine the continuity of the Spider-man movies and the MCU, now is the time. At the end of the movie, Spider-man quits being Spider-man for 5 months. During that time, the battle of New York takes place. Spider-man was not around to help. Settled. The reason none of the Avengers show up to help Spider-man in New York during the events of Spider-man 2? They all had more important things to worry about and since it was pre-New York, they weren’t yet the Avengers. Also, Spider-man not becoming an Avenger? it could be explained the same way it is in the comics. HE just isn’t good enough or ready yet to become an Avenger. I’m just saying. They don’t have to but if they do, now is as good a time as ever.