Marvel is pushing into full gear with their Avengers: Age of Ultron marketing campaign, and in addition to a new trailer releasing soon, the main cast of the film are using social media to release new character posters. Today, Jeremy Renner shared his one-sheet and last week the series began with Robert Downey Jr. showing off his new Iron Man armor while also teasing a major Marvel movie announcement coming later this week. Hold that thought for a moment...
Given the recent unveiling of a partnership between Marvel and Sony to reboot the Spider-Man franchise together within the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, our best guess was that said big announcement could be in regards to casting or choosing a director for the next Spidey standalone adventure... and that might just be the case if the latest rumors are prove true.
There are rumblings on Reddit from a user who claims to have inside sources that Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner, Teen Wolf) - one of our suggested candidates for the role - has signed with Marvel/Sony to play Peter Parker going forward, the same user who revealed the Marvel-Sony deal before it happened, but for this report, we're going to focus on looking at the director's chair until we hear something more on the casting front since the trades claim that the O'Brien rumors aren't true at all.
LR reports from their insider that Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods), who was originally tapped to write and direct (the now scrapped) Sinister Six for Sony for November 2016, will be instead writing and directing the new Spider-Man under Sony and Marvel's partnership. This is not at all surprising given the information revealed from last fall's Sony hack about Goddard's plans for Sinister Six, his passion for the franchise and general good working relationship with Sony.
[Update: Deadline reports that the deal isn't finalized yet but that Goddard is the top pick for the job and is going in for a meeting. If that's true, the Marvel announcement for Thursday would need to be something different since they set it up last week...]
Goddard was easily a top choice on our list of potential Spider-Man reboot directors and the extra layer what makes this choice so wise is how he's already in camp Marvel for his work on Daredevil for Marvel TV. He's also tight with Avengers helmer Joss Whedon (they worked together on Cabin in the Woods after all) so all of this just makes good business sense.
The other details gleaned from the source indicate that the new franchise may live under the title Spectacular Spider-Man and that it'll release sequels over consecutive summers. The idea, as we've heard before, is for the studios to cast someone much younger than 31 year-old Andrew Garfield in order to put Peter Parker back in high school and build a super long-term franchise (think Harry Potter) with multiple trilogies.
The movies will however, thankfully be skipping the already rehashed origin story of how Parker becomes the New York web slinger. Radioactive spider, great power, great responsibility and all that.
As an added bonus, and this will boost excitement in a big way from the larger casual moviegoing audiences, Spider-Man may battle it out with Iron Man in his first movie. This would explain why it was Robert Downey Jr. teasing the major announcement last week on behalf of Marvel. Such a team-up would be very symbolic of the Marvel-Sony arrangement, putting their most bankable, poster boy characters together on screen to help relaunch the Spider-Man brand in the biggest way possible at the box office.
And much like RDJ signed with Marvel to join Captain America: Civil War, giving him a chance to do something different and exciting with the Tony Stark character and helps his team out, also helping Spider-Man and giving audiences a chance to see Stark and Parker share the same screen must by mighty appealing. If it's true, of course.
The "fight" between Iron Man and Spider-Man seems positioned as more of a test for Stark recruiting new Avengers (remember, this is after Civil War), and while the report indicates that this dynamic will be a big part of the first Spectacular Spider-Man, the main story will involve the Sinister Six villains coming together and Spider-Man taking them on.
There's lots to digest and dissect here, but expect Spider-Man news very soon, especially since Sony and Marvel did confirm that he will show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before his own new movie in 2017. That most certainly means a Captain America: Civil War appearance but believe it's possible he shows up as a cameo this summer in Avengers: Age of Ultron as well. More on that here.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.