Ever since Marvel started its own studio - and subsequently became the most popular studio producing Marvel Comics movie adaptations - there have been fans clamoring for Sony to give up the rights to Spider-Man so he could mix it up with the likes of Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Chris Evans' Captain America.
In lieu of a rights reversal, though, fans have also hoped that Sony's Spider-Man - played by Andrew Garfield - might cross over into the Marvel movie universe for an event film in the vein of The Avengers. There have even been rumors along these lines, claiming that, as a result of the critical lashing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 received (combined with the fact that it made the least amount of money of all five Spider-Man films), Sony was talking to Marvel about possibly lending the latter studio everyone's favorite webslinger.Those rumors? All true, apparently.
You see, Sony is in the midst of something of a hacker crisis, where all their personal emails and communications are being strewn across the Internet for the world to see. It's been a pretty embarrassing event for the company, to say the least. As it happens, some of those communications pertain to negotiations between Sony and Marvel, and they validate the claims that the two studios were in talks to share Spider-Man.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Marvel wanted to make a new trilogy of Spider-Man films that would allow Sony to retain some "creative control, marketing, and distribution [rights]." Marvel also wanted Spider-Man to appear in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, which will see Cap go head-to-head with Iron Man.
In the comic book version of Civil War, Spider-Man was a central figure, caught between the two warring sides of superheroes - those who were pro-superhero registration, and those who were anti-superhero registration. At the end of the first issue, Spider-Man revealed his secret identity to the world, which eventually led to Aunt May being shot on the orders of the Kingpin and Spider-Man making a literal deal with the devil to save her, retconning his marriage to Mary Jane in the process.
The WSJ says that the talks between Marvel and Sony "broke down" for some unknown reason and that Sony's latest plans for Spider-Man involve an animated comedy film produced by Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The LEGO Movie). They still have plans for their Spider-Man spinoffs - a female superhero teamup, Sinister Six, and Venom - but everything's on hold until their big Spidey summit come January.
The fact that Marvel wanted Spider-Man to be involved in their adaptation of Civil War is interesting. Many fans have assumed that the story would have to be altered for the big screen, seeing as none of the Marvel superheroes have secret identities to protect. Could Spider-Man's (once) possible inclusion indicate that secret identities will still play a role in the film?
For fans who want to see these characters cross over, this could be seen as good news - while plans between the two companies fell apart this time, that doesn't mean the pieces couldn't be picked up for a different film down the line (say, Avengers: Infinity War). At the very least, this proves that the desire for a crossover exists at the highest levels.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Do you want to see Spider-Man appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Drop us a line in the comments.
Stay tuned for more news about Sony's Spiderverse.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters May 6th, 2016.
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