Marvel's Spider-Man is very different to Sony's, but the MCU's Phase 4 can still finish the original The Amazing Spider-Man plan and introduce the Sinister Six. Although Sony does still distribute the movies, the creative decisions are mostly down to Marvel Studios, but after Spider-Man: Far From Home there's a way of bringing the two together.
Marvel regained the rights to Spider-Man back in 2015 thanks to a deal with Sony, which would allow the web-slinger to appear in the MCU while Sony distributed the films and kept the profits. It's been mutually beneficial so far, with Tom Holland's take on Spidey being loved by many fans, critics being largely enthused too, and Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home bringing in major money at the box-office, all of which represent considerable upgrades on The Amazing Spider-Man series.
Although Spider-Man's future in the MCU isn't fully clear, it's likely that we'll see the character in Phase 4, despite the fact Marvel didn't announce anything at SDCC. It's officially a Sony release, so up to them to set the release date, which means that Spider-Man 3 is still likely to be released in 2021, because otherwise it'd be too big a gap between movies. And with Spider-Man continuing in the MCU and building on the shocking events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, then Phase 4 can complete Sony's vision.
The Amazing Spider-Man's Original Plan
Long before Spider-Man was swinging into the MCU, Sony had big, ambitious plans for their own Spider-Man reboot. Having relaunched the franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, Sony developed plans to release not only sequels, but also spin-offs centered around characters such as Venom and the Sinister Six, the latter of which was then directly setup by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was supposed to launch an entire Spider-Man shared universe at Sony: a third film was penciled in for release in 2016, and a fourth Spider-Man movie was to arrive in 2018, while further spin-offs such as a Black Cat movie were being explored too. Drew Goddard was tapped to write and direct Sinister Six, which was scheduled for release on November 11, 2016, while Alex Kurtzman was to direct Venom.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 setup the Sinister Six, teasing the existence of key characters such as Docter Octopus, Mysterio, Kraven, and Vulture, while also introducing villains Electro and Rhino. It's not clear exactly who would've made the line-up in the final film, but it was clearly putting things in place for a number of films. However, when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 performed below expectations, those plans were put on hold and Spider-Man eventually went to the MCU.
How Far From Home Set Up The Sinister Six
The MCU's Spider-Man has completely done its own thing to separate it from the 21st Century's other Spidey franchises, including having little-to-no mention of Uncle Ben, but through the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and many of the events in Spider-Man: Far From Home, there has been enough groundwork that could lead to the Sinister Six appearing in the MCU.
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker battles Quentin Beck a.k.a. Mysterio, who was among Sony's plans for the Sinister Six. While he seemingly dies towards the end of the movie, we also know that he's a master of illusion and fake-outs, so there's a chance that Mysterio is still alive after Spider-Man: Far From Home and could return in a future movie. And even if not, then he's turned himself into the world's newest superhero, meaning someone could take on the mantle. In a smaller tease, we also see that someone has purchased Avengers Tower and is having it renovated. It's just a theory at this point, but it could be setting up Norman Osborn and Oscorp, who could serve as the leader of the Sinister Six in the MCU.
Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits scene is where things get really interesting for the Sinister Six, because his identity is revealed to the world. That's going to make him a huge target for a number of supervillains. We saw in Spider-Man: Homecoming that Mac Gargan wants to know who he is, so already Scorpion could join the team. Shocker and Aaron Davis, a.k.a. Prowler, were introduced there too, and could return. Vulture's protected Peter once, but may feel differently with the right incentives. Spider-Man being known, and his secret revealed in such a dramatic, newsworthy event, could attract the attention of Kraven the Hunter. Spider-Man 3 could choose to work in another different villain or two, perhaps even Doc Ock. There's already a lot of established setup that works well for the Sinister Six appearing in the MCU.
How Would This Impact The MCU Going Forward?
With Marvel being able to introduce - or at least finalize the setup of - the Sinister Six in Spider-Man 3, then that could have a major bearing not only on that film, but Phase 4 and the rest of the MCU going forward. While there have been a number of villains in the MCU, many of whom have had allies or subordinates to work for them, we're yet to see a proper supervillain team, which is exactly what the Sinister Six would be. If other villains on Earth see the Sinister Six working together, then would that then inspire copycats and see supervillain teams becoming more of the norm in the MCU? There's a question of how you top Thanos, and it might be that going bigger in terms of numbers is one way they attempt to mix things up.
There have been various rumors about what films Marvel has planned, and some of these would fit with the Sinister Six. Teams such as Dark Avengers, Thunderbolts (as more straight-up villains, at least to start with), and the Masters of Evil have all been mooted. With Zemo returning in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, there are going to be even stronger ties to the latter two in particular, so more supervillain teams on Earth becoming a regular thing could well have a chance of happening, especially since Phase 4 doesn't have an Avengers team to stop them.
The Sinister Six could also be paving the way for Norman Osborn to become the MCU's next big villain. While in movies he's been confined to Spider-Man films, and that is where he traditionally belongs, he's also capable of being a much bigger threat. If Spider-Man 3 were to build on the hint of Oscorp, then we could see Norman Osborn, as the head of the Sinister Six, tackling the Avengers in Avengers 5, assuming that movie comes in Phase 5 of the MCU.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021