There's no question Spider-Man has had a long and eventful road of ups and downs since Sam Raimi's big-screen introduction of the character with Tobey Maguire in the title role in 2002. Followed by an exceptional sequel with Spidey taking on Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 in 2004, the character's direction spun out of control with the critically maligned Spider-Man 3 in 2007. New hope, of course, sprung from Spidey's web-shooters with Andrew Garfield in the lead in the blockbuster debut in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, but of course, the Amazing sequel fizzled two years later after the webslinger's underwhelming battle with Electro.
A smaller but pivotal role in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, thanks to a shared agreement with Sony, once again elevated Spidey's stature in the superhero genre. Tom Holland brought an exciting and youthful new take on the character, and clearly has elevated expectations of the superhero again with Spider-Man: Homecoming (along with Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark/Iron Man).
Unfortunately, one of the former principals at Sony thinks the collaboration between her ex-studio and Disney/Marvel Studios will be short-lived. According to Cosmic Book News, Amy Pascal suggests that Spider-Man will leave the MCU after a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. She said:
"One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don't have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact, it may never happen again – after we do the sequel. Because Sony and Disney and Marvel all decided that the right thing to do was to allow Peter Parker and Spider-Man to be in the MCU, and to work with the Marvel guys and have them produce this film, and I think that was a very rare thing for three companies to do and a very brilliant thing for them to decide to do because there are only so many stories that you know you can tell again and again and again about Spidey, and this is something that we would never been able to do in any other way. So, it was a very selfless thing that was very smart on the part of all the companies."
As difficult as Pascal's words are to hear, they shouldn't come as a total shock. The news of Spidey's eventual exit from the MCU and Marvel seems to suggest that he'll naturally be a part of Sony's newly invigorated superhero universe since movies featuring Venom, as well as Black Cat and Silver Sable, are on the way. However, those films are being developed separately from Spider-Man: Homecoming and the MCU.
While Pascal's observations about Spider-Man will be disheartening to fans of the MCU, another report suggests, simply, that stories about the ex-Sony chief's remarks "are false." At CinemaCon, Forbes presented an argument with how Holland's Spidey will be involved in more MCU films than Pascal is suggesting, and reiterates that the actor is signed on for a number of Marvel movies.
"So, with Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018, Holland will have fulfilled one of his solo Spidey film commitments (Spider-Man: Homecoming) plus two of his other appearances (Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War). That would mean he has two more Spider-Man films on his contract, plus one more appearance as Spider-Man in another film. We know one of those two solo movies will still be within the MCU, making four of his appearances linked to the larger Marvel shared world."
Like anything else in Hollywood, Spider-Man's home, whether it be solely at Sony or shared with Disney and Marvel Studios, will eventually be determined on how lucrative the films are with Spidey's inclusion in the MCU. Contracts are made to be broken and/or re-written in Tinseltown, and statements always seem to come with a bit of wiggle room. Note, Pascal says that type of shared arrangement "may never happen again," with the operative word being "may," and not "won't." Whatever the case may be, there are a few films in the offering before the studios turn the page on what will happen with Spider-Man a few years from now.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) release date: May 05, 2017
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019