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'Spider-Man' Is Officially Joining The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Before the holiday, Sony Pictures was hacked and many of the the company's internal files and emails were leaked online. The information confirmed what fans had speculated upon for years - that Marvel and Sony were in conversations about potentially sharing the film rights to Spider-Man and bringing the character into The Avengers fold.

At the time, it seemed Marvel Studios wanted to introduce a new version of the character in 2016's Captain America: Civil War and have him help lead The Avengers in the years after. Sony would still maintain some creative control and use him in their own Spider-Man movies and spinoffs, potentially using some of Marvel's characters too. The idea almost seemed too good to be true for fans dying to see the iconic web-slinger team up with the other major Marvel heroes like he does in the comics. Well, it's happening.

In a surprise late evening announcement Monday, February 9th, Marvel posted to their official website (resulting in a temporary server crash) that they've partnered with Sony Pictures to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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VIDEO: Spider-Man Joins Marvel

We Discuss all the details of Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe - and what it means - in the VIDEO BELOW!

There's no word on what that means for Andrew Garfield, who played Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2, but the press release does state that together, Sony and Marvel are looking to take Spider-Man in a "new creative direction."

Regardless of who plays Peter Parker next (and it is Peter Parker still), Spider-Man will first appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before starring in the next Sony Spider-Man movie in July 28, 2017 which means the current plans for a 2016 Sinister Six have been scrapped. It also means Thor: Ragnarok - which originally had that date - and the rest of Marvel's Phase 3 following it, have shifted to make room.

[Update: Phase 3 shifts to fit in Spider-Man - see the new release schedule here!]

[Update #2: Spider-Man questions answered (Andew Garfield, Sinister Six & More!)]

We can only assume that Marvel's desire to introduce Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War is still in the cards and like we said two months ago, it's definitely not too late for Spidey to join Cap 3. Many Marvel Studios productions are infamously put into production with scripts in flux and with Civil War not slated to begin principal photography until April, it's easy to fit in Spider-Man, even if it's just a guest role.

As if getting Robert Downey Jr. to sign for another movie, co-leading Captain America: Civil War, wasn't enough, Marvel found another way to one-up themselves by potentially adding one of the most popular and recognizable characters of all-time in Spider-Man.

The news a few days ago that Sony boss Amy Pascal would be stepping down and looking to produce movies for Sony, potentially reopening the door for talks with Marvel about Spider-Man, make all the more sense now. That actually was the plan and Pascal will be co-producing the next Spidey project with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. It also makes sense why a few days ago, Marvel silently created a new official Spider-Man Twitter account:

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'Spider-Man' Is Officially Joining The Marvel Cinematic Universe