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.
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.
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:
— Spider-Man (@SpiderMan) February 10, 2015
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said:
"Spider-Man is one of Marvel's great characters, beloved around the world. We're thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building."
Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment:
"We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man. This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans."
Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group:
"Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker's story into the future."
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige:
"I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie. Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel's involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years."
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.
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