After months and months of rumors, speculation, and hacked emails, the wishes of many comic book movie fans have come true. Sony Pictures recently struck a deal with Disney/Marvel that would allow the Spider-Man character to be a part of the highly-lucrative Marvel Cinematic Universe, and are planning on releasing a solo Spidey flick in July 2017 (after the new interpretation of the character is introduced in a different film). The development has been the source of much excitement, as moviegoers have spent the days since theorizing over the possibilities.
At the time of the announcement, it was confirmed that Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield would not be reprising his role, which was Marvel Studios' apparent intention all along. However, according to new reports, it wasn't that simple, as the actor very well could have been incorporated into the shared universe.
The Daily Beast says that before the deal was finalized, Garfield was having discussions with the studio pertaining to his potential involvement with the series. As for why he won't be sharing the screen with Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans, the powers that be ultimately determined that it didn't make sense for Garfield's incarnation to be carried over. Given that Marvel is looking to start anew with a much younger actor than the 31-year old thespian, it's understandable why they'd go this route.
This news will be somewhat disheartening to the moviegoers who did appreciate Garfield's take on Your Friendly Neighborhood. While the two Amazing Spider-Man flicks were rather divisive, one of the things most viewers agreed on was how well of a fit Garfield was for Peter Parker. In particular, longtime web heads responded strongly to Garfield's Spider-Man persona, who, in line with the comics, was a sarcastic wisecracking hero that was entertaining to watch.
At the same time, one has to keep in mind the tremendous baggage that the aborted rebooted franchise came with. It's true that the first installment in 2012 was seen as a solid foundation on which there was room to improve, last year's sequel earned a reputation as a major waste of an opportunity, with the consensus being that the plot was overstuffed with too many under-developed narrative threads. At the time, Sony was hoping to use Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a launching pad for their "shared" Spider-Man film universe, and arguably bit off more than they could chew trying to establish that - throwing all of their plans into a state of flux.
When that's taken into account, one can see why Marvel opted to hit the reset button on their famous wall-crawler (again). Creatively speaking, it frees up the filmmakers to go in any direction they wish, since they are not tied to movies that came before. And from within the confines of the MCU, it would be difficult to get the continuity to line up. Casual audiences were already a little confused as to why Spider-Man and Iron Man couldn't share the same frame of film, so Garfield popping up in Captain America: Civil War would probably just raise more questions that would be hard to answer convincingly.
In a way, this is Marvel's version of the Christian Bale/Justice League conundrum, where fans expressed that the former Dark Knight should have been able to reprise his role in Warner Bros.' budding shared DC cinematic universe. Like Garfield, Bale's portrayal of Bruce Wayne was generally well-received by audiences, but logistically, it was deemed that rebooting the character (via Ben Affleck) would be better for the purposes of the new franchise.
In the end, the argument can be made that choosing to move on from Garfield's Spider-Man was the only plausible option Marvel Studios had available to them. It would be one thing if the actual movies he was in (and not just his performance) were fan-favorites, but after Amazing Spider-Man 2 many would agree that drastic changes had to be implemented in order to get the Spider-Man brand back on track.
It's nice that they tried to make it work with Garfield, but hopefully the fresh start gives us something that can rival the early days of Sam Raimi's trilogy and bring the character back to the limelight.
The new Spider-Man movie will be in theaters July 28, 2017.
Source: The Daily Beast