With the Marvel Cinematic Universe's eyes fixed firmly on the future and Phase 4, it's time to start figuring out what's next for Spider-Man in MCU Phase 4. This summer's Far From Home will be Spider-Man's, as played by Tom Holland, second solo outing and surely one of the most monumental. Spider-Man will be learning about the multiverse, he'll be fighting villains that aren't located in New York, and he'll try to do right by the memory of his mentor, Tony Stark.
But Spider-Man's future in the MCU stretches far beyond his run-in with Nick Fury and Mysterio. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, the MCU looks like a very different place, and Peter Parker is going to be one of the key figures to help audiences navigate this new world. And, with Sony's plans also taking in Venom's Spider-villain universe and the animated Spider-Verse outside of Marvel, there's a lot of web-crawling action to come.
For now, let's look past Far From Home and try to see what major aspects of Spider-Man's future, both on and off screen, will help predict what his MCU Phase 4 future really looks like.
Spider-Man Returns In Far From Home
Spider-Man's future in the MCU is assured insofar as the next installment in Holland's Spider-Man saga, Far From Home, will be coming out on July 2, 2019. In Jon Watts' sequel, Peter Parker will be resuming his life as your average high schooler from Queens, New York as he rejoins the rest of his friends and goes back to school after a five-year absence following the events of Avengers: Endgame. As Peter settles back into his life and does a very normal high school activity — go on a school trip to Europe — he'll get sucked back into his secret life as Spider-Man and one of the new Avengers by Nick Fury.
From what Far From Home has teased in its trailers, it seems like the MCU will try to tee up Spider-Man to be the equivalent of Iron Man within this new generation (read: another smart-mouthed but ridiculously smart and capable leader). Let's see if he rises to the challenge.
2020 May Be The First Spider-Man-less Year Since 2016
There's a solid chance that Marvel Studios' 2020 schedule won't include any mention of Spider-Man. Presently, Marvel's two releases next year (Guardians of the Galaxy 3 was pushed back James Gunn's firing and rehiring) are expected to be Black Widow and The Eternals, two prequel movies with little reason to visit Queens. That all but ensures MCU fans will go an entire year without hearing a peep from Peter Parker.
Yes, Spider-Man will be back in 2021 (more on that below), but he could also pop up in future Phase 4 films even as an Easter egg. In the Shang-Chi comics, the titular martial artist knows Spider-Man and the rest of the Avengers, while many are hopeful teen wunderkinds Peter and Shuri will meet, possibly in Black Panther 2.
Spider-Man 3 Releases In 2021
As of mid-2019, no plans have been announced for Spider-Man 3, but based on Sony having a solo movie every two years, that makes a 2021 release likely. Currently, the MCU Phase 4 release schedule includes movies on February 12, 2021, May 7, 2021 and November 5, 2021. However, these are only Marvel's releases and not Sony's. While it's possible they could put Spider-Man in the May slot recently owned by the Avengers, it would be more likely for Sony to release the film in July (yes, that would mean four movies set in the universe in 2021).
If this is the case, we can expect to see rumblings of pre-production on the next solo Spider-Man film in mid-2020 and get an even clearer vision of Spider-Man's future in the MCU.
Marvel Has Been Building Up The Sinister Six To Fight Spider-Man
Since Homecoming, fans have been hoping that the MCU's Peter Parker would eventually encounter the Sinister Six, one of the more prominent villain groups in the Spider-Man comics canon. Sony had wanted to make a movie with the group before Spidey joined the MCU, and suspicions of this eventually happened were aroused in the Spider-Man: Homecoming post-credits scene when Vulture met with Scorpion in prison. More evidence of a possible Sinister Six fight comes with the appearance of Aaron Davis (played by Donald Glover), who could become Prowler at some point, earlier in Homecoming and now Far From Home introducing Mysterio into the mix.
Far From Home producer Eric Carroll said to Screen Rant on the film's set that there are no plans to introduce the Sinister Six into Spider-Man's corner of the MCU. However, whether or not there have been active steps takes to introduce the Sinister Six into the MCU, it certainly feels like Marvel is moving in that directions. They would certainly make sense as the villains of Spider-Man 3.
Another villain option is Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin. He's potentially been teased as the new buyer of Avengers Tower, and would be a suitable mastermind of future Marvel phases.
The Initial Marvel/Sony Spider-Man Deal Needs To Be Renegotiated
The unique and very unusual deal struck between Sony and Marvel Studios to share the licensing rights to the Spider-Man character before his introduction in Captain America: Civil War will come to an end by the time of Spider-Man 3, slated for release during MCU Phase 4.
Holland's Spider-Man has become an integral part of the MCU, playing a major role in the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, while Far From Home is setting him up as one of the primary successors to the first generation of Avengers (which included Iron Man, Captain America, et al). With this in mind, Marvel Studios will certainly want to find a way to extend the deal, although Sony will surely want to negotiate better terms considering the increased strength of the Spider-Man brand.
There's Still No Plans For The Spider-Villain Universe To Join The MCU
Venom led the way in ushering in a new phase of Spider-Man villain films, all produced by Sony. Those Spider-villain spinoffs include Morbius, which is now in production, Venom 2, due in 2020, and possible movies for the likes of Kraven.
While Venom's box office suggests this will be a success, there are currently no plans to incorporate any of the villains into the MCU. Indeed, while Mysterio was once rumored to get a spinoff, there's a good chance Sony will halt any kind of movement on his solo film due to his part in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Unless Sony and Marvel Studios renegotiate in the future, then these villains and their movies will continue to exist outside of the MCU. Although considering how much has changed with Spider-Man over the past five years, anything could happen.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019