Spider-Man is back in the MCU - and his unexpected return could mean Avengers 5 is on the cards. To the delight of Marvel fans worldwide, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have reached a new agreement that means a third Spider-Man movie will be produced as part of the MCU. Following on from Spider-Man: Far From Home, the film has been scheduled for release on July 16, 2021.
Tom Holland is known to have been signed up for two more Spider-Man movies, and Marvel and Sony's official press release reveals that they will be Spider-Man 3 and an as-yet-unconfirmed future Marvel Studios production. That means viewers can look forward to seeing Spider-Man interact with the new wave of MCU superheroes. But which film will Peter Parker appear in? He doesn't really fit with any of the announced Phase 4 movies, and Marvel may have been planning the next few years with the exact nature of the deal unclear. As a result, this mystery film is more likely to be something after 2021 and yet to be announced.
It's important to remember that Spider-Man is easily the highest-profile superhero in the world. The original Marvel/Sony deal was a major coup, and it brought the wall-crawler into the tentpole blockbusters Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. It's safe to assume that Marvel will wish to continue in this vein, featuring Spider-Man in a movie they aim to get a lot of attention. The most likely candidate is an as-yet-unconfirmed Avengers 5.
Marvel is an ever-secretive studio and, as a result, their Phase 4 slate is only known up to early 2022. A further Avengers sequel, uniting their tentpole heroes, is notably absent from the release schedule, but it's only a matter of time before one comes. Indeed, Kevin Feige has said that Marvel already knows what the new Avengers roster will look like, made up of familiar and new faces. There's been some speculation Marvel will reinvent the Avengers franchise somehow, perhaps with a Young Avengers movie. That would see some of the heroes who are being introduced through Disney+, such as Kate Bishop and Ms. Marvel, team up on the big screen. A youthful Spider-Man would be a perfect fit for this, not least because he'd ironically be one of the more experienced superheroes.
At this stage, only one thing seems certain: this unknown movie is likely to release after Spider-Man 3, presumably once Far From Home's tantalizing post-credits scene has been resolved. Kevin Feige has previously indicated that Spider-Man 3 will see Peter step "out of the shadow of Tony, out of the shadow of the other Avengers, as his own man now." From that newfound position of confidence, the MCU's Spider-Man will be perfectly suited for a prominent role, whether in an Avengers film or as a cameo in a particularly high-profile launch. The Fantastic Four are coming to the MCU, for example, and a Tom Holland cameo could give them a massive boost. There's comic book precedent for that idea; Spider-Man's first-ever team-up was with the Fantastic Four, and he has a tremendous dynamic with the Human Torch. Marvel could choose to capitalize on that in order to get viewers to forget previous Fox attempts at the Fantastic Four.
The return of Spider-Man to the MCU opens up a wealth of new possibilities for Marvel Studios, especially now that Peter Parker is becoming a well-established superhero in his own right. A major role in Avengers 5 would be a thrilling development, but at this stage it's by no means guaranteed.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021