The news broke today regarding the long running rumors of a Marvel/Sony joint venture involving the web spinning super hero. Spider-man a high grossing franchise for Sony, has his roots in Marvel Comics–imagined from the mind of Stan Lee and the pencil of Steve Ditko. So this news was as no surprise to fans hopeful for Spidey’s return home as part of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
For the past decade and a half, Sony has had the pleasure of creative control of Spider-man and his human alter ego Peter Parker–in the realm of film. It’s been a roller coaster ride aimed at success. With the original film (starring Toby McGuire) debut in 2002 and it’s not quite so good predecessors, up to the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of the radioactively altered Parker in 2012.
With Marvel’s undeniable reign atop the throne of superhero movies, Sony would have been foolish to have dismissed an opportunity such as this. This long awaited change to the web crawling crime fighter is not without it’s limits. Sony will remain in creative control of Spider-man as their property and will continue with their planned film(s) for him. What this new partnership does mean for Marvel though is that Spider-man would make his first appearance back in an upcoming MCU film that has already been announced (fingers are crossed for Captain America:Civil War). In addition, Marvel will assist Sony with their future film (July 2017) by means of Kevin Feige (head of Marvel Studios) joining forces with Amy Pascal (Sony) as joint producers.
So, new Spider-man (that’s right, it’s doubtful Garfield will return to the role), new studio. Two rival studios working together to bring fans a glimmer of hope for their wall climbing photographer to once again associate with his fellow Marvel superheroes. This Marvel involved reboot has caused interesting changes to the upcoming Marvel movie line-up of already announced films. Four films have had their release dates pushed to take advantage of this new character opportunity. The changes in order: Thor Ragnarok has moved from the summer of 2017 to the fall of 2017 (Nov 3rd), Black Panther has moved from the fall of 2017 to summer of 2018 (July 6th), Captain Marvel has moved from summer of 2018 to the fall of 2018 (Nov 2nd), Inhumans has moved from fall of 2018 to the summer of 2019 (July 12th).
With all that said, if anyone could shoulder the responsibility of rebooting Spider-man, it would be Marvel. They are about to show Sony that with great power comes great responsibility…and they know how to handle it.