Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Spider Man Returns!

              Spider-Man and The Avengers

About the months ago I said very loudly that Spider-Man would not be coming back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Welp......looks like I was wrong.  OK, not 100 percent wrong but definitely wrong.  Hey, it happens.  Directly from Marvel itself, we have the news that a deal was reached between Marvel and Sony to bring Spider-Man into the MCU.  Well, sort of.  There's a lot of speculation that's going way too far as to what it all means, and a lot of you guys are going to be disappointed next year if you believe it.  So before you start dreaming up all the awesome ways Spider Man will be showing up on the big screen, you need to get one thing straight:


Yes, that is correct.  Sony still owns the movie rights to Spider-Man.  Marvel will get to use him in their movies, and can lend some of their characters to Sony for use in future Spider-Man movies.  Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige will co-produce the next Spider-Man film with Sony, but Sony maintains creative control.  The next Spider-Man film will be a Sony project and not a Marvel Studios film.  That is important to remember because the decisions that are made are not necessarily those that would come from a Marvel-only production.  The best case scenario is that Sony follows Marvel's lead on how to present the character, and that Marvel feels good enough about what comes from it that they'll let Sony use Daredevil, Kingpin, and other New York-based characters in future Spidey films.  Now I'm one who liked Amazing Spider Man 2 and was ready for more from that universe, but for all intents and purposes that seems to be over.  So the best thing for Sony to do is Marvel-ize things when they start over and please, no more Peter Parker origin stories!  We've gotten two of those way too close together already so the last thing we need is one more.  Either pick things up in progress or......go with Miles Morales.

A second thing to calm down about is the Spider-Man cameo that is slated to happen in the next Captain America movie, Civil War. In the print version of the story Spidey played a huge role and some people are already salivating at the thought he will do the same in the MCU.  Forget it, folks.  Civil War hits the theaters next May.  Assuming that a new Peter Parker will be chosen that's not enough time to recast the role and do major script rewrites to give him a major role (without marginalizing Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., and Chadwick Boseman's  parts in the film) in time to meet the filming and editing schedule in time for theatrical release.  And on top of that, the issue from the storyline that Spidey was a part of, masked superheroes acting as vigilantes, has not been introduced into the MCU yet.  Yes, it is getting brought in via the Daredevil series, but it's still not a big enough part of the MCU to change an entire film that's already in production around it.  My bet is that we get a few scenes added in post production with him in costume; that way Sony can take its time casting the new Spidey.

Lastly, there is the matter of the revised Marvel film schedule.  Because they are partners now, the Sony Spider-Man films are now being given a position amongst the Marvel studios-helmed films as if they are part of the slate.  Which means that the July 2017 release date for the next Spidey film will move some previously scheduled Marvel films down the calendar. The third Thor movie along with the movies for Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans are being moved to later dates. And that has some people feeling some kinda way.  There was much rejoicing when the Black Panther and Captain Marvel films were first announced, so it kinda sucks for them to get pushed back.  But, that's the price of doing business if you want Marvel involved with Spidey.  Spider-Man is Marvel; you will move things out of the way for a chance to showcase him.  The truth of the matter is that the only reason there are movies for Black Panther, Captain Marvel, etc are that Marvel can't make any movies for it's most popular characters - Spider-Man, Wolverine, and (by association) the X-Men. If Marvel had those movie rights we would have gotten a plethora of films featuring those characters, and maybe eventually some Avengers-related films.  The miracle of Marvel studios is that they've created a great film universe using B and C-list characters, and in doing so raised their profiles.  But were they to be given the full movie rights to their biggest name characters today they would wrap things up as quickly as possible to get to the business of making Spider-Man and X-Men movies.  So as a fan you have to ask yourself whether that's something you'd really want to happen. 

So while there's a lot to chew on, and some big reasons to curb your enthusiasm it's a day to rejoice for all comic book movie fans. Excelsior!

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