Sony strikes deal for Spider-Man to join Avengers in Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Sony has struck a deal with Marvel and Disney to have Spider-Man enter into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he belongs.

Marvel announced the agreement on Monday night that Sony’s next instalment Peter Parker’s web-slinging will be released on July 28, 2017 and will be co-produced by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and former Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal, who has been involved with Spider-Man since the first 2002 film starring Tobey Maguire.

While Marvel will have a creative hand in the upcoming standalone film, Sony will retain the full rights to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the future Spider-Man films. It purchased the film rights to Spider-Man from Marvel in 1999 for just $7-million.

In addition to the reboot, Marvel Cinematic Universe characters such as the Avenger’s Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain America (Chris Evans) could appear with Spider-Man, with rumours that this could occur as early as next year’s Captain America: Civil War.

The major announcement comes after much fan speculation in recent years over whether the two studios could reach an agreement to have their characters appear on the same screen.

“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”

While Marvel has been successful with reuniting with its Spider-Man family member, there are doubts the same can be done for the more complex characters in the X-Men series, which has carved its own cinematic universe within 20th Century Fox’s ownership. There have been seven X-Men films since 2000, and an eighth film centred around the character Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) will be filmed in Vancouver this  year.

To date, Sony has made five live-action Spider-Man films, taking in $4-billion worldwide in box office revenues. This includes the most recent 2012 and 2014, a highly successful series reboot starring Andrew Garfield.

How will this affect the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films?

The release dates for four of the ten films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three, which begins with 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, have been shifted to make room for Spidey.

The third Thor film, Thor: Ragnarok, will enter theatres on November 3, 2017 instead of July 28, 2017. Black Panther, originally scheduled for November 3, 2017, will be pushed to July 6, 2018. Captain Marvel will debut on November 2, 2018 instead of July 6, 2018 while Inhumans, the final Phase Three film, will be moved from November 2, 2018 to July 12, 2019.

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 are still scheduled for release on May 4, 2018 and May 3, 2019, respectively. The only difference will be the likely inclusion of Spider-Man in the plots.

Will Andrew Garfield reprise his role as Spider-Man?

Although there were some initial doubts prior to the release of the 2012 film, Andrew Garfield has been widely critically praised for his performance as the web-slinger in The Amazing Spider-Man film series.

However, according to The Wrap’s Linda Ge, a new actor will be cast to play the rebooted Spider-Man role within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There was also speculation that Garfield, now 31, will not reprise the role after relatively low domestic box office revenues of 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man ($262-million) and 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($202-million).

Who should play Spider-Man in the upcoming films? Let us know by commenting below.

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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