If you are a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), you have probably heard/read by now the story that broke a few days ago claiming that Sony and Marvel/Disney have come to some form of agreement that will see Spider-Man effectively shoehorned into one of the upcoming Marvel Avengers movies (Avengers: Infinity Wars Part 1, to be precise).
Honestly, I believe that a headline like the one I used above could easily be followed by a one word blog post if that one word is discuss.
And of course that is what has been happening across numerous sites with many a blogger offering up their two cents worth of opinion on the idea of Spidey popping up in the Marvel movie universe. Heck, that’s what I’m doing here. Of course Sony has since come out and denied that there is any merit to the report – they kind of have to at this point though, right? Nature abhors a vacuum and so do comicbook geeks so Sony had to say something even if it is a flippant denial.
On the surface, it sounds like a long overdue good idea to get Spidey tied up with the rest of the MCU. There are arguably three large franchise pieces of the Marvel Universe that right now studios other than Marvel get to play with and adapt to the screen: the X-Men and all the other mutants, The Fantastic Four and all their associated supporting characters, and the Spider-Man cast of characters. Bringing Spidey into the fold would mean that Marvel Hegemony over all of its characters on screen would be one step closer with just the FF and the X-Men still out of their grasp. So Spidey joining the MCU should be great, right? Well, maybe, then again maybe not.
I would like to see Spider-Man in future MCU films if (and this is a pretty big ‘if’) Sony gives Marvel the creative freedom/leeway the studio needs to do it right. I would want to see the character in storylines that work for him organically, not just shoe-horned in so that Marvel can stand and shout ‘Hey! Look who’s back in the fold, baby!‘
There is no reason to assume that any and all future cooperative Spiderman ventures would go smoothly if we have a studio (Sony) insisting on making their own future Spidey franchise projects that may or may not be any good, meanwhile everytime Marvel wants to use the character they have to make sure that Sony is onside and hope that the outside studio’s insistance and interference does not get in the way of making a good movie. We don’t even know at this point if Sony will follow through on any agreement that they might have reportedly made with Marvel/Disney, or if instead they decide that Marvel is not doing enough of what they (Sony) wants with a Spidey-inclusive avengers flick and pick up their ball and go home. Can you imagine the kind of sour taste something like that might leave in the mouths of comic geeks everywhere?
Of course some might hope that Sony eventually just goes and pulls a Twentieth Century Fox and lets the rights of a character lapse back to Marvel (ala Daredevil), but there is no way in Hell that Sony is ever going to let that happen unless Marvel steps up and offers either some kind of buyout of the rights and/or a share of any profits from future Spiderman franchise projects.
Myself, I would like to see the Spider-Man franchise revert back to Marvel just because at this point they obviously know how to make their own movies really, really well.