I go away on holiday for one week (Sardinia – it was great, thanks for asking) and lots of exciting things happen while I’m away! Not only does news break that Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are set to appear in Jurassic World III, but more importantly Sony and Marvel have come to an agreement regarding Spider-Man!
As I’m pretty sure most people are now aware, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have shook hands on a deal that will allow Spider-Man to remain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The deal will see Marvel Studios co-produce one further Spidey instalment, giving the studio the opportunity to round off his time in the MCU.
In a statement (via Variety), Marvel Studios’ big cheese, Kevin Feige said: “I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it.” He added: “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero who story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment Chief Communications Officer, Robert Lawson, said: “We have had a great collaboration over the last four years, and our mutual desire to continue was equal to that of the many fans.” He added: “We are delighted to be moving forward together.”
In addition to appearing in one more Sony/Marvel co-production, Spider-Man star Tom Holland is also expected to make an appearance in another MCU movie. It has not been made clear what that film is, but based on the titles that have been scheduled for Phase 4, it is most likely to be the Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Why this film? Well, this is purely speculation, but the Doctor Strange sequel is set to focus on multiverses… Sony is trying to set up its own Spider-Man movie universe… Tom Holland is likely to feature in both Marvel’s universe and Sony’s…. that would mean he would be appearing in multiple universes…
You get what I’m saying, right?
It’s likely that at some point – either in his solo film or via a guest appearance – Spider-Man will leave the MCU and appear in Sony’s Spider-Verse.
Anyway, the as-yet-untitled MCU Spider-Man film is scheduled for release on July 16th, 2021. According to Deadline, Jon Watts is in final talks with both Marvel and Sony to direct.
OK, so that was the big news, but why am I very excited about all this?
Well, apart from the fact that the Spider-Man story will be given time to (potentially) come to an end in the MCU, it will also mean Spidey now has the chance to be a huge part of a much wider story via Sony’s new universe. The universe that Sony is building took its first steps with Venom (2018), then continued with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and will run into Morbius (2020), as well as the proposed Venom 2 and a Madame Web movie (yep, Sony is working on a Madame Web film).
OK, so Venom wasn’t a great start (it was bad), but the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best super hero movies ever. If Sony can replicate this type of film for its future pictures, then it could be onto a huge winner.
If Sony (with guidance from Marvel) can nail Venom 2, and turn Morbius into a must-see film this could become a very interesting universe. A universe with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the centre.
Just imagine, Tom Holland concludes his story in the MCU then somehow finds his Spider-Man transported to an alternate universe. One with Venom, Miles Morales, Michael Morbius, Madame Web and so many more.
This universe could throw up so many challenges and story beats for Spider-Man that he has to remain in the universe for some time. This would easily explain his absence from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, without the need to kill him off.
OK, so I know that many fans would simply prefer for Spider-Man to remain in the MCU indefinitely, but let’s be honest, unless things change at Sony, that’s not going to happen. And while he’s straddling both studios, he’s not really getting to meet his full potential.
In my mind, let him do his thing once more in the MCU, then allow Sony to develop the Spider-Verse with Tom Holland as a key figure. If it works – great! If it doesn’t, well then he can always hop back out of that universe and into the MCU.
At least in his own alternate universe he can shine in bigger stories that don’t have to worry about the MCU continuity. Plus, Spider-Man has so many fantastic characters, maybe allowing them to get started under Sony wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Sony develops spin-offs for various Spider-Man characters and builds a universe. Marvel Studios continues to do its own thing and the two co-exist as separate entities. Then, at some point in the future, they crossover and create one HUGE movie!!!
Or, let’s just say that Sony eventually gives Spider-Man back to Marvel (hey, it could happen if there is ever another buy out), then Marvel Studios could pick and choose what it wants to keep from Sony’s universe. The universes can be streamlined into one, with all of the good stuff kept and all of the bad stuff dropped.
In the meantime, fans get to see many, many movies both in the MCU AND Sony’s Spider-Verse. Two studios pumping out pictures is a lot better than one, as it means lots more films.
So yeah, for now I am very excited about Spider-Man’s future. Very excited.