Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off with Iron Man in 2008, fans have been wondering whether Spider-Man could ever team up with the likes of Iron Man, Thor and Captain America on the big screen, even though Spidey's made billions of dollars in five films of his own over at Sony Pictures. Speculation about Spidey's return to Marvel intensified last year after the disappointing The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and further intensified after it was revealed that the two studios had actually talked about a crossover.
Well, speculate no more, because now it's official: Spider-Man will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
I'll just pause here so everyone can freak out for a second ... all good? OK, moving on.
Marvel announced late Monday that it has reached a deal with Sony that will allow Marvel Studios to introduce Spider-Man into its cinematic universe. According to the announcement, this Spider-Man will be new, though we don't know yet if that means a new actor or an entirely new continuity, and will first appear in a Marvel film before getting his own new Sony release on July 28, 2017. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will serve as co-producer on Sony's Spider-Man films, though Sony will have the final say on all of its own webslinging flicks. The announcement also notes that "Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films," so it's not out of the question for, say, Daredevil and Spider-Man to battle crime in New York City side by side sometime in the future.
"I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie," Feige said. "Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. 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."
So, it's not a complete Marvel takeover, but for the first time we have the chance to see Spider-Man fighting alongside the Avengers on the big screen, and for the moment that's exciting enough. We don't know who'll play this new Spider-Man, or where he'll first appear (Captain America: Civil War, perhaps?), but in some capacity at least, Marvel's flagship character is finally coming home.
We got what we wanted, Marvel fans. Now we just have to hope Marvel Studios will wield this great power with great responsibility.