If you thought Spider-Man was going to fight alongside the Avengers for years to come, you might be disappointed.
That's the takeaway from an interview that Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Amy Pascal did with CosmicBookNews, in which she suggested that the wallcrawler's groundbreaking tenure with the Marvel Cinematic Universe may only last for a handful of movies.
It was Pascal, back when she was head of Spider-Man rights owners Sony Pictures, who negotiated the deal with Marvel Studios that allowed the new Spidey (Tom Holland) to appear in Captain America: Civil War and let Marvel take the lead on producing the new Spider-Man standalone film for Sony.
That deal also includes having Spider-Man show up in Avengers: Infinity War (it's not clear if he'll be in Avengers 4) and letting Marvel produce the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel. But after that, Pascal said, the future is very uncertain:
"One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don't have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact, it may never happen again -- after we do the sequel."
Pascal then elaborated:
"Sony and Disney and Marvel all decided that the right thing to do was to allow Peter Parker and Spider-Man to be in the MCU, and to work with the Marvel guys and have them produce this film, and I think that was a very rare thing for three companies to do and a very brilliant thing for them to decide to do because there are only so many stories that you know you can tell again and again and again about Spidey, and this is something that we would never been able to do in any other way. So, it was a very selfless thing that was very smart on the part of all the companies."
She's right about that: Competition between the major Hollywood studios is always fierce, and to get three of them -- Sony, Marvel and the latter's parent company Disney -- to collaborate on a property as popular and lucrative as Spider-Man is nearly impossible. As profitable as this effort could and probably will be for all parties concerned, the studios simply do not like to yield any market share or earnings to each other.
If Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequel (due in July 2019) are hits, Sony may well feel like the franchise is back on track and they don't need Marvel's involvement anymore -- especially now they're planning their own villain-centric Spiderverse revolving around characters from Spidey's rogues gallery.
It's disheartening to learn that Spider-Man's tenure in the MCU, where he rightly belongs, may be a brief one, but studio politics will -- pardon the expression -- trump fidelity to canon every time. Do you want to see Spider-Man continue to bounce back and forth between his own films and those of the MCU? Should fans start getting vocal about it?