Spider-Man and The Avengers meeting up on the big-screen would be pretty cool, right? Well, the producers of Spidey's franchise aren't so sure about that...
We're all familiar with the division of movie rights among Marvel Comics characters at this point, right? Marvel Studios/Disney has The Avengers (both main members like Iron Man and somewhat more obscure associated heroes like Iron Fist) and their assorted allies and enemies, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy, various cosmic heroes and villains and recently rejoined characters like Daredevil, Ghost Rider and The Punisher. Fox has the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and other associated mutants (though Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch overlap with Marvel). Sony Pictures has Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends (if you will), and they've got some very ambitious plans lined up for this relatively small (at least, compared to what Marvel's building) universe of heroes and villains, from third and fourth Spider-Man films in their rebooted continuity to spinoffs for the likes of Venom and the Sinister Six.
It's clear that Sony isn't giving up their webslinging cash cow anytime soon, so we can definitely rule out Spidey's arrival at Marvel Studios for the forseeable future. But what about a crossover? Surely, if the right people are interested and the right contractual language is used, Sony and Marvel could team up -- if only briefly -- to bring Spider-Man and The Avengers together onscreen, right? Well, even if it is possible, Amazing Spider-Man franchise producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach aren't too keen on the idea.
In a new interview over at IGN, Arad said a crossover would likely only happen in "a moment in which we've run out of ideas," and he doesn't see that moment coming anytime soon.
"There's so much to tell about Spider-Man. There's so much to tell about the Sinister Six," Arad said. "The relationship between Spider-Man and Venom will bring a whole other world in. [Spider-Man is] unique and we revere that. … We'd rather work really hard to have the right ideas than ... You know, in the toy business we used to make toys glow in the dark when they weren't selling it well, and it gave at least another Christmas. We don't need it yet."
Tolmach echoed Arad's opinion that Sony already has a wealth of ideas about where to take Spider-Man and his supporting cast in the coming years, and added that, for him, a crossover at this point would simply be "a stunt."
"You know, Spider-Man in the Avengers is a stunt," Tolmach said. "Stunts can be cool, but it's also a business, and so the other side of the answer is they're owned by different companies. And there's a ton left in Sony's world; there's a lot of business left because there's a lot of story left. … For [Sony] to want to take this character and put it with Marvel and Disney is a huge undertaking and probably, as Avi's saying, isn't necessary until you feel like, 'Wow, we're sort of out of ideas. What should we do?' And we're far from out of ideas."
Well, that makes the answer to this crossover question pretty clear-cut, at least for the next few years, so don't expect Spidey to swing by the next time Earth's Mightiest Heroes are in the Big Apple. That doesn't mean other crossovers couldn't happen, though, right? Quick, let's start asking Fox executives if Hugh Jackman can be in Avengers 3.