Spider-Man Joins Marvel Cinematic Universe

Posted by The Daily Zombies Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Excelsior! It's official! Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is swinging into Marvel Cinematic Universe, as confirmed in an official announcement by Marvel and Sony Pictures. 

Rejoice yet, Marvel Zombies! For this is truly a great day for any self-professed (and at that, self-respecting) Marvel Zombie, as well as any members of the casual movie-going crowds parading into the cineplexes at least twice a year for their marvellous fix of superhero orgasm the likes that industry leader Marvel Studios can provide. To be painfully blunt, 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four and X-Men film franchise is outclassed by Marvel every step of the way. And even their most Distinguished Competitor (the acronym is screaming right at you), while gearing themselves up real fine with an avalanche of their very own brand of superhero films, is currently a distance away from an even ground with Marvel Studios. Noticing how we conveniently neglected Sony Pictures' Spider-Man film franchise? Well, save that for the story of the day.

After much speculations going back as earlier as before the "Sony Pictures Entertainment Hack" incident, it is official: Spider-Man will be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Set to appear first in an unspecified Marvel Cinematic Universe film, your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man will then swing into an all-new Spider-Man film produced by Kevin Feige (head honcho of Marvel Studios) and Amy Pascal (who recently stepped down from her position as the head honcho of Sony Pictures Entertainment, but billed in the official press release as someone "who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago") and set to release on July 28, 2017. While Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films, Marvel Studios will continue to integrate other characters from their incredibly vast library of characters into these future Spider-Man films. Okay, go lose your shit now, check out the official press release and get back here for our views as well as more breaking updates on the fate of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Here are the full press release from Marvel:


Marvel's Kevin Feige to Produce Next Installment of the Spider-Man Franchise with Amy Pascal

(Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man. 

Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.
Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.

The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel's world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: "Spider-Man is one of Marvel's great characters, beloved around the world. We're thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building."

"We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans."

"Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker's story into the future," added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

"I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie," said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. "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."

Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.

Interestingly phrased as "Sony Pictures Entertainment Brings Marvel Studios into the Amazing World of Spider-Man", we absolutely shared Collider's view that the opposite is true here. While continuing to perform in the international markets, the Spider-Man film franchise has not exactly excelled at this early stage of their growing share universe. If there is only one key takeaway from the official press release apart from the headline, it is this: "Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger." Key operative word being "together". Fully aware of their floundering franchise, Sony is fully tapping into the all-conquering braintrust of Marvel Studios to spin the web of Spider-Man's cinematic adventures moving forward. 

While no official word on yet another reboot was provided, Buzzfeed has reported that Andrew Garfield will be recast, a much-speculated rumor that has been passing around in recent months. We certainly loved Garfield's portrayal of Peter Parker despite his physical appearance (c'mon, a dashing Peter Parker) but do not object another new take on the character as long as it works in the larger picture, and there is no doubt that the picture just got infinitely larger now. Is Sony scrapping away with their planned franchise, what with the Drew Goddard's Sinister Six and Alex Kurtzman's Venom in the plans? We can't say for sure but it is very likely that these plans are out of the window for now as far as Marvel Studios is concerned.

As for the unspecified Marvel Cinematic Universe film, we assessed that it got to be Captain America: Civil War. Civil War provides a world-changing environment with the scope and scale that is just appropriate to either allow a small role or even a cameo for Peter Parker, especially when you considered Parker's immense role in the original comic story arc (yeah we get that the story will be getting more than a facelift but the scope still makes sense to include Spidey). Timeline-wise, it also made perfect sense given the July 28, 2017 release date for the new Spider-Man film. The other two Marvel Cinematic Universe films set to release before that date will be Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Neither of these films seem like a good fit for the introduction of Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Incidentally, Marvel Studios has painstaking rescheduled their Phase Three release timeline to accommodate the return of their prodigal son. Here are the new updates on the release timeline:

Thor: Ragnarok - Moving from July 28, 2017 (now taken up by the new Spider-Man), to November 3, 2017.

Black Panther - Moving from November 3, 2017 to July 6, 2018.

Captain Marvel - Moving from July 6, 2018, to November 2, 2018.

Inhumans - Moving from November 2, 2018, to July 12, 2019.

Just so you know, Marvel Studios is damn freaking accommodative to Sony, especially when you factor in how the Hollywood superhero film war will escalate by that time with DC bringing an onslaught of DC superhero films peaking with the two Justice League films in 2017 and 2019.

At least for now, we know we are in for one hell of an "Avengers Assemble" moment with one of the most iconic superheroes right where he belong all this while: The Mighty Avengers.


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