After years of speculation, Spider-man is returning to Marvel, at last. Back when The Avengers was first being planned and discussed, many, myself included, expected a Spider-man’s reboot to be a part of this project. Instead we got a whole new reboot with the Amazing Spider-man as a separate entity from Marvel.
Marvel’s attempts to regain the rights to their star have been thwarted and the reboot was Sony’s method of retaining these rights. Marvel had sold the rights to Sony over a decade ago and the result was Sam Raimi’s Spider-man (2002) and the subsistent trilogy, which came crashing down to earth with the disappointing third instalment in 2007. By 2010/11 the rights were due to revert to Marvel who had already established their Avengers Phase 1, beginning with Iron man (2008) and The Incredible Hulk (2008).
In short, as long as Sony where to produce another Spider-man movie before the deadline, they could retain the rights and therefore Spider-man would have to sit out The Avengers. Hence, The Amazing Spider-man reboot materialised, though audiences were left confused as why they had a reboot within a decade and just five years after Spider-man III, but still…
But with the issues surrounding the Sony hack last year, some issues with the top management, some frank email exchanges and The Interview fiasco over Christmas, Sony needs a boost and it appears that, what will hopefully be the first collaboration of the major studios, is about to happen.
X-Men and the Fantastic 4, original and upcoming reboot alike, are with 20th Century Fox and Spider-man still with Sony and going nowhere as this would be a collaboration with Sony still owning and retaining control of the iconic character. Marvel have the rest and obviously have a robust release schedule up until 2019. But will this open the door to Marvel’s First Family (Fantastic 4) and X-Men appearing in a Marvel Studios movie? Will Wolverine be joining The Avengers? Who knows…
Still early days yet and these things have a tendency to fall through or change. You can never call anything certain until it has been committed to the screen but so far, this is a real boost to The Avengers, if it comes off.
Spider-man is likely to appear in Captain America: Civil War in 2017 but whether of not this is the end of Andrew Garfield is unclear, as is the future of The Amazing Spider-man movies. Will there be an Amazing Spider-man 3? But reports are suggesting that it is all over and about to start yet again, but without the origin story this time, we hope.
Marvel/Disney are also re-jigging their release schedule, presumably to work Spider-man in. The changes are as follows.
- Thor: Ragnarok is now November 2017 rather than July.
- Black Panther will now open July 2018, rather than October 2017.
- Captain Marvel will now been seen in November instead of July 2018,
- Inhumans is is looking like July 2019, pushed back from October 2018