For some, this would seem like a foregone conclusion, especially considering the long road it has taken to get Spider-Man into the MCU. With Marvel Studios essentially now sharing custody of the character with Sony Pictures - who owns the film rights to the web-slinger - some would have expected other characters to follow suit.
The only problem? Various conflicting reports have suggested otherwise. With both Venom and Silver & Black in development, Sony appeared to be introducing what it called "Sony's Marvel Universe", which would presumably be independent from the MCU. Sony's efforts even led to speculation that Spider-Man himself would be leaving the MCU after a Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, which were later refuted by the film's star, Tom Holland.
And just a few days ago, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige asserted that the two companies' Marvel universes would stay separate, directly contradicting the claims that Sony's Amy Pascal made earlier today.
So with the possibility of even more connected Marvel films on the horizon, how exactly could that manifest? Will the MCU actually consider Sony's spinoffs canon? We break down a few possibilities.
No, The Universes Will Stay Separate
There is a chance that Feige's original comments could remain true, and Sony's Marvel Universe could be entirely walled off from the MCU.
Marvel Studios has been adding to the MCU for a full decade now, with significant amounts of money and effort going into making it the well-oiled machine fans see today. With at least two feature films planned to be released each year until 2020, Marvel has its movie-making down to a science, plotting out Easter eggs and teases far in advance.
Adding Sony's films into the fold, and giving them the same narrative weight in the MCU, could only further disrupt what Marvel has planned for the next few years.
There's also the issue of the tone Sony's spinoffs will supposedly set. The Venom solo movie is set to be much more horror-oriented than any of the MCU's current franchises, and there are reports that the film will be rated R. Even though both films would target slightly different age demographics, this jump from the upbeat, family-friendly Spider-Verse established in Homecoming could seem like a risk for the MCU.
With that in mind, there is a chance that Pascal's comments could ring true as well, without either universe officially crossing over.
From a storytelling standpoint, having Sony's spinoffs exist without showing a Spider-Man onscreen would certainly be possible, albeit a little clunky. Similar techniques have been seen on DC's side of live-action media, with shows such as The Flash and Supergirl dropping in references to heroes such as Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman without actually bringing them into the fold.
The same could be done for films such as Venom and Silver & Black, although Peter Parker does play a significant role in the origins of those characters. And, as Pascal explained, Sony wants fans to feel a similar narrative "investment" in their Marvel films to that in the MCU. Which brings us to...
Yes...But With a Catch
The biggest example of how Sony's spinoff films could factor into the overall MCU lies within Marvel's live-action television shows - particularly those on Netflix. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist have all helped fans see more of the MCU they know and love, just from a different angle.
And while plot points and Easter eggs from the larger MCU do factor in to the shows, they're done so in a way that doesn't distract or drastically change the goals and storylines of the films. Depending on how the stories of Venom and Silver and Black are told, the films could very easily tie into the MCU in a similar way.
This is echoed, in part, by Pascal's initial confirmation of the shared universe, in which she says that the films will be "adjuncts" to Homecoming, and that while "they may be in different locations, [it] will still all be in the same world." This, in a way, seems like an emphasis that Sony's films could be separate enough to not need to heavily change the timeline of the MCU.
This would essentially allow Marvel Studios to take bigger risks with the Sony films - even capitalizing off of the successes of Fox's R-rated Logan and Deadpool - without having them significantly impact the prime MCU timeline. Again, this has already been seen with the Netflix shows, as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have both been able to tackle adult subject matter.
There is also the chance that a deeper partnership between Sony and Marvel could already be in place, and could significantly impact the narrative of MCU very soon, but fans will have to wait and see if that actually comes to fruition.
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Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine -- distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts, from a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters July 7, 2017.