The next Marvel Studios film is sure to be yet another hit. Ever since the comics publisher started making their own movies, fans have been clamoring for the company to find a way to bring back some of the properties it sold film rights to back into the fold.
And now one of the most popular characters in the world finally makes his homecoming with a solo film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Marvel Studios collaborates with Sony Pictures for Spider-Man.
A new report from the Los Angeles Times details how such an unprecedented deal took place, starting with Sony executives Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton visiting the home of Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter in early 2015.
The reclusive billionaire pitched to the Sony execs a dream scenario — let Marvel Studios reboot the character.
A year earlier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 released in theaters to mixed reviews and lackluster box office numbers, sending Sony’s ambitious plan of making an extended universe based on the Wallcrawler’s rogues and allies into disarray.
And so Sony was willing to allow Marvel to use the character in their cinematic universe, finally bringing Spider-Man under the same roof as the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy as hoards of fans hoped.
“I never thought we'd be able to make a Spider-Man movie set in our universe, and here we are,” Feige said.
The deal is notable because there wasn’t a lot of money exchanged. Sony paid Marvel a producers fee. Sony also funded the production of the movie and is releasing it through Columbia Pictures, so they’ll rake in all of the profits without sharing them, while Marvel will benefit from the character’s merchandising rights.
Sony maintains the movie rights for the character, while Marvel will get to use their most famous character without paying a ton of money for it.
“We've been able to create this cinematic universe that now provides that backdrop onto which you can put Peter Parker and have that dynamic he was always meant to have,” said Feige. “To Amy [Pascal]’s credit and to Michael Lynton's credit, they realized this was the best thing for the character.”
Pascal served with Feige as producers on the film and the report states she had input on some major decisions, such as director Jon Watts, the casting of Tom Holland, and Michael Keaton’s character of the Vulture.
Sony would have taken a major risk in trying to reboot the character again without the benefit of Marvel Studios’ established shared universe. And with franchise fatigue seemingly affecting every major film series except Marvel, it was definitely the right move.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is expected to gross around $100 million domestically, not to mention how it will do in international box offices, off a budget of $175 million. That’s a huge win for Sony when they’ve been desperate for a hit.
“With a property like Spider-Man, you have such a huge responsibility to the audience to do it right,” said Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch. “Allowing Marvel to bring him into their Marvel cinematic universe and bring back Peter Parker to his essence is delivering on that responsibility.”
We’ll find out how well the gamble will pay off when Spider-Man: Homecoming releases in theaters on July 7.
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A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast includes Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. It also includes Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, Kenneth Choi, Michael Mando, Selenis Leyva, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., JJ Totah, and Hannibal Buress.