When news broke that Spider-Man would be swinging into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans of the hero understandably freaked out. After all, the teenage vigilante has been missing from the massive franchise since it kicked off in 2008, but Spider-Man's absence was not out of choice. Instead, the issue came down to film rights since Sony Pictures has a vice-grip on the iconic hero. However, in a landmark deal between the studio and Marvel, an agreement was made which would lend Spider-Man to the MCU.
This year, fans will get another look at how Spider-Man fits into the expansive universe thanks to Spider-Man: Homecoming. The solo feature will see Tom Holland reprise his role as Peter Parker alongside Robert Downey Jr. The hero will then reappear in Avengers: Infinity War before a sequel to Homecoming launches in 2019 - but what happens next? Fans have not been made privy to the details of Sony and Marvel's agreement, but they did get a stark reminder that it may not last forever.
In a recent interview with CosmicBookNews (via Collider), former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal talked about her efforts in getting Spider-Man to the MCU. It was during the conversation that the producer seemingly implied that Sony's contract with Marvel and Disney will run out after the Homecoming sequel debuts. At that point, it will be up to Sony to decided if they should re-up on the deal, and that is not a guarantee.
"One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don't have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact it may never happen again, after we do the sequel. Because Sony, and Disney, and Marvel all decided that the right thing to do was to allow Peter Parker and Spider-Man to be in the MCU and to work with the Marvel guys and have them produce this film," Pascal said.
"I think that was a very rare thing for three companies to do, and a very brilliant thing for them to decide to do because there are only so many stories that you can tell again and again and again about Spidey, and this is something that we would have never been able to do in any other way."
So far, Spider-Man's inclusion in the MCU has helped garner support for Sony and its third go with the hero. The hero's on-screen legacy is a complicated one as the studio has had two previous tries to make a Spider-Man franchise stick with mixed results. By having the superhero be part of the MCU, it gives Sony new ground to work with as well as an established franchise to lean on. When Spider-Man appeared in Captain America: Civil War, fans went wild over the character. But, as Spider-Man continues to grow, there is always a chance Sony may want to pull out from Marvel to go out on their own.
For now, only time will tell how long Spider-Man gets to stay in the MCU. Marvel is using the character wisely by keeping him close to the Avengers and using him only when need be. Hopefully, all three companies will be able to find a way to keep the creative flow going and keep Spider-Man where he fits best.
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Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters July 7, 2017. It currently holds an impressive 4.07/5 in our user anticipation ratings! Let us know how excited you are to see the film by giving Spider-Man: Homecoming your own anticipation rating below.
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