Spiderman swings into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ben Atwater

For the past fifteen years, superhero films based upon Marvel films have been dominated by three studios: Fox has owned the X Men and Fantastic Four films, Marvel Studios has controlled The Avengers characters, and Sony owns the rights to Spiderman.

Marvel Studios and Sony are joining together for the next Spiderman film (AP photo)
Marvel Studios and Sony are joining together for the next Spiderman film (AP photo)

It seems that Spiderman is coming back to Marvel after five films made by Sony. After Spiderman and Spiderman 2 performed very well critically and financially, mixed reviews of Spiderman 3 caused the studio to reboot the franchise.

The Amazing Spiderman, with Andrew Garfield in the titular role, replacing Tobey McGuire. The reboot performed well financially and critically, leading to a sequel The Amazing Spiderman 2. While performing well financially, it did not meet expectations Sony had nor did it fare well critically. Sony, as a company, has been struggling, and the film division was one of the last profit yielding departments of the company. After their biggest property was not making as much cash as they wanted, they struck a deal with Marvel Studios. While Spiderman will now be integrated in the MCU, Sony still owns the rights to the character. This is merely a joint deal that will allow Marvel to bring the character into The Avengers universe, and will let Sony benefit from Marvel’s excellent creative talent when it comes to film making.

The implications of this deal are huge. Spiderman is set to appear in Captain America: Civil War, which will come out in 2016, before the character dawns his own film in 2017. With all of the characters in Civil War, it sounds like it should really be called Marvel: Civil War. At any rate, this new Spiderman film will push back four other Marvel films, including Thor 3 and Doctor Strange. Now, it must be remembered that Sony has not given up the rights to Spiderman. They still own the character, they are merely giving some creative control to Marvel so he can be integrated into the MCU. Marvel films have been consistently entertaining, which cannot be said for the past Spiderman films.

I felt that The Amazing Spiderman 2 was the worst film I have ever seen in the theaters, with a lack of focus, horrible acting, and a mess of a screenplay. The intentions of The Amazing Spiderman 2 were to set up a cinematic universe to rival Marvel’s. Yet in doing so, it lost focus of making the film good on its own. This made me worried for the future of the franchise. Well, now that Spiderman is partially in Marvel’s competent hands, hope is restored for me at least. While this means rebooting the character for a third time in twelve years, it also means that all of the plans Sony had six months ago are rapidly changed.

The only danger is telling an origin story, which is not needed again. Hopefully they will follow The Incredible Hulk route, where Peter Parker is already Spiderman. I don’t need to see Uncle Ben die again. Of course they might not go with Peter Parker. In the comics, Ben Reilly and Mile Mortalis also are the alter ego of Spiderman. Yet Peter Parker is the quintessential Spiderman, so it’s unlikely they will stray from that.

While four other films are being delayed, at least the dates will still be filled with films. It is not the same situation as when Batman v. Superman was pushed back a year with nothing to fill the date. Personally, I am glad that Spiderman is in the capable hands of Marvel Studios after Sony has nearly run it into the ground with The Amazing Spiderman 2. From a fan’s perspective, it will be great to see Spiderman fighting alongside Captain America and Hulk. Time will tell how Spiderman will fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.