Over the years, many a fan has dreamed about a proper Marvel crossover between the heroes actually residing under Marvel’s cinematic purview, and those who due to rights ownerships, make their home at other studios. A short while back, another rumour surfaced on the backs of Sony’s woes about the uncertain future of its Amazing Spider-Man franchise, that the studio was actually engaging with Marvel about bring Spidey back into their fold. At the time though, it was nothing more than just that: another rumour. But oh, what a difference a hack makes…
The much publicized hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment two weeks ago was a vile act, that much I agree with, but there’s no denying that it has been a treasure trove of facts, from learning just how much The Interview cost to make to the revelation that Sony hates making Adam Sandler movies as much as we hate watching them (spoiler alert: it’s a lot). And the latest release from the hackers has been a set of internal communications (via The Wall Street Journal) between Sony chief Amy Pascal, various Sony execs and Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, among others. Through these mails, it’s come to light that Sony were in fact in negotiations with Marvel to set up “a potential scenario that would see Marvel produce a new trilogy of Spider-Man movies while Sony retains ‘creative control, marketing and distribution.'” And they were apparently THIS close to making it happen before Sony pulled out of the deal for undisclosed reasons.
Whatever it was that changed Sony’s mind, it now means that they’re back to their original, shoddy plans which are apparently going to be discussed in a “Spidey Summit” to be held in January 2015. And if that gets you riled up, wait until you hear what the deal would also have entailed: Marvel wanted Spidey brought into their cinematic universe with a crucial appearance in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. As we discussed previously, Spider-Man played a huge role in the “Civil War” comic book storyline, and a lot of people were wondering how Marvel had planned to get around his absence. Well, clearly they didn’t, but now I guess they have to.
This is of course not the first time we got this close to Spider-Man crossing over with the rest of the Marvel universe. At one point, there was a plan to include Amazing Spider-Man‘s Oscorp Towers into the New York skyline in The Avengers, but the idea was scrapped due to time constraints. That would have just been a cool little easter egg though, whereas this would have been the real deal!
And based on how Marvel seemingly has the golden touch right now when it comes to just about everything they do (see: Guardians of the Galaxy), and Sony appears to have no concise vision of what they want to do with the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, much to their critical and commercial detriment, I would love to know what made them call this deal off. You can’t help but think this would have been a win-win situation for them (especially if Marvel kept on Andrew Garfield, who has been – pardon the pun – amazing in the role thus far).
There is one surprising, but incredible sounding final revelation though: While the aforementioned Spidey Summit will see Sony discussing their already revealed plans for the Venom and Sinister Six villain-centric spinoffs, as well as a movie focused on the “women from the webslinger’s life” – I wish I was making that up – they are apparently also having talks about an animated Spider-Man feature developed by none other than Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Lord and Miller have been movie magic gold over the last few years as the men behind The LEGO Movie, 21 & 22 Jump Street and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The writer-director duo have thus far shown an unflappable sense of how to make movies that are just plain awesome fun, and them tackling an animated version of Spider-Man is an idea that gets me grinning from ear to ear.
But then I remember how close we came to Spider-Man being a proper part of Civil War and that grin is instantly replaced by the urge to punch something repeatedly.
Last Updated: December 11, 2014