Spider-Man fans rejoice! After a month and a half long heart attack, Sony and Disney have finally made peace. Spider-Man is heading back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for at least two more films. Disney/Marvel will co-finance 25% of the Spider-Man sequel, and Kevin Feige will keep his creative vision moving forward. Disney will take 25% of the profits.
Why did it take so long? How much control did Sony want? It appears that Sony walked away from the table when Disney offered a 50/50 split for the franchise. With the major success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Andy Serkis obtaining the helm for Venom 2 (2020), Sony perhaps believed they had the creative competence moving forward.
I don’t blame Sony one bit.
After Spider-Man, the other major franchises for Sony include James Bond, Jumanji, Ghostbusters, and Men in Black. If you know anything about movies, you can clearly see that Spider-Man is far and away the studio’s biggest IP. Spider-Man is one of the biggest heroes of all time. As far as I am concerned, Spider-Man is on the same tier as Superman and Batman. I get why they wanted full control.
Back to my point: Kevin Feige knows Spider-Man best, and the box office proves it. Spider-Man: Far From Home and Spider-Man: Homecoming made more money in the theater than any other Spider-Man flick. Spider-Man: Far From Home featured nearly double the number of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which came out in 2014. Far From Home is Sony’s highest grossing movie of all time.
With Spider-Man back in the MCU, the majority won. It was premature for Spider-Man to return to Sony, especially after the cliffhanger following Spider-Man: Far From Home. When it was announced that X-Men and the Fantastic Four were headed to Marvel, it was criminal to deny Peter Parker the grand stage of the MCU moving forward. Greatness lies ahead for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it wouldn’t be quite the same without Peter Parker.
Quite simply, a Spider-Man film developed by Sony is a dangerous game. If you needed proof, here is some evidence.
Madame Web Spin-Off Film in the Works
A shocking story from last week occurred when Sony announced a Spider-Man spin-off Madame Web is in development to be part of Sony’s Marvel Universe. Screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the pair behind the upcoming Morbius flick, are writing the script for the film. The duo is behind Morbius. Say what now?
Spider-Man aside, there was a moment when I actually believed that Sony was stepping in the right direction. Boy was I wrong. A Madame Web TV series? Sure. An animated series focusing on the character? That’s fine. A film adaptation? You can’t be serious. If you’re a Spider-Man fan or not, a big screen adaptation for Madame Web is not a good idea by any means.
Who is Madame Web?
But why? Why Madame Web? Does anyone in the general audience know who Madame Web is or really care? Unless you are my age (mid-30s) and watched the Spider-Man animated series from the 1990s, it is likely you have never even heard of Madame Web.
Madame Web (Cassandra Webb) is a mutant who possesses telepathy and clairvoyance. If this film is eventually made, I expect Sony to utilize the Julia Carpenter iteration of the character instead. Julia Carpenter received her powers after the death of Cassandra Webb, was younger, and can be most recently seen in the Ultimate Spider-Man TV series from 2017.
But the bottom line is: there are so many more characters in the Spider-Man universe that would lead to better adaptations on the big or small screen. Gwen Stacey or Ben Reilly easily come to mind. The concept of a sympathetic villain has clearly clicked with audiences since Avengers: Endgame. Why not focus on Harry Osborn, Wilson Fisk, Doctor Octopus, or The Lizard? These are three villains with complicated pasts that could also tug the heart strings and appease fans.
There are a lot of rumors that Amazon or Apple may be looking into purchasing Sony Pictures between now and 2024. Fingers crossed that Sony’s movie division is eventually bought off and Disney acquires all our favorite characters in time for the next Avengers team-up film. Spider-Man rightfully belongs in the MCU.
What to Expect with Spider-Man 3
Everything points to one or all of the villains in the Sinister Six. With Spider-Man’s identity revealed, Kraven and Scorpion hunting down Peter Parker and his family seems like the most obvious choice right now. The groundwork has been laid for the Sinister Six to finally make their appearance on the big screen.
There was a rumor flying around months ago that Kevin Feige wants a modern spin on Kraven the Hunter. Rather than originating from Russia, Kraven will be a Wakandan tribesman that was exiled from the Royals. More screen time from T’Challa and Shuri in the next Spider-Man film is a very good idea.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe & Beyond
What now? 2021 looks like a doozy. Spider-Man 3 will be the fourth film slated for 2021 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other films slated for 2021 include Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Black Widow is the next film for the MCU. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Scarlett Johansson reveals that the new origin film will deal with the main character’s childhood and confront conflicts from her past. The film will take place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Black Widow hits theaters on May 1st, 2020.