Spider-Man to Join Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel has announced that Spider-Man is officially coming into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, aka the MCU. Marvel has joined with Sony Pictures Entertainment to reveal that the character will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, before Sony will then release the next solo Spider-man film on July 28th, 2017.

Marvel and Sony will collaborate on what’s being called “new creative direction” for the franchise; whether that means a complete reboot without Andrew Garfield or not isn’t yet known. Sony will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

The announcement added that Marvel and Sony Pictures are exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.

This news has been in the works for a while; the infamous Sony hack revealed that the two companies had been in discussions about this for a while but talks had initially fallen apart. At the time the plan was to put Spider-Man into Captain America: Civil War; considering the fact that the MCU film will be before July of 2017, Civil War still seems to be the likely candidate. The other options are Doctor Strange (November 4th, 2016) and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017). Neither would seem to be likely fits, although Spider-Man has crossed paths with Strange so it’s not out of the question. It should be noted, however, that Spider-Man does play a key role in the Civil War storyline that before this announcement had many wondering how they were going to make it work. For those not familiar, the plot of the Civil War series follows a story in which the U.S. government passes a Superhero Registration Act ostensibly designed to have super-powered characters act under official regulation, more like police officers. Those opposed to the act, led by Captain America, find themselves in conflict with those in support of the act, led by Tony Stark (Iron Man), with Peter Parker (Spider-Man) caught in the middle.

Disney has also moved Thor: Ragnarock from its July 28th, 2017 release date to November 3rd, 2017. Black Panther now moves to July 6, 2017 while Inhumans is now set for a summer 2019 release date. Captain Marvel has moved to November of 2018.

Disney Chairman & CEO Bob Iger said in the announcement, “Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”

SPE chairman & CEO Michael Lynton added, “We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man. This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”