By Joe Strange
As you might of heard, yesterday Sony and Marvel Studios announced that Spiderman is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This, frankly, is pretty great news to anyone who loves the current Marvel trend of making great films that are all interconnected, but also for those, like myself, who grew up with Spiderman on their TV as well as the first two Sam Raimi Spiderman films being the peak of the early superhero trend of the early 2000’s, which had its ups and downs. (For every X2 there’s a Daredevil.)
So what I intend to do here is just to clarify some of the finer points of the deal, address some concerns that people might have, and put forward a few ideas about what Marvel could actually do with Spidey, some came about through a talk with Heck if I know Charlie, and others are things we’ve seen thrown about. So let’s begin.
First up is the boring stuff, so I’ll keep it brief so that we can get onto the fun speculation and theories. Now just because Spiderman’s going to be in Marvel movies doesn’t mean that Marvel Studios owns the wall crawler, the rights still belong to Sony. The deal that was made was that Marvel retains the profits from any and all MCU films that Spidey is in, while Sony keeps all the cash money made from any standalone Spiderman films. What each studio gets out of this is simple: Marvel get to add Peter Parker (and it will be Parker I’m afraid, they’re standing firm on the ‘no Miles Morales’ point) to their ever growing roster of heroes, and all the story opportunities that offers them (more on that later), while Sony gets to make a Spiderman film that has all the support of the MCU as well as, I’d hope, appearances from some of the Avengers to boot.
Really it’s a deal that no one loses from, and I can’t believe it’s taken this long to get this far.
The thing about joining a property that’s got as much history as the Spiderman franchise with a well loved universe that’s been built up with 10 feature films (so far) as well as 2 ongoing television series, (with more coming) is that it’s not as simple as just throwing Peter Parker into the events of the world retrospectively. You know, Marvel aren’t going to get away with a little photoshop work showing Parker in the events of New York and proclaiming ‘Look! He was here the entire time!’
This is where, as much as I enjoyed Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, it makes sense to recast. Not only do any connections to the less-than-stellar Amazing Spiderman series get abolished, we also get rid of any of those annoying questions as to ‘why didn’t the Avengers help stop Electro or the Lizard’ and ‘where was Spiderman during the battle of New York’ as well as other continuity issues.
There’s a lot of trepidation about another Spiderman origin story; if they keep at the rate they’re going Uncle Ben will have died more times than Jean Grey. But this is where stuff gets interesting: the plan is to have Spiderman in an MCU film before a standalone film in July of 2017. Now, Marvel could go the easy route and have Peter Parker as a teen who just appears in Captain America Civil War or something, or they could grab the bull by the horns and have a costumed cameo. If they go the latter route, it means that the standalone film will have a fully realised Spidey on screen, which means we won’t have need for a retelling of an origin story we know better than any other.
That being said, to keep people comfortable, as well as add some depth to the Spiderman of the MCU, it would be an idea to have some origin shown. Flashbacks, which can be clunky, would work pretty well here, especially if the problems Spiderman has to deal with in his standalone are similar to the start of his career, the director has a chance to draw some neat parallels as well as character growth. That’s actually something Spiderman 3 tried to do (Sandman being the one who murdered Uncle Ben, the return of the Goblin) but didn’t succeed in doing it very well.
So what exactly could Marvel do with Spiderman, with all of this fighting to get the rights to show him, they must have some sort of idea with what they want to use the webslinger for, and if they don’t then we do!
I’ve already mentioned Captain America Civil War as the film that we’ll see Spiderman in before his standalone, and considering it’s between Civil War, Age of Ultron which is out in just a few months, Ant-man (which is a possibility, and would be a draw to those who aren’t to sure about Ant-man as a property) and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the third Captain America film seems like the best fit to show off Spiderman.
For those who don’t know, Spiderman plays a huge part in the Civil War comic story line. Initially he sides with Stark and the pro-registration side, but after he gets wind of some of the more questionable things Tony is doing, he moves over to Captain America’s Secret Avengers. At one point he reveals his identity, a huge step for Spiderman, who’s always been one of the most secretive of heroes, so obviously that is a major turning point in the war.
But by the looks of things, Civil War won’t be following the comic events exactly, though having Spiderman does mean that they could pull off this stunt, it’s more likely to be something of a smaller role to wet the audience appetite for the stand alone.
The other point making the rounds at the minute is that, by the end of Age of Ultron, Captain America is supposedly going to be building up a new group of heroes to help keep the world safe (probably preferring to use real humans instead of the robots that Stark is so keen on). This could be a chance for him to recruit Spiderman into the big leagues, even giving Steve some more gravitas by having Captain America be someone who Spiderman idolises.
But, you may have noticed how Spiderman sides with Stark in Civil War at first. Now, after the events of Age of Ultron, I imagine that Tony Stark is going to be feeling pretty crummy, the audience will most likely be looking down on him, and the Avengers may be doing the same. What this means, to make Ironman’s side sympathetic in Civil War, is that Tony Stark needs redemption.
What better way to do that than taking a young, enthusiastic crime fighter under his wing, one who loves science too, maybe he could even design him a new suit?
One Reddit user offered this scenario: The end of Age of Ultron sees Tony Stark in a university trying to explain his actions, a student stands up, asks a question, Stark asks the student’s name: ‘Peter Parker’ he replies. fade to black, audiences go mental, and before the next film we get the start of a relationship that helps develop the new Peter Parker and begins Tony’s road to salvation.
But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Until then, what theories/worries do you have with this new development? How would you like to see Spiderman handled in the MCU? Leave a comment below!