Yes. It’s true. Spider-Man will finally be making his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This is wonderful news for any fan. In fact, for a while now, it’s been the general consensus that the wall-crawler’s presence is one of the few things missing from the MCU. I myself said on several occasions, “Marvel’s owned by Disney, Disney owns this quadrant of the Milky Way Galaxy, yeah, they’ve got enough money to buy back our web-slinging friend from Sony Pictures.”
While that’s not exactly how the deal went down—Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige will now have his hands in the upcoming Spidey flicks, as well as the power to plant the web-slinger and his rogues gallery in the MCU proper and vice-versa. But they still don’t own the character. Sony is licensing Spider-Man for Marvel’s use.
They’re sharing. Isn’t that nice?
Regardless, this is a huge win. And I’m very excited.
The sad truth is, however, that over Spidey’s five picture stint he’s gone through one spectacularly bad film, one full reboot, and a second poorly executed movie that collapsed under the weight of its bloated third act. All at the hands of Sony and its motion picture holdings.
The new deal, as I understand it, gives Marvel the use of the character, but the creative force behind his solo films will be controlled by Sony. Despite Kevin Feige and his team’s best efforts, Sony could again misuse and abuse Spider-Man as they still have the final say on the goings-on and happenstance in his solo adventures.
Granted, Feige’s track record as producer and overseer of the MCU is very, very good. His vision should be trusted at this point. But every deal, as we know, is made through a series of benefits and compromises for both parties. Yes, the MCU can include Spider-Man, which is wonderful, but his inclusion therein is major marketing for Sony. Having Marvel Studios’ brand, and Feige’s acumen attached to their own films is a huge boost as well. But will they cast away their current vision? Will they trust in Feige?
My guess is no, they won’t.
They have creative control and the right to do as they please so long as it fits with the events of the MCU. That fact alone is fodder for concern.
This has been written about extensively since this news broke late last night. I figured, however, I needed to chime in as a life-long superhero fan living in a veritable golden age of cinematic comic book ventures. I worry deeply that the ever expanding bubble of influence over the hearts and minds of hardcore and casual fans alike could pop at any moment.
And it will pop. Someday. Hopefully not soon, but eventually.
Yes, I’m thrilled. I think there could be great things on the horizon. But I’m forced to take this news with a sprinkling of salt rather than a grain. Because, when it ends, I’d prefer a slow deflation of that bubble. Not an explosion that could leave us all covered in primary-colored goop, embarrassed to admit how much time and money we devoted to something so tenuous.
So, my question is, will seeing Spider-Man suited up with the Avengers be worth the cost?
We will see, indeed.