Some of you probably read that headline and got really excited, thinking that a crossover film is imminent. But as much as you and I may want that to happen, that’s not what’s going on here. That won’t happen for a long time – if ever. Let’s get to the heart of this story.
Empire reports that at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 screenings in the UK, audiences won’t see an Avengers-style tease for future Spidey sequels, but instead will be witness to a brief action sequence from X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Slashfilm has confirmed that this will be the case for U.S. audiences as well.) So before everyone gets too confused, let’s straighten this whole thing out. What exactly are we going to see after the credits on May 2nd when Spidey 2 wraps up?
The scene featured sees Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, Lucas Till’s Havok and Evan Jonigkeit’s Toad taking on William Stryker (Josh Helman) and his military men. Without wishing to spoil anything, let’s just say that Mystique once again demonstrates her formidable fighting skills in the brief segment.
What we have here are two competing studios – Sony (Spider-Man) and 20th Century Fox (X-Men) – who have decided to work together to promote their films. It’s really as simple as that. Disney’s Marvel films (the ones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) have set up a new audience behavior: if you sit through the credits, you’ll be rewarded with a special clip of some sort. But without a traditional stinger on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, what’s a studio to do? Well, they teamed up with a rival to kill two birds with one stone: by tacking on an X-Men scene at the end, Sony gives audiences what they want (a post-credits scene), and Fox gets the extra attention of all of those eyeballs out of the deal.
Empire speculates that this could be a step toward a unified Marvel Cinematic Universe. Right now, Sony has Spider-Man (and all of the upcoming spin-offs), 20th Century Fox has X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and essentially Disney/Marvel has everything else. But let’s think about this for a second: Disney’s rival studios are making so much money from their superhero properties that there’s no way they’ll just give that up and let everything revert back to Marvel. They’re going to keep churning out new reboots and sequels every few years as long as audiences keep paying to see them, so this collaboration between rivals seems like an opportunistic scenario in which both parties benefit. Don’t expect Wolverine and Spidey to share the screen (in live action, anyway) for a long, long time.
Update: Variety has figured out why Sony would agree to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past for free. Basically, director Marc Webb had a contract with Fox Searchlight to direct another movie after (500) Days of Summer, and when he wanted to work on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Fox let him do it as long as Sony agreed to promote the X-Men film for free.
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