Sony and Marvel Discussed a Spider-Man Appearance in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

By December 10, 2014
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In a new piece from The Hollywood Reporter, discussions between the very high-ups at both Sony and Disney have come to light, with the topic being the possibility of bringing Spider-Man into the fold for Marvel Studios’ upcoming sequel Captain America: Civil War.

The exchanges, reportedly between Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal, Sony’s CEO Kaz Hirai, and Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger, included very interesting conversations related to the Spider-Man character and his future on film. Some of the discussed topics included Spidey’s inclusion in the upcoming Captain America film, and even loose discussions about Marvel Studios producing their own trilogy of Spider-Man films over which Sony would maintain “creative control, marketing, and distribution.”

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Although technically successful, apparently talks between Sony and Marvel started with the perceived internal disappointment of this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The discussions were apparently initiated by Marvel, who is no doubt interested in bringing perhaps their single most recognizable and identifiable character into the fold of their highly popular cinematic universe, as the prospect of Spidey rubbing elbows with the likes of Iron Man and Thor should be enough for any fan to smile, and any studio executive to see dollar signs. A lot of them.

The talks apparently broke down, though, and no accord was reached between the studios. While Spider-Man is a character that belongs to Disney, Marvel sold the film rights to him and his supporting cast to Sony when the company was in dire straits in the late 1990s, and the success of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film from 2002 is one of the prime elements that brought Marvel from bankruptcy back into financial solvency. When Marvel Studios began making the films of their cinematic universe with 2008’s Iron Man, the Spider-Man series had proven to be one of the single most profitable franchises in Sony’s licensed library, which they would likely not give up very easily.

This past summer, Sony moved the prospective release date of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 from 2016 to 2018 after the second film in the rebooted series failed to meet internal financial expectations. While the Spider-Man film series is undoubtedly a successful one, each successive release in the series has made less money than the previous one, signaling that Sony needed to make some kind of change to their output of Spidey-related material. Undoubtedly a mutually beneficial partnership with Marvel Studios could’ve provided that, but for fans hoping to see the Webhead back under the umbrella of Marvel Studios, we may have to wait a whole lot longer.

Captain America: Civil War will be a loose adaptation of the comic book story arc Civil War that ran from 2006-07, and featured Spider-Man as a primary character. That film in its Spidey-less form is scheduled to be released on May 6th, 2016. For more on the future of Spider-Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, keep an eye on GeekNation!

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.