been a ton of talk in recent weeks about a potential collaboration between Sony
and Marvel Studios that would allow Spider-man to appear in one of the Avengers
movies in some form or fashion. And, of
course, by talk I mean rampant fan speculation based off an email unearthed
during the Interview-retaliation Sony-leak (More hyphens, more, more,
more!). The email from one Sony exec to
another, put forth the idea that Marvel might be amenable to having the Webbed
Wonder appearing the Avengers: The Infinity Gauntlet, the eighty-bajillionth
film Marvel is planning on releasing over the next century and a half. This conflagration of speculation was further
fed by an excerpt from Latino Review, a website notorious for being correct
about their leaks/speculation information, that confirmed the deal was alive
and kicking. All but confirmed,
right? A website blogger known for being
correct several times could not possibly be continually grasping at whatever
they can to stay relevant, could they?
Maybe. I dunno.
before we get into the meat of it.
First, I’ve got even less credibility and reliant
information than Latino Review. I’m
just a fan pouring his mind out into a text document, speculating about what I
see and what I feel. Secondly, Latino
Review is either incredibly lucky, a studio pawn posing as a leak site, or an
Eldritch psychic Cthulhian monstrosity that gets off on leaking information and
hyping up nerds.
Here’s an amateur sketch of what the blogger might
the history of movie rights to the Marvel characters is something that must be
understood before going forward. During
the late 80s/early 90s, Marvel wasn’t doing so hot
financially. In order to stay afloat,
they sold the movie rights to several extremely recognizable characters to
movie studios. Namely, Spider-man and
his associates to Sony, all the X-men ever to Fox, and a host of other perhaps
less-recognizable characters to various studios. For example, to my knowledge, Namor the
Sub-Mariner’s rights inexplicably remain at Universal
Hmmm, perhaps it’s not so
inexplicable. Imperius rex, indeed.
money gained from these very lucrative deals and some smarter business choices,
Marvel was able to bounce back and would later go on to open their own
production company, Marvel Studios, that would produce films based off the
wisely-held-on-to Avengers characters and shove Robert Downey, Junior, down our
throats at every opportunity (Looking forward to seeing you in the next Captain
America movie, Tony!). The trade-off was
so lucrative because the majority of the deals contained the clause that, so
long as the studios kept making movies with the characters, they would retain
the movie rights. It’s why
you’ve seen both a Spider-man reboot and an X-men
reboot. There’s a
time limitation, and if the studio doesn’t produce anything
within that time, the rights go back to Marvel a la Daredevil (Premiering in
April on Netflix!).
the boring history and disclaimer portions out of the way, let’s get
into it. The main question here: Why?
Why would Marvel want to even do this?
Why would they want to help someone who has one of their characters on
lock? If Spider-man’s
part in Avengers is well-received, Sony might think they have a chance to make
another successful movie featuring him, thus retaining the rights and keeping
Marvel’s arguably biggest character out of Marvel
Studios’ hands. Wouldn’t it make more sense for
Marvel to allow Sony to wither on the vine, so as to make Spider-man rights
revert back to Marvel?
also talk that Spider-man might appear in Captain America: Civil War. The comic event of the same name revolved
around the registration of super-humans with the government, ensure public
safety by having the heroes be accountable.
Problem was that some super-heroes had secret identities and didn’t
really like the idea of having that information be on file somewhere. Eventually, the super-hero community was
split down the middle: the pro-registration side lead by Iron Man, then
Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the anti-registration side lead by Captain
America. Oh and a few neutrals, most
notably Ben Grimm, The Thing, who decided to quit the country and go to France
(of all places).
You’ll never see this ever-lovin’,
blue-eyed face again…at least until it becomes relevantly
One of the
pivotal moments of the thinly-plotted cash grab—um, I
mean, event—was Spider-man, Mr. Secret-Identity for the
entirety of his decades long career, deciding to go pro-registration and reveal
his secret identity to the world at a press conference, because that’s a
great idea. As an aside, this set in
motion the events that would result in Peter Parker making a deal with the
devil to annul the marriage with Mary Jane Watson to save Aunt May’s
life, leading to the rage of many a comic fan.
a result of Spider-man’s “pivotal” role in the event, many speculate that the
Sony-held character could feature in the Captain America film. The film already has almost as many potential
heroes as an Avengers movie: Cap, Iron Man (in an adversarial role), Black
Widow, and potentially Falcon and Winter Soldier. Ol’ WS
might not feature, but that’s still leaves not much
room for any new heroes to leave a satisfactorily big impact. I mean, I’m sure they could do it,
but again, why would they want to?
support, secret identities aren’t really that big of a
deal in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
Everyone knows who Cap and Iron Man are.
No one else seems to be all that concerned with keeping their identity a
secret. Widow and Hawkeye are government
agents who don’t wear masks, Thor’s a
space god, and while Bruce Banner tries to fly under the radar, the government
apparently knows who and where he is already.
So the crux of the comic Civil War isn’t so
crux-y in the movies, which thereby lessens the impact of a hastily thrown-in
Spider-man revealing his secret identity to the world (50 years>40 odd
minutes). Further, there are only around
six legitimate heroes at this point in the MCU (discounting the ones appearing
on the Phil Coulson Show). The
registration of those individuals can’t be a thing, because
the government already knows who they are.
And not even in a shadowy, Illumanati-esque kinda way. Because of this, it seems unlikely that
Captain America: Civil War can be anywhere close to 1:1 with the comic event,
thereby making Spidey’s appearance in the film even more
unlikely. Even if they chose to go this
route, there are thousands of white male heroes to choose from in Marvel’s
roster. Any one of them can play the
Heart and Soul of the CauseTM without having to pull in Spidey,
because with only 40 minutes of build-up, you could literally throw anybody
into that role. Literally anybody.
This guy is called the Whizzer.
Yeah. Consider that.
So yeah, I’ve
pretty much shattered all your hopes and dreams for seeing the Wall-Crawler in
your Avenger-y movies. It just doesn’t
make all that much sense when you lay it out from a Marvel Studios perspective
rather than a Sony one. It certainly
seems better for them to play the long-game and hope the Web Head franchise
finally dies in the third or fourth reboot, and then resurrect him in the
MCU. Then again, I’m
just a fan with a word processor, not some Hollywood Insider.
Pictured: Not Me
who am I kidding? I’m
Team DBAH’s official self-proclaimed Comic GuruTM. My word is pretty much law around here.
Me? Me! Me.
Labels: Comics, I am Law, Judge Dredd, Marvel Comics, Namor, Sony, Spider-Man, the Whizzer