In a little under two weeks fans around the world will finally get to see Spider-Man on the big screen again but as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sure, we’ve had both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield tackle the role previously. Maguire made a great Parker but lacked the wit for Spider-Man. Conversely, Garfield was a perfect Spider-Man but had none of the nuance of Peter Parker. Tom Holland already stole the show last year in Captain America: Civil War and should leave no doubts in anyone’s minds of his casting as the infamous wall crawler. The real question is, how does this Spider-Man fit in with Sony’s forthcoming plans for their own Spidey-themed movies?
FilmStarts sat down with Marvel Studios wunderkind Kevin Feige and producer Amy Pascal to discuss the fruits of their partnership in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The two inked an industry first, whereby a property owned by one studio (namely Spider-Man and most of his classic foes and allies) would be creatively run by another studio (Marvel Studios and their ability to spin gold). The two studios inked their deal back in 2014, following the critical backlash following The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Fans and industry pundits alike have been curious how the worlds of both the MCU and the spin-off films from Sony could co-exist together. Amy Pascal took the lead to answer the question;
“Both movies will now take place in the world that we are creating for Peter Parker. They’ll be adjuncts to it, they may be different locations, but it will still all be in the same world. And they will be connected to each other as well.”
This completely goes against what Kevin Feige recently answered in another interview, suggesting that Marvel Studios has no interest in the Eddie Brock/Venom character currently and that Venom, slated to hit theaters in October 2018, isn’t connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe whatsoever. Judging by Kevin Feige’s muted poker face in the video, I would take a guess that maybe Pascal jumped the gun on possible ongoing discussions. Feige looks totally off guard as Pascal is discussing shared a world together. Between Feige’s clashing comments on the matter and now Pascal’s admittance, fans may feel totally confused. Who is telling the truth? Are Sony and Marvel planning something even deeper? Or is Pascal trying to lure Marvel back to the table to extend their deal?
Still, to imagine two studios running films in tandem with each other is definitely within reach. Spider-Man could serve as the bridge between the two studios, showing up in films for both Sony and Marvel Studios. Sure, Spidey may swing around New York City to work with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor to save the world from villains from both Earth and beyond. On the flip side, we just won’t hear of how the Avengers have saved the day while watching Sony’s slate of Spider-Man off-shoots. This is the same grey area that fans have seen previously in Deadpool, with some winks to the MCU but not actually acknowledging any characters. (X-Men creative savant Simon Kinberg has said Fox has no plans to align with Marvel to include the X-Men. Or so he says right now anyway.)
Of course, if Venom is going to be part of the MCU alongside Silver and Black (the current title for the Black Cat and Silver Sable movie), you would need to figure that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has to fit in somewhere. FilmStarts asked Pascal to elaborate on the possibility of seeing Tom Holland appear in either of Sony’s two planned films;
“There’s always a chance. I think one of the things that Kevin has done with Marvel that’s so brilliant, is bringing the fans along, and making each movie feel like a chapter in a book. That you have to read that chapter in order to go forward. And I think the investment that fans get to feel in being part of a larger story and understanding what’s happening, is something that I know Sony would want to emulate.”
Personally, Sony needs a hit right about now and their unprecedented deal with Marvel Studios is exactly the partnership necessary to line their pockets. Early tracking numbers suggest that Spider-Man: Homecoming could earn between $90 to $108 million domestically in its first weekend. Those figures are under both opening weekends of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3 from director Sam Raimi but on par with Sony’s reboot films from Marc Webb. Of course, at this rate, those tracking figures could even further increase. No matter what happens, this Spider-Man fan will be hoping that Marvel’s gentle touch is precisely what is needed to nail the character in proper and finally offer these characters some justice.