In February 2015, a miracle occurred: #Sony and #Marvel made a deal to allow #SpiderMan to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Safe to say, this news filled many fans' hearts with glee (including me, as I wrote my first-ever article about it!). But we wondered how exactly it would work — would Andrew Garfield continue in the role of Peter Parker? What would become of the planned Spider-Man cinematic universe?
We now know that Andrew Garfield left the role and has been replaced by Tom Holland, to pretty much universal acclaim. We also know that Sony plans to continue with its plans for a #Venom spin-off film. And now, with Spider-Man: Homecoming only a couple months away, we're learning how exactly the deal came together.
So How Did it Happen?
In an interview with Slashfilm, former Sony Pictures head (and current producer on Spider-Man: Homecoming) Amy Pascal explained that the deal came about because Sony knew it had to change the formula:
"We made five Spider-Man movies. And we needed to do something different. And we tried doing a lot of different things as you all know and documented. But the thing that we hadn’t done was put him in the Marvel universe, and put him in a world where there are other superheroes."
Sony's grand plan following The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was to create a whole world based around the wall-crawler — this included the aforementioned Venom film, a Sinister Six film and, bizarrely, a film centred on the adventures of a young Aunt May. Essentially, Marvel's flagship superhero would get a cinematic universe all of his own, without any of the other Avengers to interact with.
There was a bit of a backlash from the fans about Sony's initial plans, so in the spirit of trying something different, they elected to make a deal to allow Spider-Man to join the MCU — and Pascal says it was about what was best for the character, not just for any particular studio:
"And truthfully — there is nothing cynical I can find in this statement — everybody did it because they wanted Spider-Man to be great. Truly, it was because Spider-Man is great, the character is great, and people love him. That’s good for Disney. That’s good for Marvel. And that is certainly good for Sony. So, the fact that all these companies were willing to work together to make that happen...think that’s pretty miraculous."
Something That Had Never Been Done Before
Never before had three movie studios come together like this. It might seem that it would make things more difficult, from a legal and storytelling perspective, but Pascal commented on how impressed she was with Marvel's filmmaking machine:
"Oh my God, they have a whole process that’s so fantastic. I’m a total Marvel groupie now. They are meticulous, they are relentless and one of the great things — I say this all the time — is you’re in a meeting with them, and they go, 'Okay, it’s good — but how do we make it better?' I’ve never heard that before! ... 'How do we go to the next place? How do we bless it?' That’s their favorite word at Marvel. 'Are we blessing a scene?'"
The more Sony and Marvel worked together, the more they gelled. It seemed that it was a match made in heaven, especially when Tom Holland auditioned. Instantly, everybody knew he was right for the part and he was cast on the spot. After his short appearance in Captain America: Civil War, it's pretty safe to say they made the right decision!
Everybody Wanted Spider-Man To Be Great!
Ultimately, the deal came about from a love of the character. Just like the fans, Sony wanted to see the best version of Spider-Man possible, and they believed (like many of us) that allying with #MarvelStudios was the best option. After the mixed reception the The Amazing Spider-Man films, Sony didn't want to risk another misstep with Marvel's biggest hero.
But Amy Pascal is convinced that this type of arrangement between studios is too unique to become a trend:
"I don’t think it will ever happen again in the history of the movie business: you have three studios that came together to have this movie being made. And no studio likes to share anything with anyone, let alone three studios."
So, don't expect to see Deadpool Loves Harley Quinn or Avengers V. Justice League in this lifetime. Still, we can all be excited that Spider-Man has finally joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it all comes down to wanting to make audiences happy. From what we've seen in #CaptainAmericaCivilWar and the two Homecoming trailers, so far, so good!
Are you glad that Spider-Man has joined the MCU? Let me know in the comments!