UPDATED: 3:32p.m. Wednesday: Hark! As I suspected, the deal is very much not dead! Latino Review reports that the talks between Sony and Marvel are still very much happening and that brokering a deal is something both sides continue to work on. Read below for the original story posted yesterday.
And the information that leaked tonight may be the most "HOLY S#@T!!!" tidbit of all: Marvel and Sony absolutely were talking about ways to work out a deal for Marvel to regain the movie rights to Spider-Man. In fact, I almost broke my ankle running into my house to get to my laptop. (Side question: Why does news always break when I'm driving? CURSES!)
As the Wall Street Journal reports, an email as recent as October 30th from Sony Pictures president Doug Belgrad to Sony motion pictures president Amy Pascal revealed that the two studios were in talks to work out a deal where Marvel would oversee and produce a new (and hopefully better) trilogy of Spider-Man films that would still allow Sony to retain creative control, along with the marketing and distribution for the trilogy.
Pretty fair deal and one that Sony should take, if you ask me.
But it was another email from Pascal that got my Spidey senses tingling, as it was revealed that Marvel absolutely wanted to include Spider-Man in
[Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973)
I KNOW, RIGHT?!
This confirms what many already know to be true: Marvel absolutely wants to keep the Civil War movie as faithful to the spirit of the story as possible. For those of you who don't know (or may have forgotten), Peter Parker/Spider-Man's role was pivotal in the events leading up to the Civil War. When Spider-Man unmasks in public for the first time in his history to support the Superhero Registration Act, it validates Iron Man's pro-registration side in the eyes of the public.
Of course, we all know that Spidey later has a change of heart in one of the most iconic scenes in comic book history and switches allegiances to join Captain America's anti-registration rebellion.
At the moment, many fans are positing that Black Panther (to be played by Chadwick Boseman) will now fill the role of the party torn between both sides that was originally held by Peter Parker in the comic books. Other fans have suggested that it could be a role that would make sense to have Daredevil fill. In either case, it's clear that if either of those scenarios happen, they were Marvel's Plan B.
But before you get excited and start planning the "WELCOME HOME, SPIDEY" party, I'd be remiss if I didn't include the fact that according to sources connected with the situation, unfortunately the talks have broken down between the studios. At the moment, Sony is planning on going it alone with Spider-Man, with an ominous-sounding "Spidey summit" planned for January.
If you're wondering what that means, it means that a bunch of Sony execs (the same ones who have already piloted the Spider-Man plane straight into the ground) will get together to discuss where to go next with the franchise. Among the rumored ideas being tossed around are a Spider-Man comedy to be produced by the team behind [22 Jump Street](movie:434853), as well as the other spinoffs we've already known about.
But hopefully, the #1 item on their agenda for January will be "RESTART TALKS WITH MARVEL" written in red and circled twenty times. If Sony was desperate enough to consider a deal with Marvel last month (this despite Avi Arad's multiple denials of the talks), then they've got to be even more desperate in the light of the hack that temporarily crippled operations and leaked five separate Sony films onto the internet. Even Sony's own employees aren't happy with the direction in which the studio has taken the Spider-Man franchise.
All of this just confirms what I'd written about months ago in regard to Sony and Marvel working out a deal for Spidey. Still, while validation is nice, all I want at this point is to get the official press announcement from either studio about Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe - even if it's simply on a loaner basis. It would be a criminal waste of Andrew Garfield's talents in the role, otherwise.
So keep your fingers crossed, Marvel fans. What once seemed impossible now appears to be almost probable. Maybe our beloved web-head will be coming home, after all.