UPDATE: Since the posting of this article, Sony has denied these rumors, which, as we all know, has all the truthful equivalent of rumors themselves these days. So whatever. ONWARD to Rumor Town!
Are you sitting down? You better be sitting down. No, really, I mean it. Because if you're a comic book fan, the following paragraphs are probably going to blow your mind.
If you want to read an awesome fan perspective on the news, click here to read the reaction by creator Adonis Gonzalez. My piece is going to be, as my Marvel pieces usually are, a mix of fan reaction, news, and industry info.
But first, I need to get two things very clear with you.
ONE, while these rumors are about as close to being confirmed as they can possibly be, remember that nothing is ever set in stone until a studio itself confirms it.
And TWO, I can not stress to you enough how spoiler-filled this article will be. If you don't want to know what's coming for the future of the MCU, if you hate spoilers, if you don't want any surprises ruined, then listen to me and STOP READING. RIGHT NOW, JUST STOP READING. If this is the reaction you have when you read spoilers, then I repeat, STOP READING:
Keeping the first in mind? Have made your peace with the second? Okay then, let's proceed.
Most comic book fans know that there's been something brewing between Sony and Marvel for a while (something we called months ago before any other site, if you remember). And after Sony's hacking nightmare, we learned that there was, indeed, a "Spidey summit" planned for January between the two studios.
Rumors have been FLYING: Is Andrew Garfield out or in as Spider-Man? Will there be an [The Amazing Spider-Man 3](movie:671279)? What will happen in [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409) and will Spider-Man be a part of it?
So. much. speculation.
So. many. rumors.
And now, Dave Gonzalez with the always well-connected Latino-Review has claimed he knows what's going on with the fate of Spider-Man...and what's to come for some of our beloved Avengers.
Ready for it?
Is Spider-Man joining the MCU or what?
In a word, yes. Do you read me??
Yes, Spider-Man will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Unfortunately...it won't be in time for Captain America: Civil War as we'd all hoped (although this is not ruling out the possibility of him showing up in a postcredits scene). According to Gonzalez, where Spidey will be swinging into action is [The Avengers: Infinity War](movie:738027).
Please tell me Andrew Garfield will still be playing Spidey!
Sorry, guys. This is the real bummer part of it all: No, Andrew Garfield won't be reprising his role. Marvel wanted to start with a clean slate, and they plan to go with a brand-new actor. Whether or not they have Logan Lerman in mind for the role, as rumors have suggested (rumors I strenuously and with all my heart hope do not become reality), they are definitely looking to make a complete break with the Sony version of Spider-Man, and that, unfortunately, means parting ways with Garfield.
That's the one thing I've been hoping for, that Marvel would keep Garfield in the role, as I genuinely think he makes a kickass Spider-Man and brings a charisma to the role that we haven't seen before.
P.S. No, Tobey Maguire is not now, nor has he ever been, planning on reprising his role. And no, they are not now, nor have they ever been, planning on doing an Amazing vs. Spider-Man movie with Garfield and Maguire in the titular roles.
Then...how is Captain America: Civil War going to work, exactly?
Obviously, when Marvel announced that yes, they were bringing the Civil War storyline to life on the big screen, I lost my shit. But right on the heels of me completely spazzing out in nerd ecstasy came the thought, But wait, how is this going to work without Spider-Man?
As stated up above, we now know that the window of opportunity for him to be in Cap 3 has passed, and obviously, the story has to be modified a bit for the movie medium.
So here's the background: We all know that Bucky Barnes will be around for a while, what with Sebastian Stan having signed a whopping 9-picture deal with Marvel. Obviously, Marvel had big plans for him, and Civil War is where he'll really become a catalyst for the rest of the MCU.
According to Gonzalez' information, the movie will reveal that it was Bucky who killed Howard Stark (remember, the details surrounding his automobile "accident" had always been murky), and this is what causes the final rift between Steve and Ton that ends with them being on opposing sides of the war.
Also, as we've already been told, Black Panther will be introduced into the larger picture and become a key player.
So...uh, will the end of Civil War remain true to the comic books? YOU KNOW what I'm talking about...
Cap fans, I'm so sorry to do this to you (and myself, as I am one), but you are not going to like what I'm about to say.
Yes, Marvel plans to remain true to the end of the Civil War story arc.
Yes, Captain America will die.
Apparently, it is Crossbones who will kill Steve, borrowing at least partly directly from the comic books.
Personally, I'm curious to learn whether or not Sharon Carter, introduced in [Captain America: The Winter Soldier](movie:254973), will deliver Cap's final blow while brainwashed. Since she was part of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Hydra invasion, it's entirely possible that she could be a sleeper agent, with Hydra waiting to activate her at an opportune time. But for now, it's certain that Crossbones will at least be one of he villains to assassinate Captain America.
Let's all take a moment of silence for our Star-Spangled Avenger.
Wait, but Chris Evans' contract runs through a third Avengers' movie. Is this a fake-out?
Indeed, if you remember, Evans signed a 6-picture contract, which, if you're keeping score at home, works out to three Captain America movies and three Avengers movies.
So...if he dies at the end of Cap 3, that obviously means he won't be in Infinity War, right?
But remember, Infinity War is being split into two parts. According to Gonzalez, how Part I will shape up is that the New Avengers will take center stage, but the original Avengers from Phases 1 & 2 will reappear for [Avengers: Infinity War - Part II](movie:2390833). But for Part I, there will be no Cap, no Thor, and possibly no Iron Man. Captain America is dead, Thor is imprisoned on Asgard, and a question mark hangs over the head of Iron Man's status by the end of Civil War. But supposedly, they will be returning for Part II, which seems pretty miraculous on Cap's part until you remember that one, no one ever stays dead in the Marvel universe (unless you're Uncle Ben), and two, flashback scenes would fulfill Evans' contract terms while still enabling his character to be six feet under.
Oh okay. Makes se--wait, WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT THOR?!
Uhhh...oh yeah. Right. There's so much information to process I had completely forgot to mention that bit.
As we already know, [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) will see the Avengers fracture, with a new team being formed by Steve Rogers. And as we've seen from the trailers, shit is going to get real. In a big way. And we also know that the third Thor movie will be [Thor: Ragnarok](movie:956858), which, without going into too much detail here, is an obvious extension of all the life-shattering things that appear to in store for the God of Thunder in Age of Ultron.
Spoilers: It's all set to get even more dire for Thor in Ragnarok. Lots of Asgardians will die, and some will be resurrected (sorry, Lady Sif), with the end of the third Thor film seeing our Asgardian prince thrown into jail, just as his adopted brother, Loki, had been at the start of [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462). Except this prison, as it was explained to Gonzalez, will be a "galactic prison." Could be Asgard, could be somewhere completely different.
If I were a betting woman, I'd guess this will be Loki's doing.
Loki who, you might remember, was masquerading as Odin at the end of the second Thor film. Whether or not the real Odin is still alive remains to be seen, but wouldn't it be an exceptionally convenient way for Loki to rid himself of the obstacle of Thor by throwing him into prison while pretending to be the king?
It sounds like there will be a LOT of new Avengers. And...some old Avengers? Okay, who the HELL is going to be involved?
Still with me? Awesome. I'm not even sure I'm still with me at the moment, and I'm the one writing the article.
Deep breaths, e'erybody.
SO. With the New Avengers team being in the spotlight for [The Avengers: Infinity War](movie:738027) - Part I, and the original Avengers returning for Part II, AND the Guardians of the Galaxy more than likely being a part of the storyline, AND and the Inhumans having been introduced to the MCU already by way of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469), and and AND Marvel launching their Netflix series by then, the stage is set for there to be a LOT of characters. Like, a butt-ton of them (it's a science word, true story, look it up).
When you keep that in mind, it makes the arguments that some naysaying fans used to have against Civil War happening seem rather silly, doesn't it? You know, the "there aren't enough characters" for both the Civil War and Infinity Gauntlet storylines to work argument (another argument I rebutted in a previous article).
You just weren't seeing the big picture.
Obviously, the exact members for the New Avengers isn't set in stone, but it looks like they will include, if not all, then at least part of the following: Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and Bucky Barnes (these last three, I think, are the likeliest candidates to take over the role of leading the young Avengers team in Cap's absence), Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, any of the Guardians, and/or any of the Inhumans. Don't forget the Netflix crew, too: Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Jewel/Power Woman.
I'm going out on a limb and saying we'll almost certainly see Moondragon make her appearance in [Guardians of the Galaxy 2](movie:1081113), so let's throw her into the mix, as well. Adam Warlock, you can come, too.
I know that's a lot to process. If I lost you somewhere along the way, I'm sorry, all I can say is that I lost myself somewhere back around "Cap's dead, Thor's in prison, but SPIDER-MAN, YOU GUYS!" When I get my head to stop spinning, I'll let you guys know.
Basically what I'm saying is, if you ever thought it wasn't possible for a human being to devote 110% of their brain to trying to figure out the tangled web that is Marvel Cinematic Universe speculation, you'd be wrong. You'd be so wrong. I'm proof it's possible.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to Wiki-spiral myself into oblivion while buying all the things on Comixology and reviewing the notes I've taken on behind-the-scenes studio business.