Buzz about the Sony Entertainment leaks have finally begun to die down a bit, just in time for Marvel Studios to begin taking over headlines with their motion picture and Netflix series casting news, and as they begin working towards marketing their upcoming blockbusters, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. However, there are certain chunks of the backstage deals that we the fans were not privileged to. Could we have missed something?
Taking one last look through the facts, I noticed one last beacon of hope for Spider-Man to be included in the Captain America: Civil War movie which begins filming this coming spring: how Sony and Marvel Studios can both come out on top with this deal. If Sony sold the film rights for Miles Morales, the Puerto Riccan descended Spider-Man that followed after the footsteps of Peter Parker, to Marvel Studios, while retaining the film rights for Peter Parker.
When asked about including Miles Morales in The Amazing Spider-Man series, Avi Arad essentially declared that a studio trying to tackle more than one Spider-Man in a movie is cinematic suicide:
"The one thing you cannot do, when you have a phenomena [sic] that has stood the test of time, you have to be true to the real character inside – who is Peter Parker? What are the biggest effects on his life? Then you can draw in time, and you can consider today's world in many ways. But to have multiple ones… I don't know if you remember, but Marvel tried it. And it was almost the end of Spider-Man."
Sony obviously isn't planning on doing anything with Morales any time soon, leaving the character as idle, unused film rights that could potentially be an awesome bargaining chip with Marvel Studios. Disney obviously has their eye on Morales, as their Disney XD animated TV show Ultimate Spider-Man features Miles as an upcoming character in its third season. Meanwhile, with Marvel Studios' approach towards Peter Parker in previous films, it sounds like they would probably benefit most from being able to start with Miles' origin story never adapted on film before, rather than the heavily overdone Peter Parker tale.
The idea is that the Spider-Man romance movie has been played out over five installments, so any new Spider-Man films would focus on the difficulties of being a teenager and a superhero with a romance side-story, not the film's focus. Marvel also thinks that the origin story is well-trodden territory, so any Spider-Man movies under this deal would begin with [Spider-Man] already leading a dual life. Spider-Man making his debut in Captain America: Civil War is still a distinct possibility and would serve as the character's introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So, essentially both Sony and Marvel could come out winners by selling the rights to Miles Morales. However, is this something that could legitimately be pulled off in the Captain America: Civil War movie? While some say it would be difficult to introduce Miles, I believe based on the previously established plans for the movie that his story would be the easiest to tie in.
Anthony Mackie, who will be playing The Falcon once again, revealed that the filming locations for the Civil War are in Atlanta, where the Pinewoods editing studio recently used for Ant-Man is located, as well as Berlin, Germany and Puerto Rico. The choice to film in Atlanta is a smart choice, given that it's close to the editing studio and the state of Georgia has significantly low taxes on film production. Germany's filming location makes sense as well, since it's the home of many of Captain America's main villains, including Red Skull, Arnim Zola, the recently cast Baron Zemo who will appear in the film, and possibly Baron von Strucker, who was seen at the of The Winter Soldier and reportedly appears in the early acts of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
However, the choice to film in Puerto Rico comes as a rather odd choice. That is, until you consider some of the cultural significances of Puerto Rico in the Marvel Comics. Marvel's only two significant characters of Puerto Riccan descent are White Tiger, (who would be amazing in the MCU, but slightly irrelevant) and Miles Morales, the son of African-American and Puerto Riccan parents. Assuming we'll see Tony Stark in New York with whatever is left of the Avengers Tower at the beginning of the Civil War, we'd also start off in Miles Morales' home city.
In fact, when Steve Rogers awakens from his suspended animation in his first movie, he runs out into the middle of New York City's Time Square, which is a direct easter egg to Civil War: the very last battle of the entire war takes place in the middle of Time Square in the comics, right before Captain America surrenders to save the bystanding civilians, and is then shot and killed while being lead into the courthouse.