Now unless you've been hiding under a rock until now you will know that Marvel and Sony have struck a deal, that we all really knew was coming, to have Spider-Man integrated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Under the new deal, Spider-Man will first appear in a MCU film before appearing in his own reboot, yes another one, which means poor Andrew Garfield who really wanted Spider-Man to crossover won't get the chance to play him in the MCU. With the now Marvel co-produced Spider-Man solo film coming out July 28th 2017 this means that we will be almost definitely be seeing Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, which is great news for fans as he is a key character in the comic book story.
The question for Marvel fans is now no longer whether or not we get to see Spider-Man in the MCU, but rather can he work in it? From a storytelling perspective it is difficult, because in order to include Spider-Man in a Marvel movie he just has to be included right off the bat, there's no time in the story to do another origin. This means that Spider-Man has to have been around for a while and been doing his thing which raises a lot of questions. Since the deal has only been made recently we will not be seeing Spidey in [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](movie:293035) film which is out in a couple of months (or will we?!) So what problems exist with having Spidey in the MCU, and how could Marvel possibly go about fixing them? These points include spoilers from all the current Marvel movies up until Winter Soldier, so if you haven't seen them all then obviously don't read on if you don't want them spoiled.
1) Where was Spider-Man in [The Avengers](movie:9040)?
Obviously we didn't see him in the original Avengers film even though it was based in New York, which will raise the question in a lot of fans of "where was he during that?". This could easily be answered as the time gap between Avengers Assemble and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was supposedly set 2 years, with Avengers: Age of Ultron a year after that, and Civil War possibly another year after that. Added up there is a potential 4 years for him to have been created and start fighting crime, which is more than enough time.
2) Where is he in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron?
If he is not in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (very unlikely) then does he still not exist yet? This is a tricky one to answer as it looks that Avengers 2 won't take place in New York, where Spidey mainly works, so he may have come into existence by the time of Avengers 2 but starting out very small and secretive and with a lack of S.H.I.E.L.D, thanks to Captain America 2, it is possible that he could have gone unnoticed and so unknown to the Avengers. Another possible solution is to have a very easy re-shoot/dub to include a few lines of dialogue about Spider-Man, at least then we know that he exists and is in fact part of the universe.
3) No origin time.
Now it goes without saying that 99.9% of people in the world who go see an MCU movie will know Spidey's origins, but the bigger reason for doing an origin again besides the"bitten by a radioactive/genetically modified spider, uncle Ben dies, etc." but rather how did a Spider-Man evolve in the MCU, with all these other already established heroes saving the day being around, unlike every other movie where he was the only hero in the world? One way to do this is to have 1 minute of Winter Soldier devoted to Spidey briefly explaining how he came to be with some very quick flashback scenes and then just getting on with the film. (If the rumours of Black Panther also being in Civil War are true then unless it is covered in Avengers 2, they would have to do the same for him as well.) What Sony could then do, if they were being clever, is for his reboot have a self-contained origin and subsequent villain story but have the timeline be that the film ends just where we first see him in Civil War, Marvel could even use the solo Spidey outing to provide more background to the build-up to the events of Civil War whilst rebooting Spider-Man.
4) Does he fit in with the tone of the MCU?
This is a tough question as so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe we haven't really seen "powers". Yes we've seen Hulk but honestly he is just really big and strong and Thor can fly but it's more in a straight line and not really Superman style actual flight. By "powers" we mean super strength from a normal sized human, super speed, people shape shifting, turning to fire/ice etc. Until we see how Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch work in the context of the MCU we won't truly know how Spidey will fit in. Spider-Man is super-humanly fast, strong, resilient and he swings between building and fights with webbing whilst wearing a bright red and blue costume that covers his entire body. Spider-Man displays many abilities that are very "power"-like and as such, he is very different to the other current Avengers. This one is just a case of wait-and-see Avengers 2 and then we'll know how he will fit in.
5) Can he be as vital in Civil War?
Spider-Man's first debut will be in [Captain America: Civil War](movie:994409) which means unlike the Spidey of the comic book story of the film, who has been around for a long time, the movie version simply cannot be as important or vital to the story as he would be too new. The solution to this depends entirely on how they handle Captain America: Civil War. One way to make Spidey much more vital to the story would be to have a timeline gap within Civil War itself. From Comic-Con footage of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron we know that the seeds of war between Captain America and Iron Man will be planted, but since the movie has to be based around Ultron whilst also working in Wakanda, Black Panther and a Hulk side story, this will leave very little room to do much building on Civil War - so a timeline break and shift forward during the film could allow Spider-Man to become far more integrated to the Marvel universe and be a much more vital part of the story.
6) What happens to the Sinister Six?
The [Sinister Six](movie:1274281) movie has been in development for a long while now and it seems doubtful Sony will just scrap the idea that director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) has been working hard on for well over a year. It was announced that Sony will delay the film which is good news for all Spider-Man rogues gallery fans. The delay will no doubt be in order for Sony, working with Marvel, to re-write the script to have the villains included in the MCU. If Marvel can take Sony's properties then Sony can undoubtedly do the same back. The movie will most probably be delayed until after the solo Spidey outing as the solo outing would allow introductions to some of the re-worked characters and altering the script to reflect events that have occurred in the MCU.
7) Sony will interfere too much?
We now know more exact details of the deal that was struck between Marvel and Sony. It seems that Marvel have in fact got access to the character through a mutual benefit system. When Spider-Man is in a Marvel movie, they make all the money, when Sony make a Spider-Man movie they make all the money. The deal also means that Marvel will not ever put out a movie at the same time as Sony Spider-Man film that would compete for box office money. This means that Sony shouldn't interfere too much in the Marvel movies containing Spider-Man as any work they put into it would be on their own dollar and since they know Marvel will refresh movie going interest in Spider-Man and potentially seriously boost their box office takings. How much interference is going to happen is unknown but we imagine that the prospect of Marvel creating a more financially lucrative property for them means they will keep the meddling to a minimum.
So there we see seven problems and potential solutions to Spider-Man joining the MCU. There is no doubt that Spider-Man can add a lot to the MCU and that by teaming up with Marvel, Sony can include other characters that they did not have access to before, such as taking Marvel's new [Daredevil](movie:47230) or Punisher for their Spider-Man films. So as amazing news as it is, what do you think could be the problems for Spider-Man joining the MCU and what is the solution?
Put any potential problems missed down in the comments below and if you liked this list why not follow me on twitter @thegeekarticle or head over to my website of the same name for more of the same type of stuff.