How Long Will Spider-Man Be in the MCU?

‘Spider-Man 3,’ Columbia Pictures.

It has been a lot of fun being a big fan of Marvel’s favorite wall-crawler since Marvel Studios and Sony agreed to ‘bring Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man’ back in February 2015. Since then we’ve seen this new version of Peter Parker appear in Captain America: Civil War where he stole Steve Rogers’ shield for a minute, and that was probably one of the best on-screen moments ever for the character.

But they say that all good things come to an end, and during these last few days Spider-Man’s future involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been called into question.

My Spider-Sense first started detecting danger when Sony announced that they will be releasing a Venom spin-off film in 2018, and Variety’s Justin Kroll later reported that his sources were confirming that Sony was also developing a film with Silver Sable and Black Cat. Now, it would be very cool to see these films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There’s just one problem – they won’t be.

According to the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming the aforementioned Venom spin-off film isn’t included in Marvel Studios’ epic connected universe:

“It’s not. It’s not connected to the Marvel world, so that’s really intriguing… what that will be. I don’t know anything about it. It’s not connected, so there’s not that overlap. I’m only focused on my movie right now.” – Jon Watts.

Which brings me to a quote from one of the current producers of Spider-Man: Homecoming:

“One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don’t have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact, it may never happen again–after we do the sequel.” – Amy Pascal.

Okay so it’s fair to say that that is an odd thing to hear so close to the film’s release. Both of these quotes are oddly timed. Now – sure – there are two ways you can take the Pascal quote. Either Pascal is just commenting on how extraordinary and unique this relationship is, or she is actively speculating on the future of this newly rebooted Spider-Man franchise. But either way Sony seems to be counting their chickens before they hatch, and they appear to be doing so without Marvel Studios.

So, should we be worried? Yes, but there is no need to panic. At least not yet as the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t scheduled to be released until 2019. But then there is this other rumor. This report states that Gwyneth Paltrow will be reprising her role as Pepper Potts in Spider-Man: Homecoming, in spite of her absence from Captain America: Civil War. Now, the problem here is that Sony is rumored to be disappointed with their financial relationship with Marvel Studios in the production of this new Spider-Man film.

The aforementioned report speculates that perhaps Marvel Studios and Sony’s relationship may already be problematic – that perhaps their relationship is about to hit a rough patch or end entirely. In learning this I suspect many Marvel film fans may very well be in shock and, quite frankly, angry. It’s tough to read something like that when it essentially questions Spider-Man’s inclusion in future films.

All of this should be taken with a grain of salt, though. These are all just reports and rumors. Although the Marvel Studios-Sony deal may have an expiration date, I simply don’t see any reason why we should expect that deal to not be extended.

If Spider-Man: Homecoming makes a lot of money and if Spider-Man continues to be a great member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe team-up films, then I don’t see why either Marvel Studios or Sony wouldn’t agree to continue this cooperation in fleshing out Spider-Man’s corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For now, though, we can only speculate, and also hope that Sony’s plans for Spider-Man won’t harm the success and continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That said, the one thing you should take away from this is that we, at the very least, have a lot of films with Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe left. Yes, even if we take Amy Pascal’s quote at face value. As Tom Holland told The Hollywood Reporter, he has a six-film Marvel-Sony contract which includes three solo films and three appearances in ‘other films.’

So if we assume that Captain America: Civil War was one of those three movies, then we still have the next two Avengers films to look forward to, as well as two or three Spider-Man solo films (‘two’ based on the Pascal quote, and ‘three’ based on the contract).

Sources: Variety; ComicBook.comCosmic Book News (1); Cosmic Book News (2); The Hollywood Reporter.

– Jeffrey Rex

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