Marvel Studios has a real Spider-Man problem.
When it comes to the future of Spider-Man’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and ties to Sony’s upcoming universe of Spider-Man related characters, no one is on the same page. That’s because depending on who you ask, the answer seems to be different.
Recently Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told the French webstie AlloCine in an interview that the Spider-Man films in the MCU and Sony’s planned Venom and Black and Silver films are totally independent from one another. Meaning Tom Hardy’s Venom will not be appearing in MCU films and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will not appear in those other films since he’s established as firmly in the MCU with Captain America: Civil War and his upcoming solo film.
This has been the line that Marvel Studios representatives have stuck to over the months as these questions keep coming up.
When it comes to those form the Sony side, the answer is quite different.
Spider-Man: Homecoming producer and former Sony Pictures Chairperson Amy Pascal told the German news outlet FilmStarts that Venom and Black and Silver, the first films of the confusingly named Sony’s Marvel Universe, are definitely connected to Holland’s Spider-Man.
“Well those movies will all take place in the world that we are now creating for Peter Parker. They’ll be adjuncts to it,” Pascal said. “It may be different locations but it will still all be in the same world, and they will be connected to each other as well.”
While this statement doesn’t explicitly state that the Venom or Black and Silver films will fully be connected to the Marvel Cinematic Spider-Man, Pascal’s response to the direct question of if Holland will show up in their films seems to paint a better picture of what Sony might be thinking.
“There’s a chance. There’s always a chance,” Pascal said. “I think one of the things that Kevin has done with Marvel that was so brilliant is by bringing the fans along and making each movie seem like a chapter in a book, that you have to read that chapter in order to go forward. And I think the investment that the fans get to feel in being a part of a larger story and understanding what’s happening, I think is something that I know Sony would want to emulate.”
Again, not entirely implicitly stating a connection but it heavily points to the idea that Sony could use this collaboration with Marvel to spur on their own shared Spider-Man universe. Feige is present in the interview with Pascal and does not speak against what Pascal said, but that isn’t likely to happen in front of the camera because of professionalism.
The different messages coming out as the film moves closer to debuting don’t stop with the executives.
Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts spoke to Fandango back in March when Sony began to really announce their plans for a Venom film, and he said there would be no overlap at all between the films.
“It’s not. It’s not connected to the Marvel world, so that’s really intriguing… what that will be,” Watts said. “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.”
While things might have changed since March, it’s clear that they haven’t since Feige and Pascal are on entirely different pages. This isn’t Pascals’s first time muddying the water when it comes to the future of the Spider-Man deal.
Marvel & Sony’s deal allowed for Spider-Man to appear in Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming & it’s sequel in 2019 as well as appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4. Back in March Pascal seemed to indicate to CosmicBookNews that Sony could be looking to end their deal after the Homecoming sequel.
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.
Because Sony and Disney and Marvel all decided that the right thing to do was to allow Peter Parker and Spider-Man to be in the MCU, and to work with the Marvel guys and have them produce this film, and I think that was a very rare thing for three companies to do and a very brilliant thing for them to decide to do because there are only so many stories that you know you can tell again and again and again about Spidey, and this is something that we would never been able to do in any other way. So, it was a very selfless thing that was very smart on the part of all the companies.
While these types of deals are really unprecedented, most probably figured that it was not a forever type thing and Marvel Studios putting Holland’s Spidey into every film that they can under the deal probably speaks to them wanting to get their money’s worth just in case things end.
Essentially Sony could very well use this Marvel Studios boosted reboot of Spider-Man to curry favor with fans and then port him to their own side to tie into their own films. The only issue with that though is that they would have to essentially reboot the character once again in some way since his Homecoming and Avengers adventures could not count in Sony’s universe since they heavily feature characters that Marvel/Disney own the rights to.
They could still use Holland and just wipe those other films out of their universe, but in the end it could just lead to confused and upset fans that have to once again figure out where Spider-Man stands continuity wise.
All the questions focusing on the future of a character that will still be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe till at least 2019 is not a good thing when all attention should be on his first MCU solo film debuting in just a few weeks.
If Sony and Marvel get on the same page anytime soon will remain to be seen.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens on July 7.