Ever since his cinematic debut in 2001 Spider-Man has had that many comebacks he’s beginning to put the late great Mohammad Ali to shame and with the New York Web-Slinger now involved another tug of war between Sony Pictures and Disney it looks like yet again Spidey’s career on the big screen may have taken another turn. From the highs of Sam Raimi’s and Toby Maguire’s first two Spider-Man movies to the lows of the latest news that Spider-Man might be pulled from the MCU it’s fair to say that our favorite web crawling crime fighter has had a large number of ups and downs and even been involved in some controversy along the way. Alert, MCU spoilers are in this post.
Being pulled from the MCU
It’s been well known now that ever since 1999 Spider-Man has actually been the property of Sony Pictures, back then the world of cinema was a very different place, especially for Superheroes. The world was just coming to terms with the Batman and Robin flop from the previous year and it looked like movies about superheroes were dying out. The X-Men franchise hadn’t been born yet and the last decent superhero film we had was Tim Burton’s Batman Returns in 1992. By the time 1999 came around Marvel Studios were struggling and on the brink of bankruptcy, something had to be done so they decided to sell off some of their most prized possessions. As a result of this, the X-Men got sold to Fox and Spider-Man was bought by Sony Picture and he has remained the property of Sony ever since, with Sam Raimi’s trilogy of movies in the ’00s and then Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man films in the next decade. However, after the Amazing Spider-Man films failed to generate enough profit at the box office and with the MCU growing with every new Marvel film there was pressure by fans to introduce Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For this to happen a deal had to be done again and luckily Sony decided to lone the rights of Spider-Man to Marvel studios again and as a result of this Spider-Man made his MCU debut in 2016’s Captain America Civil War. This deal continued until it was announced that Disney would be buying Fox and taking over the MCU, as a result of this Spider-Man’s future in the MCU would depend on whether Sony and Disney could reach a deal of their own. Last week it was announced that Sony and Disney have been unable to reach an agreement for the property of Spider-Man and as a result Spidey may not be featuring any more MCU movies despite him seemingly being prepped to be at the centre of the MCU going forward.
The news that Spider-Man might not be featuring in the MCU anymore could have really damaged plans for phase 4 and beyond. At the end of Avengers Endgame the death of several main characters including Iron Man left a big fat hole in the MCU and in Spider-Man Far From Home it was quite evident that Peter Parker was being prepared to take up a senior role within the Avengers, possibly even as their leader. The latest news may have completely put that idea in the rubbish bin and has left fans asking the question if they are meant to ignore what happened in Far From Home? It seems to me that Marvel may have scored a massive own goal, they surely knew that the deal with Disney would set off negotiations with Disney and Sony for the rights of Spider-Man, like with any deal there was no way of knowing which way this was going to go, yes fans were hoping that the two companies would be able to reach an agreement to keep Spider-Man in the MCU however, we weren’t able to know anything for certain and with that Marvel took a massive risk in swinging Spider-Man towards the centre of the MCU’s narrative. This risk might have backfired big time and it may lead to Marvel bosses having to rethink how the Avengers will go on without Iron Man as Spider-Man could no longer be able to take up the mantle.
The news last week that Spider-Man may not be able to participate in any further MCU movies has left fans asking the question if we are going to get another reboot? Tom Holland has played Spider-Man in a total of five movies within the MCU since 2016 but his portrayal of the character has left fans divided as to what they think of this latest version. Personally, I’m not a fan. Tom Holland is way too young to be playing Spider-Man and the clue is in the name, Holland is only a boy and his portrayal of a young Spider-Man who is still in High School just doesn’t work for me. Spider-Man Homecoming was fine simply because he was under the wing of Iron Man and Tony Stark was able to guide him into becoming a superhero. The problem is Iron Man hadn’t finished mentoring his young apprentice before he made the ultimate sacrifice in Endgame and as a result of this, we saw a very lost and confused Spider-Man in Far From Home. It almost felt like he didn’t know how to be a Superhero but also he didn’t want to because he was a whining little school kid who just wanted to concentrate on his High School crush Mary Jane. Instead of fighting crime and being awesome Spider-Man spent most of the movie whinging and whining, making errors left, right and centre, the fact that Mysterio was able to get the better of him so easily demonstrated how much this movie was about Spider-Boy rather than Spider-Man. However, with all that said Tom Holland is still contracted to appear in another two Spider-Man movies so Sony is left with a dilemma, do they honor his contract and pull Spider-Man from one cinematic universe to another or do they just cancel his contract and start again? Personally, I’m not in favor of another reboot, instead what I’d like to see Sony do is to go back to what they were planning with the Amazing Spider-Man series. I know that the Amazing Spider-Man didn’t do too well at the box office especially the second movie but in my opinion I still think it was one of the best Spider-Man movies, Sony had a clear direction on where they wanted to take the franchise and the character on the whole just seems more gritty and more three-dimensional throughout the two movies, you really felt that Peter Parker had to earn the right to be Spider-Man and the modern-day twist was something that I really got behind. Also, the second movie had one of the best death scenes I have ever seen in a comic book movie, maybe even a movie in general. That moment when Qwen Stacey is dramatically killed by having her neck broken as Spider-Man tries to stop her from falling still gives me goosebumps and even though if you had read the comics you probably knew what was going to happen it still came as a shock. The way the producers and directors were able to portray that on a big screen was nothing short of breathtaking. Amazing Spider-Man two did bomb at the box office but I can’t help but wonder if there was a reason for this. The film was released on the 16th of April 2014 about five weeks before X-Men Days of Future Past. You have to remember we live in an age where families find it financially difficult to go to the cinema twice in a very short space of time and as the X-Men franchise had already been established people were always going to pick that movie over Amazing Spider-Man two. However, this doesn’t mean that the movie was bad it just meant it was the wrong timing, if Spider-Man is coming out of the MCU I’d like to see Sony press forward with what they had planned for that series rather than trying to pull the MCU Spider-Man into their cinematic universe, as I just cannot see this working.
However, despite all the fuss it has emerged in the last few days that Disney and Sony are back at the negotiating table to try and strike out a deal that will keep Spider-Man in the MCU for a very long time, the rumours are this new deal would see Tom Holland play Spider-Man for at least another six movies with an option for a seventh. So it looks like we might be seeing our favourite New York crime fighter back in the MCU for many more years to come. Who says fan power isn’t a powerful force. Let me know in the comments below if you’re happy with Spider-Man potentially being back in the MCU.