Since the late 1990s, Marvel Comics’ most popular superhero, Spider-Man, has been one of the few comic book properties (other than the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Wolverine), which has had its film rights owned by a Hollywood Studio.
Sony, the company, which currently holds those rights, has been putting them to good use with three blockbuster movies and a series reboot that was the basis for a potential shared universe. However, after the financial and critical disappointment of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” plans for a shared universe started a downward spiral. Sony needed to find another route with the Spider-Man franchise.
Similarly, Marvel Studios, which has independently financed 10 blockbuster movies, with two more in post production for release later this year, announced that the third Captain America movie will adapt a Civil War storyline. The problem here is that Spider-Man is possibly one of the most important characters in that storyline. This propelled Marvel and Sony to begin a five-month negotiation for the film rights of Spider-Man. It was announced last week that a deal had been reached that Marvel Studios had permission to use Spider-Man in any one of their movies. However, any stand-alone Spider-Man movies, like the start of a third reboot currently scheduled for July 28, 2017, will be completely financed and distributed by Sony, and Marvel Studios will have some creative control over these films.
What took you studios so long? When I first heard about the Spider-Man film universe, I was thinking that “The Amazing Spider-Man” franchise was going to go down the drain because Sony’s original plan was to take Spider-Man villains and set them up in their own films. Other than Venom, who technically is an anti-hero, it’s almost impossible to create Spider-Man villains as the core of their own films. This is because Spider-Man villains are not Batman villains. When they wanted to make a Sinister Six movie and had other ideas for movies, which will not work, I knew Sony was desperate for a film franchise. But in a way, this might be better than a franchise.
The deal states that Marvel Studios does not receive any of the profits from stand-alone Spider-Man films, and they don’t have to do any work making them. This means they can let Marvel Studios do their own thing, and they will get all of the profits from their hard work. If you are thinking, “Well, that’s not that much of a deal,” then let me tell you that all of the films that have the Marvel Studios logo, with the exception of “The Incredible Hulk,” have made huge profits for Marvel Studios. “The Avengers” is the third highest-grossing film of all time, and “Iron Man 3” isn’t that far away. Also “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the third highest grossing film of 2014. Before that movie, almost no one knew what “Guardians of the Galaxy” was.
With the combination of Marvel Studios films becoming one of the biggest comic film studios in the world and Spider-Man being one of the most successful comic properties of all time, both Sony and Marvel are expecting the next Spider-Man film to break the $1 billion mark. That is something that Sony cannot turn down. Because of this, comic book fans, like myself and the general audience who are Marvel fans, can now see Spider-Man becoming a part of the “Avengers: Infinity War” roster. That is the most amazing thing that would happen to this property.