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The Tangled Web of Spider-Man’s Film Rights

Last year, AP2HYC reported that Sony will be allowing Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the impact on the superheroes in cinema.

As we all know by now, Spider-Man will have a cameo appearance in the May 2016 Captain America: Civil War. This past Wednesday, Marvel released the second trail for the movie. The clip at the end had Spider-Man arriving as the two teams of Avengers were facing off. Spider-Man snatched Captain America’s shield and webbed Cap’s hands together. Like in the comics, Spider-Man sided with Iron Man during the Civil War. Will he go to Captain America’s side, at the end of the movie? He did do a super heroic entrance.

Legions of Spider-Man fans rejoiced at the image of Spider-Man finally in the MCU.

However, Spider-Man is no stranger to the big screen. Tobey Maguire played the Wall-Crawler in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3 in the early 2000’s. Fans were split on Sam Raimi’s movies. Spider-Man is one of the most notable and most popular superheroes in the world. It is safe to say that at the time, the people behind the first Spider-Man movie franchise thought they were doing Spider-Man justice.

As Marvel Studios started the MCU, Sony still has the rights, just as Fox owned X-Men and the Fantastic Four. It is strange to think that Marvel properties, who have always existed in the same universe with each other (where Wolverine was a member of the Avengers, the X-Men and some other superhero teams, and where Spider-Man was a frequent ally to the Fantastic Four, X-Men and the Avengers) would never appear on-screen together, or at least reference each other in a name-dropping kind of way.

Sony then rebooted the Spider-Man franchise; Andrew Garfield, a younger and snarkier Spider-Man, starred in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Love him or hate him as Spider-Man, the writers, producers and director started Spider-Man from the beginning all over again, with some changes and a new leading lady.

Since this isn’t a review on the past two Spider-Man franchise, let’s stop. The newest version of Spider-Man is even younger than Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. The powers that be have decided to go way back to the beginning, to have Spider-Man as an awkward fifteen year old boy who got bit by a radioactive spider. Granted, Spider-Man only has a cameo appearance in Captain America: Civil War, but the appearance is giving the Spectacular Spider-Man a third chance at a series of movies. They probably are going to wind up calling it the Spectacular Spider-Man, don’t you think? They can’t go with simply Spider-Man, since the first franchise had that, and Amazing Spider-Man is off the table as well.

We don’t know what will happen with the beloved Wall-Crawler, especially with Sony continuing with plans to make a solo Venom movie without Spider-Man in it, and with the MCU taking darker turns with the Avenger schism in Captain America: Civil War.

Here’s the trailer.


Will the introduction of Spider-Man in the MCU prove an opportunity for both Sony and Marvel to cash in on the fans desire to see multiple companies work together for the benefit of all (I’m looking at you, Fox)? Let me know what you think on Twitter!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.