Latino Review has an article up today suggesting that the legal wrangling involved in bringing Spiderman into the Marvel cinematic universe may be closer than we think. The story outlines some of the potential plans for the second hard-reboot of the franchise and fans who were underwhelmed by The Amazing Spiderman’s too-soon retelling of the character’s origin story will be happy to know that it’s one of many elements Marvel wants to drop should the deal go through. Unfortunately for fans of Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker, those plans also call for a recasting of the role.
IF the Marvel/Sony deal were to go forward, Andrew Garfield would no longer be Peter Parker and any baggage from existing films, Raimi or Webb, would be non-canonical, Marvel doesn’t want any part of those films. The idea is that the Spider-Man romance movie has been played out over five installments, so any new Spider-Man films would focus on the difficulties of being a teenager and a superhero with a romance side-story, not the film’s focus. Marvel also thinks that the origin story is well-trodden territory, so any Spider-Man movies under this deal would begin with Peter Parker already leading a dual life.
If you don’t think Marvel has a team of writers already working on Spiderman scripts as we speak, you’re crazy. Of the many stories to come out of the massive Sony email hack, we’ve seen that the lines of communication have been open between the studios for a while now. Prior to that, Marvel’s strategy has been developing new franchises with writers, working them hard before they put a bigger team together to actually get them up on the screen (something their massive Phase Three announcement made quite clear). And while they’ve been happy to rummage through the bargain basement of their second and third tier heroes, Spiderman is arguably the biggest individual character they’ve got. So again, if you don’t think they’ve been planning for the day that the rights revert back to them, I don’t know what to tell you.
The one thing we can say is that if this is Marvel’s plan to reboot the character for a second time in something like 15-20 years, then it’s the best case scenario. Dwelling on imperiled girlfriends and dead uncles is as overdone as Batman’s frequent trips down memory lane to crime alley. Assume a little prior knowledge and give us a story that pumps some blood back into the character.
Latino Review refers to this potential partnership as the “60/40 deal”—with Sony distributing and Marvel assuming creative control—and that split seems just narrow enough to keep the lawyers arguing about who gets what for a few years yet. LR seems to think that a Spiderman cameo in Captain America: Civil War isn’t totally out of the question just yet and if that happens, it may signal the opening of the floodgates. Stay tuned…