Spider-Man Joins The Avengers In the MCU! All Your Questions Answered Here!


Monday night Marvel made an announcement on their website (web… site… webs… like Spider-Man!) announcing to the world that Sony and Marvel Studios/Disney have reached an agreement to bring Marvel’s most popular character Spider-Man into Marvel’s most successful franchise/universe: the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Welcome to the MCU, Web-Head!
Welcome to the MCU, Web-Head!

The official announcement from Marvel’s website is below. Following that quick read, let’s break down what all this means for Spider-Man, Sony, Marvel Studios, and the rest of the MCU’s Phase 3, which has been shuffled due to the addition of a Spider-Man solo pic in 2017.

(Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.

Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.

Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.

The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel’s world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: “Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”Amazing Spider-Man 2 Crouch

“We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”

“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”

Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.

Let’s put all this in Layman’s terms. I’ll answer the questions this deal raises right now!

Does Marvel Studios Own the ‘Spider-Man’ License now?

Spider-Man has a love history with Captain Marvel... who is also getting a solo movie in Phase 3.
Spider-Man has a love history with Captain Marvel… who is also getting a solo movie in Phase 3.

No. In fact, no money has changed hands. Marvel doesn’t need to pay Sony  anything for Spider-Man’s inclusion in the MCU. Sony doesn’t need to pay Marvel Studios any money for their characters’ appearances in ‘Spider-Man’ films.

Spider-Man will make an appearance in a MCU property, most likely 2016’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ which already features Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Anthony Mackie back from ‘Winter Soldier’ as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Frank Grillo back as Brock Rumlow now running around as Crossbones, new classic Capt. villain Baron Zemo played by Daniel Bruhl, and introducing Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther.

That’s a very full playing field and I would be worried, but the same writers and directors from ‘Winter Soldier’ are returning and, simply put, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is the best MCU film yet.Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After appearing in ‘Civil War’ made by Marvel Studios (there’s a small chance Spider-Man may instead appear in 2016’s ‘Dr. Strange,’ but that hero pairing makes less sense), Spider-Man will get his own solo-pic on July 28th, 2017.

Marvel makes the MCU movie, Sony does all production on the solo-Spider-Man films like the apparent “reboot” of Spider-Man as a member of the MCU. They split the money.

Movie Spider-Man has many new MCU friends!
Movie Spider-Man has many new MCU friends!

Sony saves their crumbling 4 billion dollar ‘Spider-Man’ franchise (after ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ fell below expectations and alienated Spider-Man fans who have seen 3 bad films too many) with the might and creative input of Marvel’s incredibly successful MCU overseen by Kevin Feige.

Sony keeps all rights and has all final say on the new ‘Spider-Man’ films, though Feige will partner with Amy Pascal, who recently stepped down as President of Sony to head the production company handling Spider-Man for Sony.

Sony gets the good-will of the MCU and Marvel gets to use Spider-Man in their extended universe.

They will split the profits as they have in the past with the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise.

What Does This Deal Mean For ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3’ and ‘Sinister Six?’

There’s a bit of confusion here. Since Marvel is introducing a new Spider-Man, said to be high-school age to contrast the older Avengers who are all in their thirties and forties, it seems Andrew Garfield is out. It is also assumed the ‘Amazing’ header is kaput, with a brand new era starting for the web-slinger.

Spider-Man vs. green Goblin in 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'There are reports that Sony still wants to make ‘Sinister Six,’ ‘Venom,’ and a female-team-up with characters from Spider-Man’s universe like Spider-Woman. It is not clear how these fit in the new continuity, as ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ was basically a big set-up for ‘Sinister Six,’ and now it appears we are entering a new age of Spidey, ignoring not only the original Sam Raimi films but the Marc Webb directed ‘Amazing’ titles.

VenomHow Sony gets the other projects off the ground is a mystery; the scariest part of the equation. As they don’t need to consult Marvel with these titles which could be as poorly handled as ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2.’

‘Amazing Spider-Man 3’ appears to be dead, making way for a new title. Is it back to ‘Spider-Man’ with a subtitle (please!) or another book’s name like ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ or ‘The Sensational Spider-Man.’

Is Andrew Garfield Returning?

No! Both Garfield and director Webb are out of the equation now. Rejoice!

This movie is still about Peter Parker right?

Miles Morales from Marvel's 'Ultimate' Universe
Miles Morales from Marvel’s ‘Ultimate’ Universe

Not necessarily. Unless I missed it, the name Peter Parker is never mentioned in the announcement.

One way to shake up the franchise is to not use Peter at all and instead go with Miles Morales, who took over for Spider-Man in the ‘Ultimate’ Comics Universe after Peter Parker was killed by the Green Goblin.

Mile Morales is black, which would be an amazing change for the franchise. Is the story of a black nerd in Queens any different than if he was white?

Troy's (Donald Glover) Spider-Man PJs on 'Community'
Troy’s (Donald Glover) Spider-Man PJs on ‘Community’

You could even keep the name Peter Parker and go black. I really want the franchise to go this direction, mainly because I think comedian/rapper/actor Donald Glover would be an amazingly geeky, yet hilarious Spider-Man. Sony needs a funny-man like Glover to make those quips quippy enough for Spidey.

All this being said, Sony is apparently looking at Dylan O’Brien from MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘The Maze Runner’ and Logan Lerman from ‘Fury’ suggesting Spider-Man will remain a white Peter Parker.

Dylan O'Brien, other possible Peter Parker.
Dylan O’Brien, possible Peter Parker.
Logan Lerman, possible Spidey.
Logan Lerman, another possible Spidey.

What Does This Mean for the Rest of the MCU?

Black Panther 2017It’s shuffle time. Marvel may have already released their ‘Phase 3’ lineup last year, but the addition of Spider-Man shakes things up. First, by hitting July 2017 he takes ‘Black Panther’s release date, pushing Panther’s solo movie to November. Other films are pushed by several months including pushing the ‘Inhumans’ movie to AFTER ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Part 1 & 2.

Spider-Man’s inclusion in ‘Civil War’ could possibly bump or drastically shrink Black Panther’s role in that film.

Who knows what other changes Spider-Mans addition to the MCU will cause, as he could be a main player in a new Avengers team containing newbies Black Panther, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, a Bucky Barnes or Sam Wilson Captain America, and likely Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch in ‘Infinity War’ and beyond! As long as Sony and Marvel continue to play nice.

Who Wins?

Everyone! Hopefully.

Sony gets the Marvel Studios bump to save their ‘Spider-Man’ property. Hopefully Kevin Feige’s influences improve the quality of films to a point even above Raimi’s.

Marvel Studios gets to use Spider-Man in at least one film, if not through Phase 3 and possibly 4. Their characters, like Daredevil, can also cross over into a Sony made, Spider-Man solo film.

Spider-Man and RocketWe get to see Spider-Man alongside our new favorite heroes. Rocket and Spider-Man shooting the shit in ‘Avengers: Infinity War?’ Why not!

Rejoice! We’ve all won something special, something to look forward to for years to come.

See Paul Rudd as ANT-MAN! And the New Poster!


Our first look at  Marvel Studios’ ‘Ant-Man’ came in the form of an ant-sized trailer. Literally.

Did you catch any of that? Well here is the “Human-Size” version.

Okay, so it’s a teaser for a teaser trailer. The full trailer comes out tonight during Marvel’s new show ‘Agent Carter’, with another ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ trailer following later this week on Disney owned ESPN.

While we wait, we have our first look at Paul Rudd in his Ant-Man getup, courtesy of ‘Entertainment Weekly.’ Though we saw his feet running in his fancy new boots in the teaser for a teaser, this is our first real look at the entire suit.

Paul Rudd IS Ant-Man
Paul Rudd IS Ant-Man

It looks MARVELous (I will not apologize for the pun). Another perfect translation from lesser-known comic suit to fully realized big-screen-ready costume. Can Marvel Studios turn ‘Ant-Man’ into the next ‘Guardians of the Galaxy?’

Probably not, but their Ant-sized marketing thus far has been clever and buzz worthy.

Speaking of which, check out the first poster below. Again, look for something very tiny.

The First Poster for 'Ant-Man'
The First Poster for ‘Ant-Man’

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

‘Ant-Man’ follows May’s release of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ with some Paul Rudd action on July 17th.
Ant-Man!The most interesting fact about the movie thus far, is that it ends ‘Phase 2’ of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. ‘Phase 1’ was ended by the first ‘Avengers’ in 2012 and it was assumed ‘Age of Ultron’ would bring a conclusion to Marvel Studios’ ‘Phase 2.’ Apparently ‘Ant-Man’ has something to add before we enter ‘Phase 3’ in 2016, starting with ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ending in 2019 with ‘Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2.’

Paul-Rudd-as-Ant-ManAlso fantastic… like the other great Marvel films before it, ‘Ant-Man’ has a unique genre not yet explored by the MCU. ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ was a thriller, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was a space opera, and now ‘Ant-Man’ is a heist film. And 2016’s ‘Dr. Strange’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch promises something completely different.

Even with only a teaser for a teaser trailer and a nearly blank poster,’Ant-Man’ joins the list of most anticipated films in this year of our Lord, Stan Lee, 2015.

Excelsior!

Marvel Announces Complete Slate of Titles Leading Into ‘Avengers: Infinity War Part I & 2’


Let me start by saying, “I was wrong.” I didn’t think Marvel could or would do it, but Avengers 3 has become ‘Avengers: Infinity War Part I’ in May 4th, 2018 with ‘Part II’ following on May 3, 2019.

I (we as the internet) was also right… Steve Rogers’ next adventure, shared with Tony Stark, will be titled ‘Captain America: Civil War.’

Marvel Studios LogoThat’s just the tip of the iceberg as we now have titles for all those dates Marvel blocked off at Comic Con this year, including ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Dr. Strange,’ ‘Captain Marvel,’ and ‘The Inhumans,’ as well as ‘Thor 3’s telling subtitle. Official logos too!

Without further ado, here’s Marvel’s ‘Phase 3’ slate; all the titles we will see before ‘The Avengers: Infinity War Part II’ in 2019.

The new 'Age of Ultron' teaser poster.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1st, 2015

Not technically ‘Phase 3…’ at all. But we’ve seen the trailer and I’ve proposed different ways the film may play out based on said trailer and previous knowledge of the Avengers next adventure which has them facing off against the villainous Ultron.

Ant-Man – July 17th, 2015

Though slated after ‘Age of Ultron,’ Marvel Studios is calling ‘Ant-Man’ the last film in their ‘Phase 2.’

Perhaps this is because it all ties back to ‘Age of Ultron’ and the planned TV show ‘Agent Carter;’ the latter about the adventures of Steve Rogers’ 40’s fling, Agent Peggy Carter. You know, his lady to whom he promised that dance before nosediving into the arctic.

Ant-Man has John Slattery back as as older Howard Stark, reprising his role as Tony’s father from the archive footage in ‘Iron Man 2.’

Ant-Man Comic Con PosterSo, ‘Ant-Man’ does seem to have ties to the past involving a still living Howard Stark with a younger Hank Pym, creator of Ant-Man (and Ultron in the comics…)

‘Age of Ultron’s teaser also gave us small glimpses of Captain America in the 1940s, either in flashback form or some sort of Scarlet Witch mind fuck.

‘Ant-Man’ stars Michael Douglas as inventor Hank Pym with Paul Rudd playing his protege Scott Lang. Evangeline Lilly plays eventual ‘Wasp’ Hop Van Dyne, while Corey Stoll plays the antagonist, Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket.

Official synopsis from IMDB:

Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

So ‘Phase 3’ really begins with:

'Captain America: Civil War' Logo‘Captain America: Civil War’ – May 6th, 2016

Captain America’s third solo adventure isn’t a solo-adventure at all (even less so than the incredible ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’), it’s ‘Captain America: Civil War!’ (As previously covered.)

'Civil War' means mano a mano for Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.
‘Civil War’ means mano a mano for Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.

With Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark joining Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers for ‘Civil War’ has the makings of the biggest non-‘Avengers’ titles, seeing as how it features Marvel’s two most popular characters this side of the galaxy.

We don’t know all the other players, but the film will be used to introduce…

The Black Panther!

To read more about my hopes for ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ check out my article ‘Captain America 3 with Robert Downey Jr. – The Do’s and Don’ts’.

READ PART I

READ PART II

READ PART III

This title, along with the titles of other franchises and new solo-movies does lead me to believe ‘Civil War’ will play out in just ‘Captain America 3,’ not bleeding into other non-Capt. franchises.

Since I’ve covered ‘Civil War’ in length previously, let’s move onto Marvel’s next 2016 release…

'Dr. Strange' Logo‘Dr. Strange’ – November 4, 2016

What little we know about the ‘Dr. Strange’ movie was covered yesterday when the incredible actor Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Stephen Strange.

Though I doubt the final name will keep the '2,' the scribbling on the logo fits the tone of the movies and the characters.
Though I doubt the final name will keep the ‘2,’ the scribbling on the logo fits the tone of the movies and the characters.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ – May 5th, 2017

Like ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ is a given for Marvel Studios, not a newbie with risks like ‘Ant-Man,’ Dr. Strange,’ and ‘Black Panther.’ If Marvel has it’s way, they will somehow spin these lesser-known characters into the cinematic gold they mined out of the completely unheard of Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Drax, and Gamora.

No way this film continues ‘Civil War.’ No way the Guardians defeat Thanos (though he may make his first major appearance in ‘Guardians 2’ or ‘Captain Marvel;’ the 2nd film we will discuss in a bit). The Guardians have other shit to deal with, like who is Peter Quill’s father? (Darth Vader?)

‘Infinity War’ will finally have Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet at the center of the Avengers 3rd adventure.

'Thor: Ragnarok' Logo ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – July 28th, 2017

Tom Hiddleson as Loki at Comic ConLoki returns! After all, eventually Thor needs to pull Loki off the throne of Asgard to set things right on his home-world.

Though there is a character in the Marvel Universe named ‘Ragnarok,’ the title likely refers to Norse Mythology

Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures including Odin, Thor, and Loki. ‘Thor 3’ will likely be a giant battle between the two brothers resulting in near-apocalypse at Asgard and perhaps around the nine-realms.

'Black Panther' LogoBlack Panther – November 3rd 2017

Black Panther Concept ArtThough he will be introduced in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Marvel is giving the Prince of Wakanda his own solo feature. Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in ’42’ and James Brown in ‘Get On Up,’ stars as the title character, who rules a fictional African nation rich in Vibranium, the invincible metal that makes up Captain America’s shield.

There is evidence that suggests the Avengers and/or Ultron will head to Wakanda to meet up with Ulysses Klaw in ‘Age of Ultron,’ but again, at this point, it’s all speculation. I doubt we will see Black Panther or his alter-ego until ‘Civil War.’

Avengers: Infinity War - Part I' logo‘Avengers Infinity War Part 1’ – May 4th 2018

The final battle begins! Thanos will have his Infinity Gauntlet, made up of the four Infinity Gems we’ve seen thus far (Loki’s mind gem, the aether, the tesseract, and “The Orb” from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) and the two that Mavel Studios needs to introduce in Phase 3.

How it all plays out is a mystery, but once the Mad Titan Thanos gets his hands on all 6 Infinity Gems, it’s going to take more than the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to defeat him.

Finally, that mid-credit sequence introducing Thanos at the end of ‘The Avengers’will be paid off! In full!

'Captain Marvel' Logo‘Captain Marvel’ – July 6th 2018

Captain Marvel & Spider-ManCarol Danvers is set to be our version of Captain Marvel (there have been male versions as well, but Danvers is the most recent Captain Marvel in the comics), the only female Marvel character to lead her own movie.

DC will beat Marvel to the punch by a year with their ‘Wonder Woman’ movie in 2017.

Captain Marvel is space-bound; a closer part of the larger Galaxy-spanning Marvel Universe to The Guardians and Thanos, than the Avengers. Between ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘The Inhumans’ who are next up, it looks like Marvel Studios is building a bigger team than just the Guardians of the Galaxy from across the universe that will help the Avengers in their fight after their assumed failure in Part 1 of ‘Infinity Wars.’

'Inhumans' LogoInhumans – November 2nd, 2018

InhumansLike the Guardians, Avengers, and The Defenders (who are getting their solo-series on Netflix followed by a ‘Defenders’ show, also on Netflix), the Inhumans are another fascinating group of heroes. They have ties to alien mythology and the part of the universe that is home to the Guardians and Captain Marvel.

It looks like Marvel is building a team of non-Earthlings between their ‘Infinity War’ movies to provide back-up to the Avengers who know little of Thanos compared to the Guardians, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans.

These two films following ‘Infinity Wars, Part I’ set a new precedent for Marvel, three movies in one year (2018) as opposed to the usual two!

Finally…

‘Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2’ – May 3rd, 2019

Thanos and the Infinity GauntletEverything comes to a head. Technically, you can trace this storyline back to the discovery of the Tesseract, but really, we’ve all been waiting for the arrivial of Thanos since we saw his smirking face at the end of ‘Avengers.’

It’s the payoff of 2o movies and 10 years. A final, climatic film with all players fighting the most powerful enemy introduced in the MCU (the comics have greater threats than Thanos; threats he has had to step in and help stop himself).

Rest assured, Disney & Marvel won’t let the MCU die there, but this round of Avengers movies will be over, with newer characters like Dr. Strange and Black Panther carrying the weight once actors like RDJ, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans are done with the super-franchise.

What About Hulk, Black Widow, and Loki?

All three characters have become fan favorites as a result of ‘The Avengers,’ yet none will see their own film in Phase 3.

Hulk in Age of UltronThough Hulk really shined in ‘Avengers,’ he’s had two flop solo-pictures between Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’ and the MCU’s ‘Incredible Hulk.’ But we’ll still see him, not only in ‘Avengers’ movies but also some solo movies as well. ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ perhaps?

Said Marvel Movie Mastermind Paul Feige:

“I wouldn’t say Hulk is absent from the timeline. I would say that Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies – particularly all of those Avengersmovies leading up to 2019. And Infinity War, Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films, and we’re excited to bring him to all those films.”

As for Loki, it sounds like he’ll have his biggest role yet in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ which should please fans to end.

Black Widow in 'Age of Ultron'And for Black Widow… apparently Marvel Studios is more concerned with introducing new characters played by new actors who will work for cheap. It’s a lot cheaper to hire an actor to play ‘Captain Marvel’ than to pay Scarlett Johansson to continue her popular established Avenger into a solo move.

So, that’s Marvel’s plan for the next five years. I will be in my thirties by the time I see the end of Phase 3.

Now that’s scary.