It turns out fans weren't the only ones hoping Marvel could close a deal to bring Spider-Man to "Captain America: Civil War," where the character played a major role in the comic-book story arc. Thanks to the recent slew of leaked documents hacked from Sony, fans now know that Sony and Marvel were way ahead of this idea.
According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, several e-mails were exchanged between upper-level executives from both studios that went as high as Sony president Kazuo Hirai and Disney CEO Bob Iger. The e-mails initially discuss the idea of a new “Spider-Man” trilogy where Sony would maintain “creative control, marketing and distribution.” Another e-mail discussed the possibility of including Spidey in the third “Captain America” movie “Civil War,” which would have been a dream come true for fans of the comic book.
For those who don’t know, Marvel’s “Civil War” was a major crossover event in the comic universe that pit factions of heroes led by Ironman and Captain America against each other. In the 2006-2007 comic storyline, Spider-Man plays a big role in that conflict, initially joining one side but having second thoughts later on. Fans have been clamoring to see the iconic character in Marvel’s elaborate cinematic universe for years. Unfortunately, Sony has retained the rights since its first Toby Maguire-led film hit theaters in 2002 (before Marvel Studios was the powerhouse it is today).
Additionally, the e-mail conversations also dealt heavily with an animated “Spider-Man” comedy produced by the creative minds behind “The Lego Movie” and “22 Jump Street,” Chris Miller and Phil Lord. That project is reportedly still in the works.
However, with Sony’s re- launched “Spider-Man” franchise, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, failing to achieve the domestic box office success, as noted by The Wrap, no one can blame Marvel for reaching out to see if a mutually beneficial deal could be struck. After all, while Marvel’s Phase 3 can exist without “Spider-Man,” why shoot a free throw when you could just slam dunk?
Much to the dismay of fans, these talks with studio executives eventually broke down as Sony continues to believe it can salvage the wreckage that is its “Spider-Man” franchise. In July, Sony Pictures announced that it would push its third “Spider-Man” film from 2016 to 2018, putting it behind its villain-led title “Sinister Six.” The studio also has a female superhero movie in the works based in its “Spider-Man” universe, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
With Spider-Man out of contention to be in “Captain America: Civil War,” Marvel Studios will need to find a new character to replace him, assuming they don’t simply write around that story arc altogether. Perhaps upcoming heroes Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) or Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) from “Avengers: Age of Ultron” could take the reins of the young, impressionable heroes torn between Team Cap and Team Stark. Then again, maybe the studio will reach into its ever-growing toolbox of TV characters like the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” or the upcoming Netflix original series of shows.