Spider-man has had a chequered history of late.
When the Tobey Maguire era of Spider-man hit our screens back in 2002, excitement for the character was high. The trilogy of films did reasonably well at the box office and critically, but by the time Spider-man 4 was being discussed it was realised the cost of production and payoff from fans was incompatible.
Then, back in 2012 and again in 2014, Andrew Garfield took the lead in The Amazing Spider-man and the Amazing Spider-man 2 but the annoying, cocky and somewhat rash nature of the new Spider-man was very close to what fans loved from the comics and furthermore, the films obviously hinted at future spin-off movies and it was soon clear (here) that Sony was trying to set up a Venom film and a Sinister Six film.
Yet, due to the woeful response to The Amazing Spider-man 2, Sony eventually gave control of the web-slinger back to Marvel (here).
We saw this new Spider-man, played by Tom Holland, in the recent Captain America Civil War, released earlier this year and we realised that, as much as we liked Toby and love Andrew, Spidey was finally home.
Yet surprisingly the spin-off films from the Garfield era are apparently still in the works at Sony. Rumours regarding a new Venom movie beg the question as to Sony’s involvement with the new Marvel Cinematic Universe character.
Tom Rothman, the Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, talked about when we might get some definitive answers to these questions – and he replied: “[we will receive] real news as opposed to speculative news before too long.”
In particular it begs the question of how much Marvel have anything to do with the spin-offs, and whether or not Sony has anything to do with Spider-man’s life in the MCU.
This is the most important factor, really. If Marvel are wanting to make Spider-man work, they will need his classic villains such as Doc Ock, Venom and Lizard, however, Sony likely still holds all the rights to these and could easily keep them locked out. Although this is unlikely, it does mean that Sony’s leverage into Spider-man could crop up from time to time.
The other problem is that if Sony wants to use these spin-offs – and they will – this have a direct effect on the MCU. What we can say, however, is that if Sony did lock these characters out completely it would be a mad move for them.
Of course this is all just theorising and speculation and nothing is known for sure but it remains to be seen how Sony will deal with these spinoffs, if at all.
Spider-man Homecoming is set for release in July 2017