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Thanks to a landmark deal that was officially announced back in February, Spider-Man will be making his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe - starting with an appearance in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. If it were up to writer/director Joss Whedon, however, the web-slinger's appearance in the MCU would have been a lot sooner, as he very much wanted to include the character in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
SPOILER WARNING: The rest of this article contains some big spoilers for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you do not wish to know key details about the film, please click away to one of our other fantastic articles!
Whedon was recently a guest on the Empire Film Podcast, and during the long spoiler-filled discussion, the filmmaker revealed that he had some very big plans to involved Spider-Man in his Avengers sequel. Asked about the reveal of the new Avengers line-up at the end of the film, Whedon explained that he wanted all of the characters that are included - but also wanted to add a couple more names. One of these heroes was Captain Marvel, who we already know got pulled out, but the writer/director also tried to get the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler involved as well.
It was at this point that Joss Whedon also referenced that there had been some negotiations between both Sony and Marvel about the Spider-Man property around the time of the first Avengers came out - but those talks didn't work out in time, and neither did the talks preceding The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The director said,
I was like, ‘And Spider-Man, we could [include him in Avengers 2 also], cause Sony had approached us during the first movie about a little integration. So I would have put both [Captain Marvel and Spider-Man] in, but neither of the deals were made. And then they were like, ‘We’re making a Captain Marvel movie and we’ve got Spider-Man as a property,’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve already locked my film, you fuckers! Thanks for nothing.'
Back in 2012 when both The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man came out, there were reports that said that there had been discussions between Marvel and Sony about possibly including the OsCorp Tower in the New York City skyline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a deal couldn't be made in time.
As a result of all this, Spider-Man isn't in The Avengers: Age of Ultron - but it won't be long until he comes a big player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to his aforementioned appearance in Captain America: Civil War, he is also set to get his very own new solo movie in 2017. Plus, he is surely going to be a player in Marvel Studios' long-term plans, which is to say that he could play an expanded role in The Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2.