The Spider-Man franchise has become...complicated. While the reboot appears to be booted and the wall crawler’s next appearance on screen will be safely in the loving embrace of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony still has the rights to the character as well as other Spider-associated characters. Could this mean we’re on the verge of a movie for the hottest character in the Spider-verse, Spider-Gwen?
In an alternate universe where a radioactive spider bit the hand of high school student Gwen Stacy, instead of her boyfriend Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen was born. She was just supposed to be a brief guest cameo. A cool "what if" as comics like to do now and then. However, the character is proving to be so popular that she’s getting her own series as Bleeding Cool is saying that a movie may already be in the plan.
We know that Sony had something in mind to make a female Spider-verse movie. In fact Lisa Joy, the writer attached to that project, actually made comments (released by Wikileaks as part of the Sony e-mail hack) about bringing Gwen Stacy back as Spiderwoman following the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It was only a month later that we got our first glance at Spider-Gwen in the comics. Did Sony have inside info, or was Marvel trying to cut Sony off at the pass?
Apparently the green light for the Spider-Gwen comic came straight from Marvel CEO Issac Perlmutter. While Perlmutter has gone on record with a fairly negative view of female focused superhero movies (Wikileaks again), they are making a Captain Marvel movie with Carol Danvers and if he’d had a problem with that it wouldn’t be happening, so a Spider-Gwen movie from Marvel is certainly a possibility.
The question is, who exactly owns the film rights to Spider-Gwen? It depends how the deal with Sony is written and we don’t have a copy. The X-Men deal with Fox basically covers all mutant characters, although there is some wiggle room which is why we had two separate Quiksilvers between Days of Future Past and Age of Ultron. Gwen Stacy as a character is certainly part of Sony’s deal, but is Spider-Gwen a separate character? Does Sony have her anyway because she’s a Spider-Man related character. Does Marvel get her because she was created after Sony signed their contracts? Somewhere an entertainment lawyer is going to bill a lot of hours on this one.
As with the multiple Quicksilvers, it may be that both companies have a legitimate right to make a Spider-Gwen film. If that’s the case expect to see some serious negotiating between the two sides. Either that, or expect to see Sony rush to get Spider-Gwen into theaters before Marvel knows what’s going on.