On February 9, 2015, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announced that they had made a deal that would see Spider-Man introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to getting his own solo movie, it was also revealed that the webslinger would be showing up in an upcoming Marvel blockbuster. Basically, this was the day it was confirmed that Spidey would be showing up in Captain America: Civil War, but what may surprise you is that the character was actually worked into the film months before a joint studio deal was made.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and during both separate conversations with the two filmmaking duos we discussed exactly when it was that Spider-Man entered the script for the movie. Sitting down with the directors for an on-camera interview, I first learned about the details of the situation from Anthony Russo, who explained that they needed to commit to Peter Parker’s presence in the movie regardless of the deal, because if it all did work out for the best the character would have to feel organic to the story being told. Said the co-director,
That was part of the tricky thing. We had to make a commitment to the character of Spider-Man long before the deal was in place to let us use him. When you’re telling a story you have to fully commit. We had to be fully committed that that character needed to be in the story, and the story couldn’t happen without him. So we were there psychologically, and you couldn’t do it any other way. But you are sort of exposed because, yeah, you could get the bad news that the deal doesn’t work out. So we’re eternally grateful to Kevin Feige and all the good folks at Sony, that they were able to work out a deal, because we would have been really left hanging without him.
Talking with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely the next day, I followed up about when it was that Spider-Man made his way into Captain America: Civil War. They admitted to me that there were instances of the character coming out of the script – at times when it looked like the Sony deal wouldn’t work out – they left a particular section of the script’s structure continually open to allow Spider-Man’s role to be included and a necessary part of the film. Said McFeely,
You can see on a structure level, we left a little recruitment section, so that, you know, worst case scenario, somebody didn’t get along at corporate, that could be somebody else if we had to. But we definitely wanted to go in that direction and then we were going to have Ant-Man in the other direction, and that’s about everybody getting an arc appropriate to their role in the movie.
You can watch Anthony Russo discuss Captain America: Civil War’s commitment to Spider-Man in the video below:
Without wanting to give anything away, I can confirm that the introduction of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) in Captain America: Civil War is completely perfect, and effortlessly clicks into the impressively smooth operation that is the epic, character-packed plot. It’s an incredible thing to see, and it won’t be long until American audiences can – as the blockbuster will be arriving in theaters on May 6th.