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Thanks to the lukewarm response that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 received in May and the unclear future of the Spider-Man film franchise, there’s been a lot of talk lately about the possibility of the wall-crawler coming back to Marvel. A potential deal between Marvel and Sony was rumored several months ago, and the hacked Sony emails have revealed that Sony has at one time considered leasing out the character. There were also rumblings that Marvel approached Sony on using the character for Captain America: Civil War, an adaptation of the 2006 comic book crossover that Spider-Man played a huge part in. While it might be fun to imagine the web-slinger appearing alongside the likes of Captain America and Iron Man on the big screen, new information suggests that there isn’t a realistic chance of this happening.

According to Badass Digest, Spider-Man is not included in the current version of the third Captain America film. Although there’s the possibility that he could cameo in the film, such as in a post-credits scene, fans shouldn’t expect to see Spidey in a substantial role. Comic readers will remember that Spider-Man played an important role in the original Civil War story, as he wound up joining Tony Stark’s pro-registration forces and unmasked himself to the public. After discovering the mistreatment of captured heroes by the U.S. government, Peter switched to Captain America’s anti-registration side. With the addition of Black Panther and the film’s focus on oversight of super humans rather than revealing secret identities, a Spider-Man appearance likely wouldn’t have worked as well as it did in the comics, so excluding the web-slinger makes sense both from a business and creative standpoint.

However, just because Spider-Man won’t be appearing in this film doesn’t mean an eventual appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe should be counted out completely. Next month, Sony executives will be meeting at a "Spider-summit" to discuss the future of the Spider-Man series, and there could be a possibility that a deal with Marvel is on the table. Plus, Marvel already has ideas on what to do with the character should they ever regain creative control (one word: reboot), so if a deal is reached that works in their favor, you can bet they’ll put these plans into effect quickly.

While Spider-Man won’t be involved in Captain America: Civil War, the article does say that Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. the Winter Soldier will play a central role in the film. One theory is that the divide between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers will occur when Tony discovers that it was the Winter Soldier who killed his parents. This would make the conflict both ideological and personal for the two heroes. So if you’re a big fan of the badass soldier with the metal arm, expect to see a lot of him in the 2016 blockbuster. As for Spider-Man, we’ll just have to play the waiting game concerning his potential future with the MCU.

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