Production on Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: Civil War has begun, and while the movie has an absolutely stacked cast of Marvel all-stars, there is one key character still missing. It was a few months ago that we learned that Spider-Man would be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the 2016 blockbuster, but to this point the folks in charge of that decision have not yet been able to actually make one. So what's going on? If new reports are accurate, then the key issue is a on-going debate between Marvel Studios and Sony about the direction that the franchise should go in.
This past Friday is was said that long-time frontrunner Asa Butterfield is out of the Spider-Man race, leaving a group of other potential candidates vying for the position, and the folks at Meet The Movie Press say that the reason casting the role has been taking so long is because Marvel Studios' people and Sony's people aren't seeing eye-to-eye on the decision. As such, it's even a little unclear who the new top candidate is because the two companies like two different people. According to the podcast's sources, the folks at the comic book giant like Boardwalk Empire actor Charlie Plummer for the part, while the home of the last two wall-crawler franchises likes The Impossible's Tom Holland. Said reporter Jeff Sneider,
Marvel is the creative lead, as we’ve heard on this - that’s why they got brought in. Sony trusts them, the marketplace trusts them… On the other hand, Sony’s footing the bill. Sony is paying for this movie, not Marvel, and when it’s your money on the line, you want your say to matter.
When the deal between Marvel and Sony was announced back in February, these were the terms of the agreement that were made public, and while the exciting result of the deal is that Spider-Man gets to pal around with Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, one can see why the arrangement might cause some issues when it comes to making creative decisions. After all, Sony may believe that getting the webslinger into the MCU is the best direction for the character financially, but that doesn't mean that they're willing to just give up all control over the immensely popular superhero.
That being said, evidence does suggest that it might be in Sony's best interest to just let Marvel Studios determine who should be cast as Spider-Man. It's true that the Japanese company has done a solid job in the past picking actors to play Peter Parker, but one can easily make the argument that it's been casting that has led to all of Marvel's success. That conversation starts with bringing on Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, but extends to getting actors like Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt to play the lead roles in Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy, respectively.
Hopefully it won't be too much longer before a decision is made regarding the future of Spider-Man, and when an actor is chosen, you can be sure that you'll find the news here.