These days, it seems like the Marvel Cinematic Universe can’t lose. With the success of Captain America: The Winter Solider and Guardians of the Galaxy this year, the anticipation for Avengers: Age of Ultron and the fact that the franchise has never had a truly bad movie means that Marvel craze is higher than ever now. Unfortunately, despite this popularity, the MCU can never truly be whole when many popular Marvel characters are over at other studios, specifically the X-Men and Fantastic Four at Fox and Spider-Man at Sony. However, that may soon change. A rumor has been circulating that says Marvel may be pondering the unthinkable: joining cinematic universes!
According to Hitfix, Sony is looking to refocus the Spider-Man franchise, and this could involve the web-slinger being connected to the MCU. While this isn’t official yet, Marvel is eager to "play with all of their characters," and are willing to try to make this deal work both creatively and corporately so that their already gigantic world can expand. While both sides would benefit from this arrangement, Sony clearly needs this to happen more than Marvel Studios. Sure, Spider-Man may be Marvel’s most well-known character, but this year Guardians of the Galaxy proved that Marvel can take a group of D-list characters and make a successful film with them. Their third-highest grossing film, in fact. Having Spider-Man back would be amazing (pun fully intended), but it’s not crucial to the MCU.
Spidey, on the other hand, hasn’t been having the best time of it lately on film. While The Amazing Spider-Man earned decent reviews in 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell below Sony’s expectations when it earned mixed-to-negative reception earlier this year. A blockbuster movie earning subpar reviews is already bad enough, but when the movie was meant to kickstart their cinematic universe, it doesn’t bode well for future plans. As a result of the sequel’s response, Sony pushed The Amazing Spider-Man 3 to 2018 and bumped Sinister Six to 2016. They also have a solo female film planned, but overall, their goal to build a whole universe around a single character is haphazard at best, and now they’re trying to reassemble the pieces. However, if Sony and Marvel join forces like the Marvel Team-Up issues of old, this could solve many of our Wall-Crawler’s problems.
On the villains front, Spider-Man has everything covered (only Batman rivals his rogues gallery), but connecting to the MCU would allow his film series to expand his cast of supporting characters. It’s doubtful that any previously established MCU characters would appear in one of his solo films, but joining the universe would allow the Spider-Man movies to bring in Marvel characters that haven’t been seen on-screen yet. The obvious candidate would be Jessica Drew, a.k.a. Spider-Woman. Yes, despite sharing the same animal, Sony does not have the rights to her. Their power-set may be different, but Jessica Drew would make a worthy addition to the Spider-Man family. Who knows, maybe she could be the star of that solo female movie. She’d make a much better protagonist than Black Cat.
Regardless, with an MCU connection, the Spider-Man cinematic universe can include characters and adventures that aren’t directly related to Peter Parker. It would be a welcome change of pace from checking in on the Sinister Six and Venom. On the other side, imagine Spider-Man teaming up with The Avengers in the climactic showdown against Thanos. Sure there would be issues of why Spidey hasn’t worked with them before. But the plot hole would be worth it just to see him web up the Mad Titan.
Sony needs to do everything it can to make this deal with Marvel work. Because if it doesn’t, the Spider-Man films will never reach their true potential.