MOVIES.COM - Rumors have been swirling for months now that Spider-Man, whose movie life belongs to Sony, will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is owned by Disney.
Well, rumor no more. It is happening.
Marvel broke the news themselves. Here are the most important highlights:
1. Spider-Man will first appear in a Disney movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
2. The next standalone Spider-Man movie will be released by Sony on July 28, 2017. And though Sony is releasing it, it will be co-produced by Marvel Studios and its mastermind, Kevin Feige, and Sony's former head Amy Pascal.
3. The door is open to have characters from the MCU (Iron Man, Thor, and so on) appear in the new Spider-Man movies at Sony.
4. Here's the most important quote, from Kevin Feige: "Marvel's involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years."
Since Spidey will first appear in an MCU movie, and that movie will have to be released before July 28, 2017, it rules out the most recent Internet buzz that said Spidey would actually be the star of the already announced Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 since that movie won't hit theaters until May 4, 2018. So what Marvel movies do hit before then?
Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1, 2015
Ant-Man - July 17, 2015
Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017
It's probably too late for anything but a cameo in Age of Ultron or Ant-Man, so fans can probably rule those two out. It wouldn't really make much sense to have the wallcrawler show up in the spacey worlds of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, either, so the likely candidates are the 2016 duo of Captain America: Civil War or Doctor Strange.
Spider-Man is actually a huge part of Civil War in the comics, so his appearance makes the most sense in that movie, but considering it hits theaters on May 6, 2016, Marvel is going to have to do some serious hustle to rewrite it so that it makes sense for him to appear in it. Not only that, but they're most likely going to have to find a new Peter Parker before then, too.
The Marvel press release doesn't confirm that Andrew Garfield is being replaced, but it doesn't say he's sticking around, either. The most likely bet is that Kevin Feige will want to oversee that entire process so that he can establish MCU continuity and not worry about anything that was in the last two Amazing Spider-Man movies. So in that case, expect a casting announcement on who the new Spider-Man will be in the not too distant future. If he's going to pop up before July 28, 2017, Disney and Sony are going to have to hit the ground running on this one.
They have given themselves a bit of new breathing room, however, for the movies that will arrive post-Spider-Man. Here are their new release dates:
Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017 (was July 28, 2017)
Black Panther - July 6, 2018 (was November 3, 2017)
Captain Marvel - November 2, 2018 (was July 6, 2018)
Inhumans - July 12, 2019 (was November 2, 2019)
As for Sony's previously announced Sinister Six for a November 11, 2016? That's now on the backburner.