What’s the deal with Spider-Man?

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Sean Koepfinger

Marvel & Sony: What’s the deal with Spidey?

If you haven’t heard by now, the rumors were true. Sony has struck a deal with Marvel that will allow Spider-Man to appear in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films. As an avid comic-book reader and huge Spider-Man fan, I have mixed feelings.

Let’s start with the pros.

The best thing to come out of this deal is that Spider-Man will make his first Marvel appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, Civil War pits Iron Man and Captain America against each other over the issue of government regulation of super-powered individuals. Spider-Man plays a pivotal role by representing the every-man caught in the middle of this battle. With the Marvel/Sony deal in place, Spidey is guaranteed his rightful place in this story.

Other than Civil War, Spidey is also slated to appear in his own Marvel standalone film in 2017. This will be yet another reboot of the series and will not feature Andrew Garfield. Thankfully, the reboot will not tell Spider-Man’s origin story again. This is a good thing because nobody needs to see the story again. Anyone who is seeing the movie already knows what happens, and it’s only been three years since we last saw it on screen. What I’m hoping for is not a complete reboot but just a James Bond style reboot. We’ll get a new actor and a new storyline that is not directly related to the previous installments, but is not completely unrelated either. This would be the best way to handle the reboot. There is so much lucrative Spider-Man content to explore, but we’ll never see it if they don’t allow the story to evolve before they start it over again.

But enough of the good, let’s look at the bad.

While a reboot could be handled well, it’s still a reboot. Fans seemed to be split on their feelings towards Andrew Garfield. Some loved him and some hated him. I for one thought he made a far better Peter Parker than Toby Maguire. Maguire’s performance gave us the outcast and nerdy Peter Parker that was introduced in the original Spider-Man comic series, but that portrayal no longer works in today’s film world. Garfield’s Spider-Man sheds some of the quirkiness and gives us a far more relatable character, one with witty banter akin to his comic book counterpart. Losing Garfield may make his critics happy, but it also means we have to start over again. At least we were fortunate enough to see his chemistry with Emma Stone play out before he lost the role.

The final bit of awfulness plaguing this deal is the future of both the Spider-Man and Avengers franchises. Before the deal went down, at least five different spin-offs and sequels were planned for Sony’s Spider-Man franchise. This included the highly-anticipated Sinister Six spin-off. With the deal in place, all of these projects have been canceled. While we may get to see Spidey team up with the Avengers, our hero has lost his spotlight role in his own franchise. While the MCU is known for making some excellent superhero flicks, their budget is only so large. This means that even in the hands of Marvel, Spidey will never see as much potential screen time as he could have had on his own. Additionally, some of the smaller-name characters that Marvel was giving a chance could possibly see themselves sidelined now that another big-namer has entered the franchise.

In the end, this deal has granted our wishes of seeing Spidey fighting alongside the Avengers, but we have also lost a good actor, and a potentially amazing film franchise. If only Sony, Marvel, and Fox could learn to allow simple cameos. Hopefully this deal will prove to be worth it. Captain America: Civil War is slated to premier in May of 2016. Let the countdown begin.

What do you think about the Sony/Marvel deal? Was it a good idea, or did Sony make a huge mistake?