He’s your friendly neighborhood webster, but now he will be playing in a whole new neighborhood – one whose residents include a billionaire, a thunder-god, a green rage monster and a patriotic war veteran, among others. Today, Marvel Studios along with Sony Pictures confirmed the completion of the deal between Marvel and Sony for the collaborated use of the latter’s property Spider-Man, of which it has made 5 movies since 2002.
Spider-Man remains to date the face of Marvel Comics and the most recognizable superhero this side of Batman. While speculations and talks regarding such a collaborated deal engaged fans since the notorious Sony hacks following The Interview controversy, there has been no positive affirmation from either party as to the stage of discussion. Needless to say, this news came out causing uproars around the cinematic community, as such a result although optimal was never anticipated even by the strongest of fan-boys. This is largely owing to the stubbornness that Sony has displayed throughout its years with regard to keeping its properties so much so that it arguably caused the death of two franchises with the same scarlet web-slinger. Needless to say, it is delightful news to wake up to, as Spidey more than anyone else seems perfectly fit for Marvel Studios’ and Kevin Fiege’s vision for the Universe.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception in 2008 with the entertaining Iron Man, has maintained a sense of hilarity and screwball antics throughout its characters and its worlds. From the snarky Stark taking jabs at the Hulk to Star-Lord slowly bringing up the finger during his line-up, Marvel has always stood for, as far as its films are concerned, popcorn entertainment and light-hearted relationships. And you know what? The character of Spider-Man has always stood for the same things, causing ripples and creating fans worldwide when it was introduced in 1962 as the teenager’s superhero, taking on tentacled super-villains while struggling with homework, girls and high-school drama. This vision of Peter Parker’s New York would effortlessly slip into the realm of the Avengers, and might just give us the best version of the character we have seen on screen.
Questions as to which actor would play Spider-Man as well as which of his incarnations shall be included in Marvel is yet to be revealed. It should be kept in mind though that rumors and leaks surrounding the Sony hacks do point toward the fact that it will not be Andrew Garfield who will be donning the skin he has grown quite accustomed to. I would have to say that I am not a fan of the new Amazing Spiderman franchise being desperately pushed by Sony Pictures, but it is also true that I loved Garfield as both Peter Parker and Spiderman, completely imbibing the spirit and humor of Spidey, as well as his relationship with Gwen Stacy, easily one of the best romances seen on superhero screens in recent years.
Ever since the idea of a Marvel Studios Spiderman was mooted a few months ago, there has been talk and petitions to steer away from Peter Parker, the universally known Spiderman for Miles Morales, another who has spun webs in the pages of Marvel comics. The petition also included along with it a plead to cast the Childish Gambino – Donald Glover (of Community fame) – as the dark-skinned Hispanic web-slinger. With respect to this too, we are yet to hear from those in power at Marvel and Sony, but I do hope that if not Andrew Garfield, they decide to go with Donald Glover. A versatile and brilliant improv-actor, he has the swagger and style of Miles – spunky, athletic and humorous. Glover has already proven his worth as a comedic actor through his run on Community – which, by the way, is a show I hold close to heart – as well as his versatility in his rap-career and his amusing appearances on talk-shows. If I were Kevin Fiege and I had already made the mistake of removing Andrew Garfield from the list of choices, I would jump onto the Miles Morales bandwagon with the Childish Gambino. While Garfield is the perfect Peter Parker, Glover is perhaps the perfect Morales.
On a sidenote, there was a quaint response by Donald Glover, the Childish Gambino himself to the petitions for his casting as Miles Morales in the first episode of Season 2, Community.
If you ask me, he has the looks for the part.
Anyway, regardless of which character they decide to go with, this news of Marvel inducting Spiderman is more than welcome at this point, especially after The Amazing Spiderman 2 short of butchered the franchise for all of us. It is speculated that Marvel will introduce Spidey in Captain America 3: Civil War, as it is too late and cramped for Age of Ultron. This is more so the case since the original comic arc of Civil War did include Spiderman as Scarlet Spider, who was also an important linchpin and key to the unrest between the factions of heroes. This just might be exactly what Civil War needs in its cinematic interpretation, a key and powerful character introduced within itself to cause the impending stir. The probable timeline would include Spiderman exploding onto the scene with his vigilantism, and having watched the antics of the Avengers from the Battle of New York, where he is a high-schooler, he could have developed a fascination for the team or a hatred, either of which could provide interesting fodder. Whatever the place may be, it is exciting news for not just fans of Marvel, but also sincere fans of movies and superhero fiction in general. This development also poses a threat to DC’s upcoming Multiverse, which would inevitably have to step up its game, now that the most-loved superhero (arguably) has joined forces with the existing empire. Ironically, this was similar to the Civil War comic-arc, where the two sides of superheroes stood balanced until the induction of Spiderman by Tony Stark, the eponymous ’empire’ in this case. It is also worthy to note that one of the milestones of Civil War was the public revelation that Spidey is Peter Parker, which could also take the character to new depths not seen on screen before. Wow, this is shaping up to be quite the Civil War among comicbook studios themselves.
Along with this reveal, Marvel has also announced later release dates for its other subsequent properties such as Inhumans, Thor: Ragnarok and others, taking into account the changes that the Spider-event would bring with it. This also means more pressure on its writers to sacrifice their vision, or at least part, to address this altered plan.
I would like to afford special mention and thank my dear friend M.S for waking me up early and forcing me to turn on my computer so I could learn of this delightful news. Without him, this post would not have been possible.
Thank you, M.S.