Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures surprised the Internets with a late-night announcement finally making official what smart money says was a inevitable announcement of a deal to essentially share Spider-Man.
They'll be a lot of follow-up on the ramifications of this deal the remainder of this week, but for now, here's a couple of key points that need some emphasis, translated directly from the official press release.
Marvel's Kevin Feige to Produce Next Installment of the Spider-Man Franchise with Amy Pascal
(Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.
Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU).
New Spider-Man... Andrew Garfield, we hardly knew ya. Internets, start your casting engines, now.
'Can I have Logan Lerman for $100, Alex.'
And yes, first appear, so it's either Captain America: Civil War or Doctor Strange, unless Marvel can pull off a minor miracle to get Spider-Man in the post-credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But with even the (April) start of production of Captain America: Civil War just a couple of months away, either way expect an announcement of the new Spider-Man fairly soon.
Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger.
The Sinister Six spin-off, and any female-centric Spider-Man spin-offs will forever remain just some treatments distributed in the Sony offices or early draft screenplays.
Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.
Sure. Sony will have final say, but if you're Sony would you second-guess Marvel right now? Guess we'll see how Ant-Man goes.
Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.
Charlie Cox may have a hard time sleeping this evening...
Marvel Studios is probably already figuring out how to deal with the big four of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlet Johansson eventually winding down their time doing the heavy MCU lifting. So everyone from Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie to Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Ruffalo might be in play for 2017's Spider-Man REBOOT (there, we said it) since Marvel proved they could swing Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War.
But the intimate little NYC-verse Marvel is creating in the Netflix Defenders series certainly will be right there for Spider-Man to tap into.
The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel's world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.
Name check "the fans," parts 1 & 2.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: "Spider-Man is one of Marvel's great characters, beloved around the world. We're thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building."
"We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans."
Name check "the fans," part 3.
"Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker's story into the future," added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
"I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie," said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. "Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. 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."
Name check "the fans," parts 4 & 5.
Marvel is getting very, very good at this...
Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.
It's hard to estimate the chemical reaction Spider-Man's introduction into the MCU will cause, but the already ridiculous good fortunes of Marvel Studios probably just got brighter.