What does Spider-Man’s MCU future hold?

Spider-Man: Far From Home is rapidly approaching, and given Marvel’s odd arrangement with Sony, we can’t help but wonder what Spider-Man’s MCU future is.

On July 2, Marvel Studio’s first post Endgame entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Far From Home, will be released. Given this, as well as the fact that the trailer explicitly states that the multiverse (though this could be a lie) is involved, many are viewing this movie as the launch-point for the next phase of the MCU. So, I think it’s fair to wonder, what exactly does Spider-Man’s future in the MCU look like exactly?

The deal

In 2015, Marvel Studios and Sony came to terms on a deal to share Spider-Man. Reportedly, this deal included five movies, the last of which will be Far From Home, however, renegotiating or renewing the deal is entirely possible, and neither side has ever officially announced the actual terms of the deal itself.

Rumor holds, that the deal stipulates that Marvel won’t see any money from the standalone Spidey films, while Sony doesn’t see any from the “team up” movies (like Captain America: Civil War or either Avengers film he has appeared in). While both sides have already profited (literally and figuratively) from their arrangement, with it nearing its original end, there are some legitimate concerns over what form it will take should it continue, especially given the success that Sony’s spinoffs have enjoyed.

Sony’s plans

Sony Pictures’ Chairman Tony Vinciquerra has said that Sony has planned out the next seven to eight years worth of content for their Spider-Man cinematic universe.

We know these include sequels to Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, as well as a Morbius project starring Jared Leto. It is also rumored that a Sinister Six film is in development, as well as a wide range of potential other movies as well.

While their ventures so far have proven profitable, Venom was very much critically maligned a formula we’ve already seen produce diminishing returns in DC’s attempt to spark a universe. Additionally, Venom is a fairly well-known character, it isn’t clear whether Sony will be able to replicate Marvel’s success turning completely obscure characters into box office phenoms.

Marvel’s plans

Given that they are using his movie, as well as the fact that Tom Holland has been a delight in all of his Marvel appearances thus far, it seems likely that Spider-Man is a big part of their future plans. However, it is also likely that they are prepared, and continue to prepare for any eventuality involving their relationship with Sony.

Not much is really known about Marvel’s post Endgame plans at the moment, though it is likely Far From Home will at the very least shed some light on this. But, with the recent acquisition of the X-Men and Fantastic Four, as well as the obvious implications of the events of Endgame, the MCU is likely very much in a dramatic stage of retooling.

We do know of plans for a Black Widow standalone filmBlack Panther 2, Dr. Strange 2, The Eternals, a Shang-Chi film, and of course, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.  It also seems safe to assume that there will be a follow-up to Captain Marvel as well.

But when, and how, and if they incorporate the X-Men and Fantastic Four, two of the biggest properties in the comics, remains a mystery still. As does Spider-Man’s role going forward. However, given Tom Holland’s incredible portrayal of the character, how seemingly universally beloved that performance is, and the popularity of the character, it seems very likely Marvel would love to keep him around going forward.

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Rampant speculation and wishing

Basically, the preceding paragraphs all say the same thing. We don’t really know what to expect going forward, and it seems unlikely that Marvel or Sony will tell us anything until a new deal is in place.

That said, I can’t help but worry that if one or more of Sony’s standalone villain movies fails to take off, that they’ll get antsy and yank Spider-Man back into their universe. Now, given the presence of the multi-verse not only in Sony’s world, but also possibly going forward in the MCU, it is entirely possible multiple Spider-People could exist simultaneously.

Doing so could risk market saturation if that isn’t already an issue. It is easy to imagine a world where the MCU Spider-Man is called into duty through the multiverse in order to combat a threat facing one or more of the Spider-People from Spider-Verse. Additionally, Sony could launch a live-action Miles Morales series, allowing them to milk two potentially lucrative cash cows at once, though again, market saturation could become an issue.

Spider-Man: Far From Home poster via EPK

Although I love Tom Holland’s Spider-Man I do have one serious issue with the way he’s been used in the MCU thus far. In the comics (to the extent of my knowledge anyway) Peter Parker is fiercely protective of his secret identity. However, in the movies thus far a staggering amount of people know who he is.

Tony Stark figured it out from watching YouTube videos. Happy and Pepper both know, everyone who fought in the big battle in Endgame knows, Nick Fury knows, Ned knows, Aunt May (!) knows, the Vulture knows. In the trailer, he introduces himself unmasked to Mysterio, and it is heavily implied that MJ figures it out as well, if not his whole class.

They have nailed every other aspect of the character, so I am willing to give Marvel the benefit of the doubt here, but it does bother me when watching these movies that *everyone* knows who Spider-Man is.

Spider-Man has some of the coolest storylines in the comics and interacts with a bunch of other teams as well. He has interesting relationships with the Avengers, Fantastic Four and Deadpool specifically. So there are a variety of ways Marvel could play this, assuming they keep control over his film rights.

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Two stories I would be very interested in seeing on the big screen are the Superior Spider-Man storyline where Doctor Octopus steals Peter Parker’s body, and the Spider-Verse storyline where the various Spider-People come together to fight the Inheritors a family of beings who thrived on eating their energy. Both would be difficult to pull off, but would be absolutely incredible to see on-screen.

The Superior Spider-Man arc would be very difficult to pull off because of the complex nature of showing the internal struggle between Doctor Octopus and Peter Parker, as well as a variety of other factors that would make a straight-up adaptation difficult, including the number of characters involved. The Spider-Verse storyline would be difficult to navigate because Sony already did a version of it and has hinted that more is to come. Limiting the effectiveness of the story.

If Marvel could figure out a way to make movies of one or both of them it would be absolutely incredible. But if not there are a million other ways they could go.

What would really be amazing would be to see an older, more powerful, confident and fully realized Spider-Man operating at the peak of his powers and serving as a leader in the world.

Conclusion

The MCU as we know it has ended and it finds itself at a crossroads. Spider-Man figures to be a pivotal part of it going forward, but business or creative issues could get in the way of that.

Right now, it’s impossible to really know what Spider-Man’s future will be in the MCU or if he’ll even have one after Far From Home. But odds are his future will be bright and active. Tom Holland is one of the bright young stars of his generation and his turn as Spider-Man is much beloved, both Sony and Marvel would be insane to let their current arrangement end.

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What do you think Spider-Man’s future is in the MCU and what would you like it to be? Be sure to let us know in the comments down below.

Spider-Man: Far From Home will be in theaters July 2. 

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