Before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 arrived in theaters as a huge disappointment to both fans and critics, Sony had grand plans for the franchise. They were prepping to launch their own shared movie universe set within the sprawling world of Peter Parker's New York. This would have included spinoffs for The Sinister Six, Venom a number of female Spider-Man characters and even a standalone Aunt May movie, as weird as that may seem. But the box office wasn't kind to the previous Spider-Man reboot, and the aftermath saw Sony and Marvel teaming up for an all-new reboot that arrives in 2017. Sony still has some grand plans for Peter and his pals. But now, it seems any idea of a shared universe rests in the hands of Marvel Studios. At least for the time being. And that is all by design.
While Sony is eager to squeeze any and all juice out of Spider-Man and the characters that come with the property rights, they are beholden to Marvel's grand scheme, as the Disney owned company currently retains certain creative control over the web-slinger. Which sits just fine with Sony head boss Tom Rothman. He recently opened up to THR about the ultimate authority held over Spider-Man and this big screen world that has barely been scratched yet.
Rothman definitely wants to expand on the franchise name, creating a fully fleshed out world in which Spider-Man can roam freely. But as it stands, that world is going to also edge over into the MCU. The first Spider-Man reboot will include Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and comes after this new Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, was introduced earlier this summer in Captain America: Civil War. So, unless Marvel gives the okay, we won't be seeing Sinister Six, Venom or any other Spider-Man stand alone movies for awhile. But a standalone Spider-Man universe is far from dead. And Rothman seems genuinely happy with where things currently stand.
Tm Rothman is not going to give up on his Spider-verse, though. Speaking with THR, Rotham confirms that Spider-Man is still edging towards its own contained Universe. But probably not without Marvel's ultimate say so. The power is ultimately in Sony's hands in the long run. When asked, he explains that future plans are for both a Spider-Man Universe and an MCU that includes the wall-crawler.
Yes to both those questions. It's been fantastic, our relationship with Marvel. Sony has the ultimate authority. But we have deferred the creative lead to Marvel, because they know what they're doing. We start shooting the new Spider-Man in Atlanta [in mid-June]."
The Hollywood Reporter goes onto question whether or not this next Spider-Man reboot, titled Homecoming in both relation to the high school set storyline and the franchise being back at Marvel, is going to cut corners in terms of budget. Rothman doesn't exactly make that clear. Marvel has been known for its penny pinching ways, and while Sony and Marvel are excited about a new Peter Parker adventure, they are a little worried over the lack of box office Amazing Spider-Man 2 managed to accumulate. Says the Sony Boss.
"I don't want to trim costs. I want to make money. And sometimes you make money by trimming costs and sometimes by investing in things that are profitable. A movie like Spider-Man by Marvel, that's not inexpensive. But it's a great investment. Knowing that Marvel has such a clear, creative vision, I sleep very well at night."
A lot of the finer points in the agreement between Marvel and Sony have never been made public. But it has been stated that more Marvel Studio superheroes beyond just Iron Man may show up in Homecoming. And Spider-Man isn't done with his appearances in the MCU, and will likely be back for Avengers: Infinity War, though that has yet to be confirmed. We probably won't hear more about Spider-Man and his friends' future on the big screen until Homecoming hits theaters and becomes a big hit. When and if that happens, anything is possible.