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Thursday, March 6, 2014

EDITORIAL: How 'Spider-Man' Can Legally Appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

That's right a loop hole has indeed been found in the contract between Sony and Marvel Studios. Now before I get into the specifics let me tell you the problem that ravages our favorite web-slinger appearing alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 

Back in the 90's before Marvel Films was the juggernaut it is now the company was going bankrupt and was selling off potential film rights to all their characters to other film studios. X-Men, Fantastic Four and others went to FOX. Blade over to New Line Cinema. Hulk and Namor over to Universal. And their prized possession Spider-Man over to Sony Pictures. Over the years some of their favorite characters they have reacquired from their contracts expiring ect ect. This includes Punisher, Blade, Ghost Rider and Daredevil!

Now that Daredevil was acquired by Marvel Studios the company has moved forward to introduce him in his own series exclusively on Netflix. Alongside Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Why is this important well they are all considered "street level" heroes. They battle the mob and gangsters ect.

Now one other "street level" hero is actually Spider-Man! Yes, Sony Pictures owns his film rights currently. The studio have a cinematic universe of their own being built around star Andrew Garfield. But how does this work with Marvel Studios?

Back in 2009 the amazing Sony created show The Spectacular Spider-Man was brought to an end for Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man to appear on Disney XD.

IGN Reports:
"Sony is NO LONGER involved with The Spectacular Spider-Man. I'm informed that Marvel can now produce the series, but of course, they don't have to." Weisman noted he had "no clue" as to what Sony gained regarding Spider-Man's film rights that they didn't already have that led them to give up the TV rights to the character.
Many assumed that  this simply would mean that the animated rights of Spider-Man was relinquished over to Marvel Studios. But that is not the case...apparently it was ALL TV Rights. Last year Comic added how Sony doesn't own  any TV rights to Spider-Man:
In some cases, studios apparently own the live action rights to a character, which would cover both movies and live action TV shows, but not animated cartoons. However, in the case of Spider-Man, Disney actually acquired the TV rights back from Sony.
They hypothesized that he could appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D given that was the only Marvel show in production that we knew of. Now that Marvel Studios is moving forward  with street level heroes on Netflix its actually possible to have Spider-Man appear on those shows!

This does not mean that Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man will appear on the Netflix shows. If Marvel even uses the character it would most likely be a cameo as Peter Parker with a completely new actor as the web-slinger.

Of course this doesn't mean Marvel will even attempt to enter those uncharted waters with Sony. So don't go assuming Spidey is gonna show up alongside The Defenders on Netflix even though it is possible. Also, this still means Spider-Man can not appear alongside The Avengers on film.

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Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Superhero Movie News. A frequent collaborator with the Editors on Comic Book Movie, The Daily Superhero, Think McFly Think and Comic Book Therapy. Film Critic By Day. Fanboy By Night. Born with Mad Jedi and Ninja Skittles. And a connoisseur of fine headbanging music.