In a first of its kind deal, Sony are teaming up with Marvel Studios to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The recent Sony hacking had revealed that Sony were in advanced talks with Marvel to ‘borrow’ Spider-Man for Captain America: Civil War, but it appeared that those discussions had broken down. Proving that appearances can be deceptive, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige made the announcement much to the delight of all comic books fans.

“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie. Amy has been deeply involved in the realisation 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.” 

This landmark deal will see Spider-Man make his first MCU appearance in Civil War, this makes perfect sense as Spider-Man plays a vital role in the comic book and we were all wondering how Marvel planned on circumventing that story-arc. The deal doesn’t prohibit Sony from continuing their own Spider-Man franchise, the next entry has been earmarked for July 28, 2017. It’s unclear at this time if Sony’s next move is Amazing Spider-Man 3 or Sinister Six, but what is clear is the fact that Feige will be involved in the development process of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise.

In turn, the announcement has had a slight knock-on effect with the rest of Marvel Studios’ release schedule, Thor: Ragnarok will now arrive November 2017, Black Panther has been shifted to July 2018. Captain Marvel is set to debut in November 2018 and Inhumans has been moved from October 2018 to July 2019. The crossover potential is almost too dizzying to take in, it won’t just be Spider-Man as according to the announcement on marvel.com “Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.”

There has been no mention about Andrew Garfield resuming his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man as part of this new deal. In all likelihood, it would e easier to replace Garfield as he won’t come with the creative baggage from the first two rebooted movies. We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out, but the important thing is that Sony and Marvel are now working together.