Well, it’s pretty much all over now. For those who were still hoping that Marvel/Disney and Sony could eventually reconcile their differences and retain shared custody of Spider-Man, I’m sorry. Both of them will not be coming to an agreement anytime soon. Of course, there are some rumbles that there are some backroom negotiations still happening but that just could be some people spreading a lie or just a bunch of people lying to themselves. As of right now, it certainly looks like Sony is going to take back Spider-Man and not going to share him with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, there are going to be a ton of fans who are going to bemoan the idea that Sony will once again have full control over the Wall Crawler’s cinematic outings. Frankly, I’m one of them. I do remember the high I felt when I watched the first Spider-Man film produced by Sam Raimi but that time has passed and Sony went on to produce the Amazing Spider-Man duology, my hopes that a non-Marvel produced Spider-Man movie dried up.
The tiny optimistic part of me (the one that surprisingly hasn’t dried up yet) still believes that maybe Sony can do a better job this time. I mean, I don’t think that the folks at Sony Pictures are complete imbeciles, right? They must’ve, at the very least, tried to figure out what Marvel and Disney were doing correct and followed the production of both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home to learn how to do that Marvel magic. It would be ridiculous if they didn’t, seeing that Spider-Man: Far From Home is their all-time highest grossing film they released! If they manage to figure that out, there is actually a chance that they can develop and produce something akin to the Web-Head’s latest movies when he was still part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So, yeah. There is still a slim chance that Sony learned their lesson and will actually make a decent Spider-Man movie without Marvel and Disney at the helm. However, Sony has an uphill battle with them right from the get-go and it all deals with Spider-Man actually being integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the first place.
The problem is that, besides Spider-Man himself, Sony wouldn’t be able to use any of the supporting cast from Homecoming or Far From Home as is. This may seem like a ludicrous statement since Sony should have the rights to all Spider-Man related characters but hear me out. There is a logic to my madness.
The best way to explain my train of thinking is to first focus on one specific character that’s in both Homecoming and Far From Home. This character isn’t just a part of the regular rabble in the background but one of the more important characters in the movies. This person is the character called Michelle Jones. Or, as you all know, this universe’s version of MJ.
Both movies make it perfectly clear that she is not the same MJ we all know from the comics. This isn’t the supermodel looking party gal with a complicated childhood we came to know at Mary Jane Watson, who would become Peter Parker’s long-time love interest in the comics. No, Michelle Jones is a snarky wisecracker who loves to show how smart she is to everyone. The two cannot be any more different personality-wise.
Now, has anyone ever questioned, when Marvel was making both the Spider-Man films that were set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, why didn’t they just use Mary Jane Watson and decide to create Michelle Jones, a totally new character? Well, it’s probably has something to do with the legalese involved when Sony and Marvel agreed to share custody of Spider-Man. The general idea behind this reasoning, however, can be boiled down to Sony didn’t want the actual Mary Jane to get tied into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In fact, this is likely true with the rest of the supporting cast. Ned Leeds in the comics is a decidedly boring white guy while the MCU version is Peter Parker’s best friend who just so happens to be a hefty teen of Asian descent. The MCU’s version of Flash Thompson isn’t the stereotypical jock as he was in the comics but rather a rich kid who looks down on others. The character that got the biggest change has to be Aunt May. You all know Aunt May is the hapless doting elderly woman in the comics. The MCU version totally throws that idea out the window as their version of Aunt May is a totally hot Marisa Tomei!
Yes, I know it’s normal for movies to take liberties with comic book characters nowadays. But don’t you think it was incredibly strange that Marvel made so many changes to practically every established character related to Spider-Man?
While I’m not totally sure who’s “fault” it falls on why Marvel had to basically revamp all their characters, it still basically boils down to Marvel and Disney can ultimately use these new versions of the characters while Spider-Man is a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but Sony cannot simply plug them in their movies.
This is doubly correct for Michelle Jones, the new MJ in Peter Parker’s like in the MCU. After all, Sony owns the movie rights to all the Spider-Man characters. Is Michelle Jones in the comics? She isn’t so Sony can’t use her. Oh, they can use Mary Jane Watson but not the non-comic Michelle Jones. The devil is in the details, you see.
What does this mean? Well, this probably means that Sony may be able to use Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Peter Parker… but they’ll have to get rid of the entire supporting cast as they can’t use them! Those characters technically were created for the Marvel Cinematic Universe so they aren’t actually tied to the licensing agreement. So any of you moviegoers who would want to see Michelle Jones and Peter Parker continue their relationship in the next Spider-Man flick, you’re out of luck!
All of this will boil down to Sony having to reboot the Spider-Man franchise once more. Whether they scrap all of the history Marvel has established so far or if they just write everyone off and soldier on, we’ll have to see. But it’s going to be a reboot and the only question would be the scale of it all. And, honestly, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of fans who will be upset with either scenario as they love this current iteration of the Web Head. Rebooting the Spider-Man franchise after the disastrous Amazing Spider-Man films is one thing. But rebooting it after two completely successful films that a lot of people have invested their time with and have loved is just such a bad idea!
Now, I could be wrong and I don’t have all the correct details regarding the licensing rights and all that mumbo-jumbo. But, if all of what I said is correct and Sony cannot use any of the supporting cast, Sony will have no choice but to get rid of them and establish new characters. We’ll plausibly get an actual Mary Jane this time around but when there are already a contingent of fans who like Michelle Jones to wind up with Peter Parker, Sony will just anger them. The same goes with getting rid of uber-hot Aunt May and bringing back the old prune version from the comics!
So even if Sony actually has learned from their mistakes and produce a really good Spider-Man movie on their own, they will have an uphill battle trying to entice the fans who are already in love with the version Marvel and Disney produced.
Do you think Sony can still make a good Spider-Man film without the characters Marvel created? Let me know in the comments section below!