A world without Spider-Man, well at least an MCU without one. The news that Spider-Man may end up being pulled from the MCU is kind of a shocker and likely not part of Marvel’s well-laid plans. Everything has been going so well for Marvel, that it’s surprising that this news ever saw the light of day. If Marvel is as smart as we think they are, at least for the immediate future, they will do what they have to to keep Spider-Man no matter what the cost. What would happen if they don’t though, and Spider-Man goes back to Sony?
For Marvel, losing Spider-Man would actually be a multi-hit combo that they don’t want. They obviously have at least Spider-Man 3 planned based on the success of the first two movies. Far From Home left us with a cliffhanger of sorts for Spider-Man 3. Sony taking back Spidey would cause the world to lose out on getting to see that conclusion of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy. Spider-Man is a top name among a much more widely known sea of superheroes because of the MCU appearances.
There is extra hype right now because of the end credits scenes of Spider-Man: Far From Home roping in the original trilogy and setting up the drama for the next movie. Depending on how this mess plays out Spider-Man may end up dropping down in popularity some due to disgusted fans and an inferior product being forced onto the screen.
Marvel would also lose out on their kid-focused franchise. Spider-Man is the youngest Marvel hero out there, and his movies are the only ones to really target a younger audience. It’s also fun to have a more lighthearted superhero movie to turn to sometimes. Without Spider-Man in the MCU, Marvel has to find someone else to fill that role or they could lose out on a demographic. This may force adjustments to other MCU franchises or content that could affect the quality. Someone may need to be moved in to fill the void left by Spider-man.
Marvel will also lose out on any planned Spider-Man team-ups or cameos. This isn’t that big of a deal, but people do love team-ups, and Spider-Man is a character that can be easily paired with almost anyone. Now that he is one of the remaining Avengers and essentially Tony Stark’s successor, he has even more star power. His cameo could be crucial to a new Marvel franchise being successful. Spider-Man brings fun and a childlike aura to his appearances and sometimes that is crucial to making content more digestible. His humor may be what is needed to balance out a darker Marvel property. Adding comedy to Thor’s character revitalized his franchise and likely earned an unexpected fourth film. Spider-Man’s wit will be noticeably missed in any group interactions or Avengers meet-ups. These will be unplanned changes that would never be seen if Spider-Man stays in the MCU.
On the other side, Sony will get to make the next Spider-Man movie. Sony’s Spider-Man movie will be a strange, somewhat unprecedented situation. Sony will be trying to make Spider-man as close to the MCU version as possible, but won’t be able to use anything from the MCU movies. The movie will probably feel noticeably awkward due to all the red tape. These same complications will likely lead to a lot of viewers being unhappy with the situation and even hesitant to buy a ticket to the movie. Although fans have reason to be mad at both studios, its likely Sony’s film and Spider-Man in general that will suffer. People just want coherent storylines and fun characters. People obviously loved the long-running Marvel storylines and conclusion of them in Avengers Endgame. Breaking up Spider-Man now and starting something new is the opposite of what Marvel has done right with the MCU.
Who will be the villain in Sony’s Spider-Man? Sony just made a Spidey movie with Green Goblin, his greatest villain, in 2014. Marvel just successfully used up two more of Spidey’s greatest villains in his last two films. The villain will probably end up being someone a little too out there(think Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Rhino), or a desperate a redo of a previously used villain like Doctor Octopus. No matter who Sony chooses for the villain, it’s not likely it will be as well-received as just continuing Marvel’s story.
Spidey will probably appear in the Morbius and Venom movies. Sony will want to use Spider-Man to his full capacity while he is still burning so hot. They will use him for every property they have. This will work to boost those other less popular character’s movies up while keeping their version of Spider-Man in the public eye. The hope would be to build a fanbase around the new Spider-Man and successfully create their own cinematic universe. Morbius could use a Spider-Man cameo as it seems like a stretch to make a full movie for him on his own. Associating Spider-Man and Morbius will give Morbius some context and an extra reason to convince people to give the movie a try. Pairing Spider-Man with Venom would be an obvious choice as Venom was a hit for Sony and Spider-Man always brings a crowd. I’m sure Sony hopes and believes the combination of both characters at this point could make for their biggest Spider-Man movie to date.
If Sony does make the next Spidey movie, after it’s awkwardness or failure to achieve, negotiations will probably begin again. Sony will have two reasons to try to make things work at this point. They will want to get their property, Spider-Man, back in the limelight and good graces of the public by getting him back to Marvel quality. Sony will also want to get back to making the money they receive just for letting Marvel make successful Spider-Man movies. Sony could prolong the process like Fox did with Fantastic Four, but in the end, Spider-Man should end up back at Marvel. Here’s hoping he doesn’t leave the MCU and we can avoid all that shakeup.