Okay, follow me on this.
In 2002, Sony Pictures – who currently holds the rights to Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man, as well as all associated characters, released a blockbuster motion picture. It starred Tobey Maguire as the web-slinger, against Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin.
A few years later, the even more popular Spider-Man 2 came out, and now Maguire’s Spider-Man faces up against Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus.
In the third motion picture, Maguire meets the symbiote villain Venom, as well as another tough guy in the Sandman. Oh yeah, and Kirsten Dunst played the ravishing Mary Jane Watson.
Then Sony rebooted the series.
Maguire was replaced by Andrew Garfield, and the story began again. Amazing Spider-Man now featured Garfield against the Lizard.
It took a few years, but then Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out, with Jamie Foxx as the electric villain Electro. Oh yeah, and Emma Stone played the delicious Gwen Stacy.
Then Sony rebooted the series again.
The last two Spider-Man films, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, semi-integrated a new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, into the series, and had Holland appear in several other Marvel films that were NOT produced by Sony, including Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
In this one, Holland’s Spider-Man first faced off against Michael Keaton as the Vulture, and then later Jake Gyllenhall as Mysterio.
But something strange happened at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. There was an appearance by Daily Bugle newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson, who was portrayed in the first series (the Maguire series) by actor J.K. Simmons. So Simmons reprised his r ole in the Holland series. Okay, I can understand wanting to do that, I mean, it’s such an iconic character in the Spider-Man universe.
Then came this animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which we get introduced to several different Spider-Man characters from different universes. We get a film noir Spider-Man, we get an anime Spider-Man, we get a Spider-Gwen (yes, in that universe Gwen Stacy was bitten by the radioactive spider), and we get our first film view of Miles Morales, a black Hispanic teen who also slings webs and fights crime. It was actually an Oscar-winning Spider-Man film, and it told a great story.
But now comes some news about Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man film – the third one in the Holland series.
Jamie Foxx will reprise his role from Amazing Spider-Man 2 as Electro.
And yesterday, word came that Alfred Molina will re-attach the four electronic arms to his back and become Doctor Octopus again.
But wait – Jamie Foxx was in the Garfield Spider-Man series; while Molina was in the Tobey Maguire series.
And now comes more rumors – that Andrew Garfield will appear alongside Tom Holland in the new Spider-Man film, and possibly Tobey Maguire as well.
Holy multiverse, they’re going to find a way to combine the past three Spider-Men on film?
Do you realize what this does if they pull it off?
This now makes all the Sony Spider-Man films from 2002 to today integrate with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Hey, this is a big deal. Follow me on this.
At one point in time, before the comic book company was absorbed by Disney into its corporate hierarchy, Marvel had sold the rights to its comic book characters to various film studios. 20th Century Fox made a killing on X-Men movies, and a decent return on the first two Fantastic Four films (the third one was a turkey, stay away from it). Sony basically used the Spider-Man films to print money. Universal Studios had – and technically still has – the rights to Incredible Hulk movies. Paramount had Iron Man and Captain America, etc., etc.
But for all intents and purposes, there are three distinct Marvel film universes out there – the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the one with the Avengers), the Fox Marvel Universe (with the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool), and the Sony Marvel universe (with all the Spider-Man characters).
But over time, Marvel – through Disney – was able to reclaim many of their characters’ film rights, either through negotiated deals or film studio acquisition. We could see the X-Men finally working alongside the Avengers, although I suspect Deadpool and his R-rated mouth would be kept separate from the PG-MCU).
Now if Sony’s going to integrate three different iterations of their Spider-Man cinematic universes into one mega-film … hoo boy that’s going to be fun. I mean, yeah, it’s fan service for sure, but this might be the good type of fan service.
I mean, this is the same thing I thought should have happened with the James Bond films. At least before Sean Connery and Roger Moore passed away, it could have worked. Find a way to get ALL the Bond actors in a film, by stating that “James Bond” was an MI-6 code name, and that each man became “James Bond” and gave up their previous life, and all were now under attack by some nebulous agent of THRUSH or the like. I mean, it certainly would explain why James Bond kept switching persona and accent all these years, while M and Q and Moneypenny remained the same.
But if we’re going to get Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland in the same film as three web-slinging Spider-Men…
I am so there.
So, so there.
But let’s not stop with this. Any chance we can bring in Nicholas Hammond from the Spider-Man TV series from the 1970’s?
How about the Japanese guy who played Spider-Man as a Super Sentai show?
Oh, wait, oh, wait, maybe we can also get the Spidey who was a recurring character on the show The Electric Company, and every time he speaks, his words appear as an animated talking balloon?
Okay, that’s going too far.
But I’m still thinking that if there’s a crisis that calls for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man…
Maybe you need more than one Spider-Man to make it work.
Just don’t bring in the Spider-Man from that Broadway musical. I don’t want anyone to get injured and have this collaborative film postponed for three years. Okay?