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Here’s What We Know About How the Spider-Man Deal Went Down, and How the Movies Will Go Up

I'm sorry we don't have any pictures, Mr. Jameson.



This week, the nerd world rocked at the announcement that those two households most a like in dignity had, as rumored, settled on a way for Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But what are the deets? The haps? The buzz? Here’s what we know!

First, and perhaps most surprisingly, no money has actually changed hands. Marvel/Disney hasn’t paid Sony for leasing the movie rights to Spider-Man, and Sony won’t be sharing the gains from the new franchise they’ll make based on the first Marvel-produced installment. What Marvel gets is its most well known character back in the movie fold, and Sony gets the “exposure” of the fan base for the Avengers universe.

Both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety agree that we might have the infamous Sony Hack to “thank” for the terms of the deal. As a company, Sony is in a weaker place than they were just a few months ago, with Amy Pascal stepping down. The lackluster performance of the company’s second Spider-Man franchise, created to keep their film rights to the character from timing out, is no secret. And Sony has always lacked one of the biggest money-making aspects of a superhero franchise: in their film rights deal with Sony, Marvel Entertainment retained all merchandising rights.

So that’s enough of the insider stuff—what does this mean for the films themselves? Well, information on that is also swimming around out there. It’s becoming clear that the Sony/Marvel plan is to restart the franchise with a high school age Spider-Man. Says Variety: “The plan is to spend more time in the setting and explore his awkward relationship with other students while fighting crime out of the classroom,” and, in a sentence that’s probably not actually as interesting as it seems, the outlet seems to imply that the studio has also not yet decided on whether this will be another Peter Parker-focused project, or perhaps a different incarnation of Spider-Man.

No actors have as yet been approached to play the lead role, but Dylan O’Brien (The Maze RunnerTeen Wolf), and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) are rumored to be in the running. As the folks in charge of the franchise after the first film, Sony will retain final call on who is cast in the role. They’ll also be looking for a new director for the new franchise, breaking from Marc Webb.

But regardless of those choices, Marvel is planning on including the new Spider-Man’s film debut in Captain America: Civil War next year. So, they’ll either have to pick an actor, or, in a pinch, throw a costume on a stuntman. I mean it’s not like you can see his face. As long as he stays silent it could be anybody under there.

It could be Robert Downey, Jr.

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.