Sony and Disney surprised fans this past Friday, announcing that a new deal covering the future of Peter Parker. Just like that, Spider-Man was back in the MCU, and Marvel already revealed the launch date for Spider-Man 3 — July 16th, 2021 — which inserts the film into the crowded MCU Phase 4 schedule. We also learned that Marvel got the rights to Tom Holland’s beloved hero for one other untitled MCU film, which can only be Avengers 5 or another crossover of similar magnitude. We then learned that Marvel boss Kevin Feige might be writing Spider-Man out of the MCU with the help of those two movies since Sony still wants to move forward with its own cinematic universe built around Spider-Man. While that might seem like bad news, possibly suggesting a bitter-sweet exit for the hero, that won’t necessarily be the case. It turns out that Marvel and Sony have already hashed out the details surrounding how they’ll share Spider-Man in the coming years.
Regardless of what’s at stake for Sony and Disney’s bottom lines, fans simply want great Spider-Man stories. That means Tom Holland’s version of the character has to have plenty of MCU ties. It’s the MCU that contributed most to the character arc, leaving behind the same old Spider-Man stories and going for unexpected twists, like the fact that Peter’s secret identity was just revealed to the world.
Without a deal in place, both studios would have struggled with that massive cliffhanger going forward, and Peter’s abrupt exit from the MCU would have had to be dealt with in a convoluted way.
Going forward, however, things might be a lot easier, as the two studios won’t need to come up with complex scenarios to deal with any Spider-Man events from the past. Per Deadline, the transition between the MCU and Spider-verse should be quite seamless and may lead to the two massive universes being loosely connected:
We hear that as Sony progresses their own Marvel universe with titles likes Venom 2 and Sinister Six, and Disney/Marvel their own, there could be a “call and answer” between the two franchises as they acknowledge details between the two in what is would loosely be described as a shared detailed universe. Details on that are still early.
That’s great news for fans, as Marvel won’t have to dream up any heartbreaking exit for Spider-Man in the coming years. Furthermore, Sony can use Peter Parker’s MCU arc in its Spider-verse. And best of all, with the two universes connected even loosely, we might see Spider-Man appear in the MCU down the line, well beyond Spider-Man 3 and Avengers 5. There’s no confirmation of a new Avengers film yet, but it just has to happen at some point.