The Avengers has long been one of the most beloved superhero teams for years, often surpassing even the Justice League in fan enthusiasm. It’s had more than 20 different members, and after the success of the film, you might be wondering which characters will be introduced next. I can tell you the one of the best Avengers of all time was, but sadly will likely not be in any of the movies because of sad studio politics: Spider-Man.
Most people tend to think of Spider-Man as being in his own world, seldom having contact with other heroes. They tend to think of him as separate from the world of The Avengers. That’s actually not the case at all.
Spider-Man has been with the Avengers many times and is even part of the current team. He was featured in an issue of the recent Avengers Vs. X-Men storyline (which is impressive, seeing as Captain America and Iron Man were the only movie Avengers that had much attention in the series), and has been in and out of the Avengers pretty constantly for the past 20 years. He’s an Avengers veteran. In the New Avengers (2005-present) the combined leadership of Wolverine and Spider-Man was so popular that they were outselling X-Men for a time!
Spider-Man would be a great asset to the team already in place. His fun approach to fighting baddies (especially with the talent of actor Andrew Garfield) would be a perfect counterpart to the seriousness of Captain America and The Black Widow, without having the obnoxious selfishness of Iron Man. It would also allow them to introduce a talented young member learning from these older, more seasoned heroes, which allows for more plot elements. It would also give them a chance to introduce the villain team Sinister Six, which is normally drawn from Spider-Man’s enemies. There are a ton of things they could do with it, but they won’t be able to. Because while Disney might own Marvel, they don’t own the rights to Spider-Man.
Yeah, I know, it’s weird.
You see, before this flood of Marvel movies, someone beat Disney to the punch. In 2002, the first Spider-Man movie was released by Sony, and they’ve released all of them since. The reboot was originally supposed to be Spider-Man 4 with Tobey Maguire, but he backed out when director Sam Raimi was no longer involved, prompting them to make The Amazing Spider-Man. They still have the rights, which means that in order to bring Spider-Man into the Avengers, Disney and Sony would have to split the profits.
That’s not going to happen.
Or will it?
There are some rumors starting to surface that the two studios might be cooperating. The first was a tidbit in the Iron Man 3 video game, where you can find an Easter egg – an Oscorp Industries logo, the same logo that was used in The Amazing Spider-Man. There have also been whispers by the actors themselves. Andrew Garfield has said himself that he’d love to join the Avengers, and Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman wants Wolverine and Spider-Man both to join the Avengers. At the idea of these two in combination with the current team, my nerd-brain nearly explodes. I geeked out in the theater when Captain America and Thor were fighting side by side. Imagine all six of these guys AND Wolverine. AND Spider-Man. Yeah, that’d be totally legit.
Word is they’re working on it. When Hugh Jackman talked about wanting it to happen, he said he asked the Marvel liaison (guy in charge of communication with these other studios) about it, who said “‘Look, it’s not gonna be easy because you’re working with different studios and they’re their properties.” That doesn’t sound too optimistic, but the fact that he didn’t outright deny it means it might be in the works. The thing that hurts it is sharing profits. Can Disney make enough more off of Avengers 2 by Spider-Man and maybe Wolverine being in it to afford to split the profits? Maybe, maybe not. They could offer less than half since Spider-Man would be only one of seven heroes, but that might make Sony less likely to agree to it. Regardless, it might be possible.
I’m not keeping my fingers crossed. But Spider-Man is my favorite Marvel superhero of all time, so I’m going to keep my eyes and ears open. Because if it does happen, there’s practically no limit on where the Marvel cinematic universe could go from here.