Good news for comic book movie fans, but not so much good news for "Amazing Spider-Man" star Andrew Garfield. Marvel has hashed out a deal to regain creative control of one of its highest-profile characters without the beleaguered Sony having to lose one of its two remaining bankable franchises — the other being Bond. According to a statement from Marvel, "the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe. Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel, and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web-slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films."
Unfortunately, when they say "the new Spider-Man," they're not kidding. The Hollywood Reporter claims that current Spidey star Andrew Garfield is not expect to be involved. Now, the real question is which Marvel film Spider-Man first pops up in. The smart money is on "Captain America: Civil War," due out in May 2016, but wouldn't it be awesome if he snuck into this year's "Avengers" sequel?
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Also, how likely is it Marvel can pull off a similar deal with Fox for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four? Not very, considering Bryan Singer and Josh Trank seem to be doing just fine with those franchises for the time being.
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick