This came out via emails sent to and from Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal, which include conversations between executives at Sony, Marvel Studios, and Marvel’s parent company, Disney.
According to the Wall Street Journal, one email suggested that Marvel could produce a new Spider-Man trilogy while Sony keeps “creative control, marketing and distribution.” This would potentially allow Spider-Man to team up with the Avengers team onscreen. For now, Sony still controls the film rights to the Spider-Man comics, which is why the character has never appeared in anything by Marvel Studios.
In a different email chain, Amy Pascal mentions that Marvel had expressed an interest in having Spider-Man appear in the next Captain America movie. Unfortunately, these talks appear to have broken down since then, and the two franchises will remain separate.
The idea of a Spider-Man/Avengers crossover is a persistent rumor, as the characters frequently interact in the comics. The main thing standing in the way is licensing issues, which is why the X-Men (owned by 20th Century Fox) don’t show up in Marvel Studios movies either.
The Amazing Spider-Man franchise is Sony’s biggest money-spinner at the moment, so it won’t make this kind of crossover deal unless it’s sure to retain control.
Whether or not the two studios ever come to an agreement over Spider-Man, Sony has more serious issues on its plate. The hack that leaked these emails means the company is still hemorrhaging private information about its business and employees, and the FBI’s investigation is yet to conclusively prove who was behind the attack.
Photo via Sony Pictures