~Matt Key

LOTS of Spider-Man news came out over the weekend based mostly around the hacked Sony emails. First of all, over at Daily Beast, we’ve got more email proof that Sony and Marvel are in talks to combine forces on doing a Spider-Man movie right. An email from Columbia Pictures Co-President Michael De Luca to Sony Co-Chair Amy Pascal reveals that there’s at least been some talk for Spider-Man to be in “the third Captain America film.”

Here’s the quote from the email:

“I really feel, in my heart of hearts, that the new spiderman [sic] in cap 3 could just appear in his own film, be it sinister six or a kick ass spidey film of his own, after that intro in cap 3 and people would be cool with it…”

Earlier emails from De Luca to Pascal pushed plans to do a big team up film that incorporates all the different Spidey characters they are trying to do films on. This is in direct correlation to what De Luca knows Fox is doing with their X-Men/Fantastic Four films.

“[Simon] Kinberg told me fox is steering X-men and Fantastic Four into an eventual team up film. Seems to me maybe, since the Spider-man universe itself is deep, you guys should look at sinister six, new spidey, female movie and venom as linked pieces leading to eventual mega movie ala Feige and Fox and not stand alone single films. It’s early in all these and you can still map out a blueprint for connective tissue.”


Another article from Daily Beast goes on to say that Producer Jeff Robinov, from Studio 8 (which has a deal with Sony), contacted Ms. Pascal about a possible new direction to take Spider-Man. Keep in mind here that this is a proposal (albeit a good one) from a source somewhat outside of Sony. Sony never said yes to any of this, at least not that anyone has seen yet. Robinov suggested that Sony use the Kraven’s Last Hunt story line. Here’s his quote to Pascal.

“In it, Kraven the Hunter tracks down Spider-Man, shoots him repeatedly, and leaves him for dead, buried underground. He then dons a Spider-Man costume and savagely starts attacking criminals.”

What makes this story resonate with fans is that it proves it takes more than just the costume to become “Spider-Man.” No matter what he’s wearing, or what predicament he’s facing, Peter Parker is sensitive, passionate, and connected to those he’s interacting with in a very powerful way. It’s not Peter’s powers that make him special – Kraven, and every other superhuman in the Marvel Universe, all have powers. Peter is special because of his values, because of what drives him, because of the lessons he’s learned from Uncle Ben’s death, and because of his love for Mary Jane. I’ve pasted a few pivotal pages from this book so you can see just how intense this storyline is.

We also get to see how Mary Jane deals with Peter’s disappearance, and how she would react if Peter ever died in action.

Robinov also suggests that Sony consider making Spider-Man an adult, taking him out of the adolescent world where he’s resided in the last however movies and putting him in an adult world with an adult actor, playing a character who’s been Spider-Man for years now. H

Another side of Spider-Man that might be interesting to explore in a reboot is seeing him as an adult. Spidey hasn’t remained a teenager over the 52 years he’s been around. He’s moved in with his girlfriend, gotten married, and in some storylines, even became a science teacher at a high school.

It might feel fresh to see Peter Parker juggling with adult issues. He’s done so in the comics for decades, and kids still found this fun to read.


We also have, out of Mashable, correspondence that points to why Andrew Garfield was let go from the role of Peter Parker. Apparently, Garfield stood Sony up on a big corporate dinner in July, which angered the wrong people at Sony. This, on top of all Garfield’s critical remarks about the poor box office performance of Amazing Spider-Man 2 being the fault of the studio, has apparently gotten him fired. In an email from Amy Pascal to Spider-Man producer Matthew Tolmach, she said.

“I love introducing [new] pp [Peter Parker] in cap but I know it comes with so many things since we won’t give them what they want what will we give them? We can say it’s a cameo but I’ll bet it’s more and will involve some of his world and it will be peter and spidey right.”

Pascal’s already talking about Garfield as if he’s out as of October this year.


In some personal notes from Pascal, drafted back in October, we see that she’s trying to work out the finer points of how to approach licensing Spider-Man to Marvel and keeping Sony still in the mix. These are actual thoughts that are actually being considered, letting Marvel borrow Spider-Man from Sony, giving Marvel a new possible toy to play with and possibly jump-starting the dying franchise for Sony. All of these thoughts, all of these approvals and clearances revolve around the idea of Sony making future Spider-Man movies.

if we have spiderman in cap 3. what is our fee
and our back end. need script approval, casting approval of sm [Spider-Man] and aunt may and consultation of mays house in queens and any other spiderman locations we may need in future movies. also approval of new spiderman costume> how long is he is the movie? how closely does it follow the civil war story line? does the world find out who spiderman is? are there any other characters from the spiderman universe they are using? can we use one of the marvel characters in our future spiderman movies not produced by marvel.can we use cap to set up ss? can drew work with the russos to get this done? are we renting him out?

She goes on in this memo to herself to wonder how to quantify the value of Spider-Man appearing in a Marvel movie and, should they do so, how much money would it earn for Marvel in return? How do they put a price on this particular appearance/licensing agreement?

how can we put a box office value on allowing spiderman to be in cap? what is the good publicity worth to them and their movie and what is the opposite worth to us? can we put a box office value on putting spidey in their movie? not free.

It’s clear that Pascal is trying to do what’s best for the studio in a very strange, unprecedented feat of studio cooperation.

For instance, they want to stay involved with the entire process.

how do we participate n the process. read the script. meet the russos. early cuts of the movie various approvals

She then goes on to outline her thoughts on what they’d want for their side of the deal in regards to their own, standalone Spider-Man movies after this new Spider-Man has been introduced to the world through Civil War.

have to commit to a release date in 2017 which means we need to be shooting in winter 2015-2016

we finance the movie entirely and approve budget
we retain casting script director and budget approvals

marvel isnthe producer of the movie only and disney gets the merchandising and they help us like they did but even more so

we market and distribute the movie…..they have no approval of the marketing budget.

they have consultation in marketing materials because they are really good bu they dont have a tie breaker

So, for their own, standalone Spider-Man film, the deal would be, more or less, that they finance the movie and approve the budget, retain rights of approval for all Above-the-line decisions. Marvel’s only role in their film would be producer, giving Disney all merchandising rights (cha-ching) and then, in return, Sony gets marketing consultation from Disney because “they are really good” at it. That being said, however, they don’t really get to make any decisions.

And, apparently, though they have a newly cast, more adult version of Spider-Man, they are still pursuing the Sinister Six film and the animated film done by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, as well as the female-lead film. Pascal’s memo goes on to say:

would we have to dismantle ss [Sinister Six]?

can drew goddard write the sm [Spider-Man] original?

who would direct the sm movie?

what do we do with matt tolmach and avi [Arad]?

they [Marvel/Disney] can not put spidey in future spiderman movies or team ups.

we need to keep animation rights for a theatrical relaesse spiderman move to be directed by lord and miller

we need to be able to make spiderman movies after this movie

we need to be able to make the girl team up movie

is it possible to put spidey in worlds without other characcters once we is with iron man and cap

can we have him in cap and then 6 months later in ss

comingle everything

we have a right to co finance any movie that spiderman is in and get a production credit

we get to make future movies with our characters and theirs in a collorative way but we dont need their approval

marvel produces a bunch of spiderman movies for sony the way they do for disney….all spiderman dominent movie are financed snd marketed by us event though disney will have the mrech on eerything

we can put the marvel and even disney logo on ours if we can put sony on theirs

Highlights from this memo are that Sony will not allow Marvel/Disney to put Spider-Man in any future Spider-Man movies of their own (which makes sense) OR that he could also not participate in any future TEAM-UP movies. In other words, Spider-Man would make his cameo in Civil War and THAT’S. IT. She also shows concern that once Spider-Man has shared the screen with Iron Man and Captain America, does it make sense to never have him appear with them or reference them again? Also, if Marvel does use Spider-Man in any of their films, Civil War or otherwise, Sony has the right to get a production credit on it.

Perhaps the biggest whammies in the memo are that Sony could utilize Marvel’s characters in a collaborative way without Marvel’s approval and that they would structure their deal in a way that is similar to that between Marvel and Disney.

Finally, we have news out of Screen Gonzo that their sources have revealed to them that Marvel and Sony Execs have a meeting planned at Pinewood Studios in January. Maybe this is that “Spidey Summit” we’ve already talked about. The meeting is said to include Ms. Pascal and Mr. Feige. The site goes on to say that they don’t have a lot of details but that we should have “good news” come February. If this meeting is actually taking place, is it possible that there’s already something on the table and that doing reshoots in January for Age of Ultron plays a part in that?

Apparently, the plan is that Marvel, for Civil war, would have an after-credits stinger all about Spider-Man, which starts shooting in February/March at Pinewood. Then, the Russo’s would direct a brand new Spider-Man trilogy after tackling Avengers: Infinity War.

Screen Gonzo’s source finally says that Feige is “very adamant about one thing: he wants Avi Arad out…” which would mean, should Sony move forward with this deal, they would have to sacrifice the producer who’s worked with them throughout their entire franchise which, by the looks of things, may not be a total loss for the studio.

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