Well this is awesome.
After weeks of speculation following a series of leaked Sony emails that disclosed that Marvel Studios (under the leadership of Kevin Feige) was talking to the entertainment giant about reacquiring the character after the dismal box office and critical performance of last summer's franchise nonstarter "Amazing Spider-Man 2," it's official: Spider-Man is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In a late night message posted on Marvel.com (a bit of news so seismic it crashed the site), it was announced that Sony and Marvel Studios will be joining forces on the spectacular Spider-Man. The web-slinger will first make an appearance in an undisclosed Marvel movie before moving on to his own movie on July 28th, 2017. Feige will co-produce with recently ousted Sony chief Amy Pascal, who started the franchise with Sam Raimi's original trilogy 13 years ago, and Sony will continue to finance, distribute, own, and have final creative control over the character.
This will be a "new creative direction" for the character, so Andrew Garfield fans will be disappointed by this news, while everyone else should be jumping up and down and screaming hysterically. Not only will Spider-Man be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the partnership opens up the possibility for Marvel characters to appear in Spider-Man. Yes, this is huge news indeed.
The fact that the new stand alone Spider-Man is coming up so soon means that there's only real one possible Marvel movie that he could appear in – "Captain America: Civil War" (he wouldn't fit into the more mystical realms of "Doctor Strange" and "Thor: Rangarok" is scheduled to open the same day as the new Spider-Man movie, so we suspect that will be bumped). If you've read the "Civil War" storyline (authored by Mark Millar, who wrote the comic book that this week's excellent "Kingsman: The Secret Service"), you know that Spider-Man is a huge part of that narrative, so we are very jazzed at this revelation.
Well, who do you want to see as the new neighborhood Spider-Man?
UPDATE: In the wake of the Spider-Man news, Marvel as readjusted their release schedule for four upcoming titles (the two-part "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Doctor Strange" will stay on course). The new release dates follow. Also: Spider-Man will be in "Captain America: Civil War." This is a guarantee.
"Thor: Ragnarok" -- November 3, 2017
"Black Panther" -- July 6, 2018
"Captain Marvel" -- November 2, 2018
"Inhumans" -- July 12, 2019
(And yes it kind of sucks we have to wait even longer for Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.)