It’s official: Spider-Man is staying in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Sony and Disney struck a new deal.
Spidey’s surprise exit back in August left us worrying how it will affect Marvel’s Phase 4, especially in terms of the storylines set up and teased by Spider-Man: Far From Home, but all is well in the world now.
So what does the future now look like for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man?
First things first, there will be a Spider-Man 3 in the MCU and it’ll be part of Phase 4 as it hits cinemas on July 16, 2021, before the release of Thor: Love and Thunder, currently the final movie scheduled for the next phase.
The new deal between Sony and Disney will also see him pop up in a future Marvel Studios movie that isn’t Spider-Man 3 (much like his roles in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War).
We don’t yet know what that MCU movie will be, but without an Avengers movie on the horizon (as far as we know), could we see him in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Perhaps as part of a post-credits scene that sets up Spider-Man 3, much like Thor popped up in Doctor Strange to set up Thor: Ragnarok.
It feels like he’d have to interact with a character he’s met before, so you’d imagine that rules out an appearance in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings or The Eternals. Black Widow is set after Civil War, so Natasha Romanoff knows Spidey, but he seems an odd fit there (especially as the movie is near the end of filming).
That leaves the Doctor Strange sequel or Thor: Love and Thunder. He didn’t really interact with Thor in Infinity War, but did spend a lot of time with Doctor Strange on Titan, so if Peter Parker needs help now that his identity has been revealed, he could turn to the Sorcerer Supreme.
In the comics, Doctor Strange – along with Iron Man and Mister Fantastic – actually created a forgetting spell after Spider-Man’s identity was revealed to the world. Could we see something similar happen in the MCU?
In the official announcement for the deal, Feige said: “He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
Could it possibly be that the new deal struck between the two studios will see Tom Holland pop up as Spider-Man in one of Sony’s movies?
We know that there’s a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel on the way at some point, and Holland was originally set for a cameo in the first movie before the idea was scrapped, and he didn’t even get to film it.
The MCU could easily slot into the Spider-Verse world as it wouldn’t necessarily mean that the two universes are joined.
We assume that the MCU’s version of the multiverse will finally be established in the Doctor Strange sequel after Mysterio lied to us in Far From Home. Into the Spider-Verse already set up its version of the multiverse, so each timeline could just be a part of each movie’s multiverse.
It doesn’t have to mean that every Sony Marvel character exists in the MCU, it could just be limited to Spider-Man. (Still with us?)
Less likely, but equally intriguing, is that Holland could appear in Venom 2, something that hasn’t entirely been ruled out by Feige.
Amy Pascal – who co-produced the MCU Spider-Man movies with Feige – also said that Sony has “a lot of stories to tell about Spider-Man, in every facet”, and wouldn’t rule out a Venom crossover either.
“We have big plans for Tom Holland to be a part of everything,” she teased, jokingly adding: “Every movie we ever do! He needs to be in every movie that I ever work on!”
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At this moment in time, we have no idea what Sony and Disney’s new deal includes, so we can’t say for certain that Sony’s Marvel movies were part of the future for Holland’s Spider-Man.
But that quote from Feige is a fascinating one as if plans weren’t in place (or at least talked about), it would feel like baiting the fans and a cheap tease, when the only news that really mattered – for now – is that Spidey is back in the MCU.
Feige rarely dangles an illusory carrot, if you will, so that makes us feel like it’s a distinct possibility in Spider-Man’s future that Holland, like JK Simmons in Far From Home, plays the same role in two universes.
Spidey’s back – and he could be bigger than ever.