One of the things that made Marvel Comics so great was the sense that all the characters lived in the same world. It’s not just that they crossed over with one another, because the DC heroes did that too–Superman and Batman shared World’s Finest, the Flash would visit Green Lantern. But the with the Marvel heroes, you expected Daredevil to bump into the Thing on the street not just because they lived in the same town but because a lot of great adventures started off that way.
And this might be the reason why so many Marvel fans bemoan the fact that the film rights to Marvel’s mutant characters and Fantastic Four are with Fox and Spider-Man is at Sony. It guarantees that the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be truly be a shared cinematic universe of all of Marvel characters.
Well, never say never.
Drew McWeeny over at Hitfix buried a juicy rumor in his latest ruminations about the state of the Marvel film universe. Since I do not want to be accused of misinterpreting what he said, I’ll reprint the pertinent paragraph verbatim:
Sony, on the other hand, may be doing things the opposite way. While I can’t get the confirmations I need to verify the story, I’m hearing that there are some very cool “Spider-Man” plans being discussed that would help Sony refocus their enormously important franchise while also opening up some connections in the onscreen Marvel movie universe that would blow fandom’s minds. Will it work out? I don’t know. I would love to be able to state for sure that it’s happening. What seems clear from what I’ve heard is that Marvel wants to be able to play with all of their characters, and if they can make that work creatively and on a corporate level, they will, and that means the world gets bigger again.
It’s a vague statement, but it seem pretty clear that McWeeny is saying that Sony is discussing letting Spider-Man be used by Marvel, and perhaps some Marvel characters used in the Spideyverse.
This comes after the story that the Oscorp Tower almost made an appearance in the New York skyline of The Avengers, which only adds an air of believability to this rumor. Something else that make the character sharing more plausible in some eyes is the general opinion that Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise is in a stage of flux after what is seen as a disappointing showing by The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sony needs something to inject a bit of excitement into the franchise. This certainly will do the job.
While this, if this is true, is a positive first step towards a united film universe for the Marvel characters, don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to fall in line. While the failure of the forthcoming Fantastic Four reboot might free those characters to return to Marvel proper, Fox will keep a stranglehold on the mutants as long as they keep making money for the studio. And Marvel isn’t winning any friends at Fox by prohibiting any new mutants to be created denying Fox and new characters to play with and cancelling Fantastic Four as to deprive the reboot with a form of comic book promotion.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that this is a rumor. And, according to Devin Faraci at Badass Digest, it’s only one of three possibilities Sony is thinking of for Spider-Man (the others are doing a soft reboot in The Sinister Six with a new actor as Spider-man [like THAT was why The Amazing Spider-Man failed] or keeping Spider-Man in mothballs while they work on developing some secondary characters) so maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much quite as of yet.