Two weeks ago we learned via hacked emails that Sony Pictures had been in discussions with Marvel Studios about loaning out Spider-Man for a possible appearance in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. As more people sift through the mountain of emails that have been made public, more information is coming to light about those plans.
The folks at Bikini Robot Army have unearthed this email from February 11, 2014, which outlines Marvel’s proposed use of Spider-Man in not just Captain America: Civil War, but also the two-part Avengers film Infinity War before an appearance in a new solo film in 2019.
— val broeksmit (@BikiniRobotArmy) December 18, 2014
A few things to note. Having Peter as a teenager definitely breaks away from the continuity that Sony has established with their recent reboot of the Spider-Man franchise with Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2. But what is really interesting is Marvel’s insistence that Sony have a solo Spider-Man film in place for later 2019, following his appearance in Infinity War, essentially making that film the lead off of Marvel’s Phase Four cycle of movies.
And it certainly makes sense from Marvel’s standpoint to have Spidey in their lineup for Phase 4. By the time Phase 3 culminates with the two-part Infinity War Avengers flicks, the studio will have burned through all the contractual appearances for the actors playing their biggest profile characters – Robert Downy Jr as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America. While the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy shows that Marvel can turn their second- and even third-tier characters into box office stars, there is a certain security in knowing that a high-profile character like Spider-Man is anchoring the next phase of movies.