Major Spider-Man Reboot Details: 'Civil War' Confirmed, First Casting Ideas Revealed

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 17:49 Written by  iamrogue
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Major Spider-Man Reboot Details: 'Civil War' Confirmed, First Casting Ideas Revealed

The day since Sony and Marvel announced their unprecedented partnership on Spider-Man has been an online maelstrom of hyperbole, speculation, and knee-jerk madness.

Neither Sony nor Marvel's mama-company Disney have issued any further official information since dropping that newsbomb, but details about Spidey's latest reboot have begun emerging anyway.  Preliminary info regarding the inter-studio deal reveals just which Marvel movie the wall-crawler will debut in, how long the arrangement is set to last, the fate of Spider-Man's old producers, and even two very, very early names in the running to play the new Peter Parker.

Sony Pictures, which has made more than $4 billion off its five Spider-Man movies, has been trying to figure out just what to do with its one mega-franchise since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became the lowest-grossing installment last summer.  Rather than respond to Disney's overtures to buy back the rights to Spidey (reportedly for billions), the studio instead negotiated with Marvel for a more temporary co-production deal, a process that was held up by the devastating Sony hack last year.

The two sides came to an agreement, though: Sony leases out the character to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, in exchange, Marvel co-produces Spider-Man's next movie, now set for July 28, 2017.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal covers only the one MCU appearance in next year's Captain America: Civil War and the one solo movie, but both companies see this as a first step and are exploring options for a more long-term arrangement.

Even as it stands now, this is potentially a boon for Sony, which desperately needs some creative guidance from someone who actually understands the character, and Marvel, which gets cinematic access to the immensely popular character, an immensely popular character it already owns the merchandising rights to.  Sony retains final creative say one way or another, though.

So outgoing Sony honcho Amy Pascal and current Marvel honcho/king of the comic book movie Kevin Feige will co-produce the new Spider-Man feature, which wipes out the Amazing Spider-Man continuity, taking Parker back to high school (remember when that was a big part of rebooting him in the first place three years ago?).  Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, the duo who've had a Spidey in a headlock for a decade and made it clear they wanted no part in crossover shenanigans, are now executive producers, positions that basically just titles without substantial creative say.

With Marc Webb, who directed the last two installments, getting kicked to the curb, Feige, Pascal, et al. are seeking a director and screenwriter for the as-yet untitled 2017 Spider-Man adventure.  The first priority is the character's reintroduction in Captain America: Civil War, which Joe and Anthony Russo began shooting in April. 

That means casting.  Since Pete's going back to Midtown High School, 31-year-old Andrew Garfield is out and younger actors are being sought.  Variety reports that two actors under consideration are Fury's Logan Lerman and Dylan O'Brien of Maze Runner, both of whom are 23 years young.  Nobody's been approached yet, however, and obviously there are other big decisions that have to be made first, like hiring a director and deciding whether the new Spider-Man is even Peter Parker. 

There's still a faint chance it could instead be Miles Morales, the fan-favorite who took up the webhead's mantle in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man.  Morales, an African-American and Puerto Rican character, would certainly generate a lot of attention, but the odds of Sony rolling the dice aren't too great.

Long before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit theaters, Sony announced not just two more sequels, but also spinoffs Sinister Six and Venom.  Both are still in development, as is the female-centric spinoff codenamed Glass Ceiling, but the planned 2016 release of Drew Goddard's villainous team-up Sinister Six has been scrapped.  Sony will keep these projects in the cooker until Civil War and the solo movie give an indication of how well the new approach is actually working with audiences.

It's been more than a decade since there was a great Spider-Man movie; all three pictures since have been fatally compromised by studio over-calculation, and, in the cast of the last reboot, fundamental misconceptions about the character's appeal.  With Feige and the Marvel braintrust stepping in, hopefully these basics can be sorted out and Sony can be saved from its own worst impulses.

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