John Gholson is a lifelong comic book fanboy who has previously covered all manner of superhero news at AOL. After dabbling with comic book self-publishing in the '90s, John moved on to study sequential art at the Savannah College of Art & Design. You can also read his Avengers Countdown here at Movies.com.
No one seriously considered the possibility that Spider-Man would be swinging through The Avengers until actress Jenny Agutter got a little mixed-up with her Marvel superheroes. She told the Radio Times that she’d seen the dressing trailers for both Iron Man and Spider-Man, and many websites were off like a shot reporting that the character would definitely pop up in the film. Well, I’ve seen The Avengers, and I don’t think the total lack of something is a spoiler, so here goes nothing, for those still holding out hope: Spider-Man is not in The Avengers.
Marvel’s characters are all tied up with three studios at the moment. One is Disney, who owns Marvel outright. They’ve got all of the characters that aren’t being cinematically controlled by Sony or 20th Century Fox. Fox has X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Daredevil, while Sony has Ghost Rider and our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler Spider-Man. While I’m sure Disney/Marvel would love to have these character back into the fold, the agreements in place allow Sony and Fox to retain the film rights as long as they make good use of the characters within allotted time limits. This is why Fox has talked about rebooting Fantastic Four and Daredevil and why Sony went ahead with a second Ghost Rider even though nobody was really itching for one.
So, what would it take to get Spider-Man in The Avengers 2? Dumptrucks filled with cash. The combined worldwide grosses for Sam Raimi’s first three Spider-Man films add up to nearly $2.5 billion. And that’s not even touching licensed movie merch. This is not a property that Sony is going to let go of without a fight.
For this Avengers fan, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Sure, in the recent comics Spider-Man may be on the team, but he was a dedicated solo act for at least 40 years of his 50-year run. Not having Spider-Man in an Avengers film is no different to me than Spider-Man not being in an Avengers comic. I think fans’ desires aren’t necessarily Avengers-specific, though. The greater tragedy (and I understand it’s not an actual tragedy -- nobody is dying here) is that we won’t get to see Spider-Man ever interact with the Hulk. We’ll never get to hear Captain America call him “son.” Even the Fantastic Four, who Spidey’s had a long history with, are off-limits due to his complicated relationship with Sony. Unless something drastic happens, Spider-Man will always be a solo act on the silver screen.
News from the Web
-- After all that talk of Spidey as a solo act, here’s a good example of a company making use of the allies that are part of the Spider-Man franchise. Beenox is using Black Cat in the tie-in video game for the movie. Fans know Felicia Hardy as a conflicted cat burglar and on-and-off love interest for Spider-Man, who’s much more interested in his costumed persona than him as Peter Parker. Hey, that sounds a lot like a certain character in a certain, different upcoming superhero movie! (via Superhero Hype)
-- The plan behind Spider-Men has finally been revealed! Brian Michael Bendis will be writing a brand new mini-series, in celebration of Spidey’s 50th anniversary, that sees Marvel Universe’s Peter Parker meeting up with the Ultimate Universe’s Miles Morales. Two different Spider-Men from two different realities with the same sense of personal responsibility will join forces against one of Spidey’s deadliest foes in the five-issue series which launches in June. (via Marvel)
-- I don’t even know how our friend at Movieline, Jen Yamato, came upon these Spider-Man dancing videos, but we’re glad she did. There are 13 (!) of them in total, and all feature Webhead shaking a tail feather and getting his groove on (spiders don’t have tail feathers). With great power comes great responsibility and popping and also locking. Here’s a favorite, simple for all the variety:
-- Even Mother Nature is getting in on the Amazing Spider-Man marketing blitz. The Mwamza flat-headed rock agama manages to look like both the hero AND the villain from the upcoming film. (via HuffPo Green)
-- Ever wonder what photographer Peter Parker’s pictures would look like in real life? Sony has set up a viral marketing website that acts as his phony photo blog (parkerspov.com). With some digging around on that site, Superhero Hype’s readers uncovered hidden Easter Eggs, including blueprints for Spidey’s webshooters.
-- We’ll leave you with a look at three new posters for the movie, two from Yahoo! and an international one shown off at Superhero Hype.
There are 64 days until the release of The Amazing Spider-Man on July 3, 2012. The Marc Webb film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans.