Acquiring the rights for Spider-Man was a huge task for Marvel, that at times felt like it was all going to fall through. If you ask the Russo brothers about it, they will tell you that they wrote the script as if Spidey would be in the film. They had no fall back. If the Spider-Man deal fell apart, then they would be forced to rewrite a script that hinges greatly on Spidey’s presence. Without Spider-Man, the film was going to be in jeopardy.
In an interview with io9, Anthony Russo talked about those stressful times,
“We had to commit to him, on a creative level, many, many months before he was available to us on a legal level. So they’d always say to us, ‘Guys you’ve gotta have a Plan B, this might not work.’ We’d say ‘We get it, we get it, we have a Plan B.’ But we never had a Plan B.”
Joe Russo also chimed in, saying,
“We had to will it into existence.Because of all the effort and energy it takes to get a deal like that done, if you let them know there’s an out, they will probably take the out.”
The finished announcement is history, and Spider-Man will be in Captain America: Civil War. The deal also solidified a partnership between two studios, that in the past was in trouble. The agreement will allow Marvel to produce more Spider-Man movies for Sony, with the first one being called Spider-Man: Homecoming set to hit theaters next summer. Sony hopes to capture some of that Marvel magic in their next series of Spidey films, a franchise that has not fared well among fans and critics.
Spider-Man will make his big début halfway through Captain America: Civil War, siding with Tony Stark in the conflict. But don’t misinterpret this role as a cameo. Spidey will have a major role in the film according to Anthony Russo, “He is critical to the movie, or else he wouldn’t be in the movie.”
Peter Parker’s age will ad a dynamic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we have yet to see. All of the established heroes are adults, where Spidey will still be in High School. According to both Russo bothers:
“The conflict between Tony [Stark] and Cap was so intense in this movie, we needed somebody who didn’t have the investment The Avengers have in their Civil War and their family, and we also wanted a much younger character who would stand in contrast to the more experienced heroes. [Someone] who’d bring a different point of view to that battle.”
This sounds like a dream-come-true situation, but Marvel CEO Kevin Feige says it was a stressful time:
“[Writers] Chris [Markus] and Steve [McFeely] started to chart out various versions of the movie, [Versions] without Iron Man, [versions] without Spider-Man—but we’re very lucky we got to make the whole one. The one we really wanted do.”
Feige also says that Spidey will not be a full-time hero, rather he does it in his spare time:
“The most important thing for us is we wanted him to stand apart, as he did in his debut in the early sixties, He’s a kid who has these abilities, goes out in his spare time, tries to do some good, and he exists in a world where The Avengers can fly overhead occasionally.”
Chris Markus, one of the writers of Civil War, says that Spider-Man needed to be as young as he was in the beginning of the Spider-man comics. He goes on to say:
“Just a kid. And that’s both fun just to write because it’s a kid who has superpowers, but also this is someone seeing the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] with fresh eyes. We’re 13 movies in. All of these characters have been through hell. So the wonder at seeing at an Iron Man suit is gone for them.”
Steve Feely also says that Peter Parker and Scott Lang will be the fanboys in this film, both having moments where they freak out when they meet the Avengers. Feige concludes by saying, “Guess what? There’s a Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Captain America: Civil War hits theaters on May 6.
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