One of the most confusing movie franchises to emerge in recent months involves Sony’s plans for a new Spider-Man film universe. The question no one can seem to give a straight answer to is whether or not all of these new films will actually be connected to one another.
Let’s back up: for the uninitiated, Sony acquired the rights to the Spider-Man franchise back in the 1990s, long before Marvel created their own film studio and a successful cinematic universe.
In the 2000s, Sony released three Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as everyone’s favorite web-slinger.
When plans for Spider-Man 4 fell apart, Sony rebooted the franchise with Andrew Garfield taking over the title role in The Amazing Spider-Man.
When the 2014 sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, underperformed at the box office, Sony decided it was time to take drastic action.
The studio decided to bring in Marvel Studios to handle Spider-Man since they had already successfully created their Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers.
Sony continues to retain the film rights to Spider-Man and all related characters, but they handed over creative control of the films to Marvel.
As a result, Marvel introduced Tom Holland’s new Spider-Man to the MCU in last year’s Captain America: Civil War and the character will headline his own film in next month’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In the meantime, Sony announced plans to created their own shared universe using other Spider-Man characters they owned, starting with 2018’s Venom starring Tom Hardy and a planned film starring Black Cat and Silver Sable.
Originally, it was made clear that these films would exist in their own separate continuity; they would share a universe (“Sony’s Marvel Universe,” as it was dubbed), but they would not connect to Spider-Man or the MCU.
Last week, Homecoming director Jon Watts and Marvel president Kevin Feige confirmed that the Sony films would be separate from the MCU, but a few days later, producer Amy Pascal told an interviewer the new movies “all take place in the world” of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Are Sony and Marvel just not on the same page, or is someone lying? Time will tell, but at this point, anything is possible.