Marvel’s “Cinematic Universe” (MCU) has grown and succeeded by implementing a carefully planned schedule of movies with top actors and tightly controlled stories. Marvel Studios, owned by Disney, has expanded the connected series of movies, combining huge franchises like Iron Man, Captain America and The Hulk into one interlinked narrative arc. But now Sony wants in and fans are getting nervous.
Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most recognized and beloved superheroes. The film’s are produced by Columbia Pictures, a Sony subsidiary, and have been unarguably sh***y since the Toby Maguire-led Spider-Man 2.
The soon to be released Spider-Man: Homecoming was brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) through a deal between Marvel Studios and Sony. Spider-Man also appeared in Marvel Studio’s Captain America: Civil War, much to the delight of fans and critics who loved actor Tom Holland’s portrayal of Spidey. Reports from early screenings of Homecoming reveal the movie will likely repeat the success of the rest of the MCU films.
But it seems Sony was given an inch and want to take a mile. In an interview between Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and controversial Sony Pictures producer Amy Pascal, Pascal claims two upcoming Spider-Man spin-off movies, Venom and Silver & Black will be part of the MCU.
Feige had previously stated the films would not be part of the MCU and the uncomfortable look on his face suggests Pascal’s statement may be problematic.
So why is this a big deal?
Well, it seems Marvel fans are worried too many outside producers could start to degrade the quality of the MCU, which aside from a few outliers (Thor 2, Iron Man 2), has managed to consistently pump out high-quality, high grossing movies. Columbia Pictures, on the other hand, has not been adept at making great big budget action movies of late.
Pascal was the brilliant mind that brought us the all-female Ghostbusters of 2016. Her decision to completely sideline Ivan Reitman, the film’s original director, resulted in a movie untethered from the original films fans loved, save for lame cameos and unsubtle references. The film went so over budget, it made it virtually impossible to make money and squashed all hopes of continuing the franchise.
One of the film’s Pascal wants in the MCU is Silver & Black, a female-led Spider-Man spin-off starring superheroes Black Cat and Silver Sable. The project was originally named Glass Ceiling *cringe* and was not based on any original material in the comics. Sound familiar? Next thing we know we’ll have Paul Feig signed on to direct.
The fact that Pascal is even still running these huge Sony projects is surprising. In 2015, she stepped down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures after leaked emails revealed she said a bunch of racist s**t about Barack Obama of all people.
Before attending a breakfast with Obama and a number of Hollywood bigwigs, Pascal, a longtime Democratic donor, joked over email about how the president wouldn’t like finance movies but would like “Django” and “Kevin Hart.”
We’ll have to wait and see how deeply entrenched Pascal can get herself in the MCU. By all accounts, it’s already far too deep.