The Sony hackers released a fourth round of leaked files online earlier this week.
Included in the latest leak were private emails of Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal. According to the Wall Street Journal, among the emails is an exchange between Sony and Marvel over the use of Spider-Man in Disney’s upcoming “Captain America 3” due in theatres May 6, 2016.
WSJ reports Pascal told a business partner in an email that Marvel wanted to include Spidey in “Captain America: Civil War.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger was reportedly involved in the discussion, as well.
Comic fans know Spider-Man is a big part of the Civil War storyline in which a government law requires superheroes to reveal their identities. As expected, the law creates a huge divide between superheroes, with Tony Stark/Iron Man going head-to-head with Steve Rogers/Captain America.
Spider-Man finds himself caught in the middle of the duo.
Though it won’t be impossible, it will be a challenge for Disney to make the film without the popular Marvel character.
The move would have been huge for fans and both studios, especially Sony which is having a tough time re-igniting life into its Spider-Man franchise.
So far, its reboot of the series with Andrew Garfield has not performed as well as its original three films with Tobey Maguire.
|Movie||Year||Opening Weekend||Worldwide Box Office||Estimated Budget|
|“Spider-Man”||2002||$US114.8 million||$US821.7 million||$US139 million|
|“Spider-Man 2”||2004||$US88.1 million||$US783.7 million||$US200 million|
|“Spider-Man 3”||2007||$US151 million||$US890.9 million||$US258 million|
|“The Amazing Spider-Man”||2012||$US62 million||$US757.9 million||$US230 million|
|“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”||2014||$US91.6 million||$US709 million||$US200 million|
According to the WSJ, another email dated Oct. 30 from Sony Pictures president Doug Belgrad to Pascal discussed a “potential scenario that would see Marvel produce a new trilogy of Spider-Man movies.” Sony would have creative control along with marketing and distribution rights.
The emails confirm rumours from earlier this fall in which Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny reported Sony was in talks with Marvel to help “refocus” the Spidey franchise onscreen.
Sharing the Spidey character may be a smart move for the studio which announced it was pushing back “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” to 2018 to focus on expanding the Spidey universe in spin-off movies that included a Sinister Six film and a rumoured one on Peter Parker’s Aunt May.
According to leaked Sony emails acquired by Gawker, some employees believe Disney has a better handle on Spider-Man than the studio.
Disney, which purchased Marvel in 2009 for $US4 billion, retains the merchandise licensing rights to the web crawler. According to a report from the Licensing Letter acquired by The Hollywood Reporter, Spider-Man merchandise accounted for $US1.3 billion in global retail sales for 2013.
Reuters reports the Sony hack could wind up costing the studio upwards of $US100 million.
It may not be a bad time to reconsider sharing Spidey with the Mouse.
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