Marvel Studios has struck a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment that will allow it to incorporate Spider-Man into films from the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the popular character will continue to appear in movies produced by Sony.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Spider-Man will likely first appear in the Marvel-produced Captain America: Civil War. The superhero then returns to Sony for the next installment in its $4 billion franchise, due out in 2017.
The Hollywood Reporter also says that actor Andrew Garfield is not expected to reprise the character he played in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel. This means that audiences can expect to see their third Spider-Man actor since the Sony franchise kicked off in 2002. But the Sony-Marvel deal also means that moviegoers can savor the tantalizing possibility that other Marvel characters — which include Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk — will be able to pollinate future films.
Spider-Man was a Marvel Comics creation, but the company licensed the character to Sony Pictures' subsidiary Columbia in 1999.