Every so often, agreements are reached that change markets and industries. The worlds of cinema and gaming experienced this recently, when Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios came together to announce an historic agreement over the rights to the iconic character Spiderman.
In February, these partners agreed to share the rights for Superman within the cinematic universe. This ends a complex and decidedly convoluted licensing agreement, which will enable Spiderman to appear in a wider range of films and share the screen with fellow Marvel icons.
To those who are confused, here is a brief backstory. Essentially, Spiderman has always been a mainstay of the Marvel comic book series, ever since he debuted in the 1960’s. Having emerged as one of the most popular and instantly recognisable characters, Spiderman became a household name and attracted the attention of numerous film studios and producers in Hollywood. As Marvel had yet to move into this market and create it’s now famous Cinematic Universe, Sony Pictures were successful in securing the movie rights for an undisclosed price.
The impact of this agreement was immediate, with Sony Pictures instantly putting the clamps on a proposed feature film called ‘The Amazing Spiderman 3‘. Instead, Marvel will pick up the gauntlet and have set about redefining this proposition to create a new and exciting cinematic Spiderman. This will include casting for a brand new actor to portray Spiderman and his alter-ego Peter Parker, with this process already well underway.
In addition to this, Marvel has also set to work on creating a new costume for their returning hero. According to Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada (who was speaking at ComicCon 2015), the aim is to create a truly iconic costume that engages readers and ultimately blows them away. With the initial design work having already been completed, there are already said to be a number of elements that defy traditional conventions.
In many ways, the restoration of Spiderman to the Marvel fold is fitting, as it is here that this iconic character first came to prominence. It is the work and creativity of Marvel than have enabled Sony Pictures to profit, while also leading to the development of further literature and even slot games characters for online casino platforms. Having retained the fundamental rights to the character as its gradually built its Cinematic Universe and impressive series of silver screen hits, it was only a matter of time before Spiderman made his debut in Marvel’s new and exciting world.
Marvel is unlikely to wait for long before unleashing the new incarnation of Spiderman onto the viewing public, especially as it embarks on the process of redefining its character base and targeting new audience members. He will subsequently join a host of new female characters such as the Muslim teenager Ms. Marvel, while supporting icons such as the Black Panther and Doctor Strange are also set for their cinematic debut in the coming years.