So apparently the film rights to Spider-Man have diverted back to Sony Pictures, who was previously in a deal with Marvel studios to feature Spider-Man in their “Marvel cinematic universe”. This was, I think, in part, due to the “Amazing Spider-Man” films not being a huge success. While the films featured an OK Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man and Emma Stone as a great Gwen Stacy, the films largely suffered from a weird plot decision, focusing on Peter Parker’s deceased parents (Which has at points been brought up in the comic, but not quite in this fashion) and their role in his origin story. The second film-which featured three villains on top of all this,the romance, *and* an attempt to introduce a Sinister Six spin-off, pretty much flopped.
So Sony made a deal with Marvel to reintroduce the character with Tom Holland. This Spider-Man was somewhat made different from Sony’s, with no real attempt to explain his origin or what happened with Uncle Ben. He was also sort of mentored by Iron Man, who occasionally upgraded Peter’s suit.
This version made his debut in Captain America: Civil War, starred in both Avengers Infinity saga films, and two solo films (although Iron Man showed up in Homecoming, with his “bodyguard” Happy Hogan also playing a fairly large role in both films).
The films also mainly brought Spider-Man out of New York City, with him showing up in Washington and later across Europe. Spider-Man’s supporting cast was also a bit shaken up. While Aunt May was still around (although notably far less elderly) Peter’s classmates and supporting staff were shuffled around a bit, with Ned Leeds replacing Harry Osborn as the best friend, Betty Brant being a fellow classmate, no Gwen in sight, Mary Jane becoming Michelle Jones and Liz Allen-only a short lived interest in the comics (and later being Harry Osborn’s wife)-being the love interest in the first movie. Although Flash Thompson remained consistent as Peter’s bully, but also paradoxically a huge fan of Spider-Man.
Until recently, Peter’s Daily Bugle job and foil J. Jonah Jameson were left out of things as well-with of course, “Far From Home” ending on a cliffhanger with Jonah exposing Spider-Man’s identity due to some doctored footage from Mysterio. Now, we might never know what happens next (Perhaps, MCU Spidey just got arrested, maybe some future Marvel project will make some jokeingly vague reference to that without saying Spider-Man or Parker).
So why in part did this happen? Although some of the details are a bit foggy Sony seems to say that because there’s so many other things Marvel’s/Feige’s doing that it’ll delay Spider-Man III and that wasn’t part of the deal, although this is still a developing story.
There’s another factor to consider, Sony’s been somewhat more sucessful on their own with the Spider-Man brand as of late. While it cooperated with Disney/Marvel for the Tom Holland film, they were still able to make their own independent films based on the Spider-man mythos but without any MCU references….and surprisingly, both were big hits.
“Venom” took Spider-Man’s involvement in his origin out of it’s storyline, instead focusing on the alien origins of Brock’s suit and his sort of vigilante stance rather than his vengeance (Granted, the character’s pretty much been that way since the mid 90’s). Despite mixed reviews it made a great deal of money.
Another big success for Sony was the “Into the Spider-Verse” movie, which featured Miles Morales, the former second “Ultimate Spider-Man” (Now part of the regular Marvel comics universe) in an adventure that also had several elements from the comic’s “Spider-verse” crossover (minus Morlun and his family of Spider-Vampires). The unique animation style, self-parody and fun story also led to a massive success.
Sony is also now filming “Morbius”, which, like “Venom” features a Spider-Man affiliated character who is a vigilante. In this case, a Vampire one (although quite different from Blade).
Although not in production, “Silver and Black” is also being developed, featuring frequent Spider-Man guest stars (and romantic interests) Silver Sable and Black Cat (Black Cat was “sort of” shown in Amazing Spider-Man II as Osborn employee Felicia, played by future “Rogue one” star Felcitiy Jones).
In addition to all this, Sony scored a huge hit with the PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game which I’ve talked about before. Although the gaming division is quite different from the movie division, Sony did buy the studio which made the game just the day before…
So perhaps Sony is a bit more confident in their handling of the license then they were back in 2014.
So what happens with Spider-man now? *technically* they can still do something, perhaps even with Holland, but it can’t have anything to do with the MCU, which might be difficult since the solo films were pretty much heavily tied in with the Iron Man mythos (….and “Far From Home” likewise dealt a lot with plot threads from “Endgame”). Again, this is all still new and perhaps they can make a new deal which will allow Spidey to remain in the MCU. However, I won’t be surprised if we get a fourth take/third reboot in the near future.
However, until then, looks like this is the current state of things….