April 16, 2014

SPECULATION: X-MEN Will Be The Mid-Credits Scene In SPIDEY 2, Could Fox/Sony Team-Up In 2018?

It's been confirmed that both UK and US showings of Amazing Spider-Man 2 will feature a mid-credits trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past. The footage in question is straight from the film and not a crossover by any means. However, this might be the beginning of something bigger. It means that Fox and Sony understand the power of cross-promotion, concerning their Marvel characters. If anything, it's proving a bit of goodwill between the two studios. This isn't a giant leap towards Spidey showing-up in Wolverine 3, or Wolverine in Amazing Spider-Man 3, but could lead to the studios actually working something out for future. We know that X-Men producers Hugh Jackman and Lauren Shuler Donner have been talking-up the idea of joining the franchises.

Marvel's Kevin Feige has downplayed the idea and said they had zero plans of doing this. Giving the impression Disney and Marvel don't want anything to do with making this happen. Combining the characters would give more creditability to the other studios, and in the end disprove Feige's entire idea that Marvel can be successful with their own roster. It's true, Marvel Studios has been spending a lot of time and money developing their brand and film universe. Sharing it with Fox and Sony is likely never going to happen, when they have Disney protecting their interests and actively trying to retrieve the film rights.

Splitting a budget/profits of a massive film three-ways could be a legal nightmare, even more so when on of the three parties is actively trying to regain the rights entirely. My thought is that we might have chances of seeing Fox and Sony working together connecting their Marvel universe than every seeing Marvel Studios warming-up to the idea. The key factor here is producer Avi Arad, who's worked on  X-Men, Fantastic Four (still credited and involved) and Spider-Man franchises. Sony and Fox are watching the crazy amount of success that Marvel has been making post-Avengers, and I'm sure they are frustrated as hell. The new Spider-Man movies might be earning the most money, but they are catching a lot of criticism from fans/film critics alike, putting together an event film could really boost all three franchises.

We recently learned that Sony is planning on delaying The Amazing Spider-Man 4, which was eyeing a May 4th, 2018 release date. This slot apparently could go to one of the two spin-offs, which means there is only one major Spider-Man release officially. Oddly enough, this is the same summer that Fox planned an unnamed Marvel release for July 13th, 2018. At this point the X-Men: First Class /Wolverine/Amazing Spider-Man trilogies will be completed and Fantastic Four 2 will have already been released. It would be perfect timing to release a massive team-up, as it's also the same year projected for the release of Avengers 3.

The two studios are already gearing-up for a massive amount of X-Men (Gambit, Magneto, Deadpool, X-Force, Mystique) and Spidey (Sinister Six, Venom, Black Cat?) spin-offs, which are all in different development stages (some only mentioned in passing). If Marvel isn't willing to play-ball, it's possible we could see the two studios split costs and make it happen on their own. Avi has the ear of both Fox and Sony at this point, along with a previous working relationship with X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner. I'm sure he's hatched some sort of pitch of Spider-Man characters and Fantastic Four teaming-up with the X-Men. Even though, Matthew Tolmach and Avid Arad have actually dismissed any plans to join The Avengers. Their comments are concerning working with Marvel Studios, but not Fox, as Avi is still producing with for the new Fantastic Four movies.

In the era of Avengers and Batman Vs Superman/Justice League, the next step in superhero franchises is the event team-up. While people have already assumed Fantastic Four/X-Men team-up is down the line, adding Spider-Man to that lineup could put it on equal footing to the other big films. It's hard to believe we'll ever see a united Marvel universe, but this could be as close as we'll ever get. These studios are also in the business of making money, and if they're able to get a billion dollar film out of combining characters, they'll at least consider making deals with each other.

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