Over the past few weeks, this rumor has been all over the web: Sony and Marvel are planning a Spider-Man universe within the MCU. In other words, the studios want to make the most of the web-crawler, his supporting characters, and his rogues gallery. And this sounds awesome to me, even though I have no idea how they'll manage to do it. Maybe Doctor Strange will usher in the idea of a multiverse, and the studios will build on that? I don't know.
What is certain, though, is that this is an opportunity for Marvel to fully cash in on one of the most well-known superheroes. Furthermore, it would basically mean a secondary MCU, centered on Spider-Man. Which means more movies, and more money at the box office.
And it all started with a Hollywood Reporter interview with Tom Rothman (movie chief at Sony), who said that this is the plan: a Spider-Man universe. Was it all just an ungrounded tease? Maybe so. That's why this is just a rumor. But anyway, for this to happen, the following characters will need to appear.
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This could be a possible beginning - having more than one Spider-Man, in order to attract the attention of a greater villain. Thus, the Jackal is quintessential for this storyline, since he is the one to perfect the cloning process. Of course, there is no word just yet about a Gwen Stacy in the MCU. And there needn't be. Jackal can become infatuated with any girlfriend of Peter Parker.
Obviously, the Clone Saga just starts to scratch the surface of a Spider-Man universe. However, even if it doesn’t follow as I'd expect, it would still be an interesting storyline. As I’ve said so many times, I haven't seen just yet a dark story like this one in the MCU.
So whether it would be the beginning of a Spider-Man universe or not, the Clone Saga needs to happen. Jackal is too interesting a villain for Marvel and Sony to skip.
Entering the Multiverse
Thus far, Ant-Man has brought in the idea that other dimensions exist. And we can all expect that Doctor Strange will further expand the MCU in this direction. So what if Marvel decides to focus the action of these alternate universes on everything Spider-Man related? If Iron Man was the face of the MCU for three phases, there is no one better to take his place.
Thus, a first sequel wouldn't need to introduce the big baddie just yet. Instead it should further the idea that the web-crawler is more important than everybody believes. How? By introducing his alternate versions.
And the first one should be Miles Morales, who is the most popular alternate Spider-Man. There has already been a rumor that this will happen, following Donald Glover’s being cast in Homecoming. So it shouldn't be such a big surprise if the second Spider-Man solo flick features Miles Morales as the web crawler.
I'm joking - it would be a perfect surprise if that were to happen. And it would be even more perfect (if I may say so) if the movie were set in an alternate universe.
Another movie should further the idea that multiple Spider-Men exist. And it should begin with the introduction of Silk. This would give us an origin story for Peter Parker's Spider-Man, as well. I'd pretty much want to see Marvel's take on this.
However, the focus should be on Silk, and the reason why she hasn't been in the spotlight. As we know, everybody is aware of Spider-Man's existence. The same cannot be said about Silk. Why not? Here the plot thickens, with the introduction of Ezekiel (who should just cameo). A little backstory for Silk wouldn't hurt as well.
Obviously, she should be presented as a superhero in her own right, as she battles goblins and whatnot. But the main idea should be that there is a connection between her and Peter Parker and that there are greater powers at work. Obviously, it wouldn't hurt if Morlun cameoed.
Before you jump in, saying this isn't the Silk from the comics, I should say that this would be an adaptation, based on the premise that the multiverse exists.
He is essential, even if just because Marvel has to bring the genuine version of the character to the big screen. And, since the first solo Spider-Man flick is called Homecoming, this has every chance to happen.
Obviously, Venom won't appear in the first movie. But the symbiote should. And then it is just a matter of time until Eddie Brock becomes the first incarnation of the super villain. For that matter, it would take more than just Spider-Man to take this villain down. And since the Marvel flicks are more successful when more superheroes are featured, I don't see why the studios wouldn't dedicate an entire flick just to him.
And I shouldn't even mention that this opens a host of other possibilities, even for the larger MCU.
This is the flick Sony has announced but never made. Now that Marvel has the reins, it should be done. And this would be a first for the studio, with a flick focused just on the villains. And, obviously, they should win in the confrontation with Spider-Man. Just as it was supposed to happen in the third Amazing Spider-Man flick. How come?
Well, Doc Ock should be one of the members of the Sinister Six, because this would lead into a Superior Spider-Man storyline. Which would be yet again a first for Marvel, having a reformed villain as the superhero.
And this is when the film would get better, with the Superior Spider-Man battling the rest of the Sinister Six. Again, this film would be a great way to build up toward a final Spider-Verse movie.
With Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU expanded into the far reaches of the universe. With Doctor Strange it will go into other dimensions. What if Marvel were to also plan to show the fans a glimpse of the future?
Spider-Man 2099 is the perfect opportunity to do this. It wouldn't just present a dystopian future, but it will also show everybody what happens when heroes go missing. In a way, this is what Fox did with X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, Marvel shouldn't introduce time-travel just yet. Instead, it should just focus on the heroic actions of a future Spider-Man.
Oh, boy - the Spider-Man universe is so rich! Marvel and Sony need to work together in order to bring as many versions of the web crawler to life as possible. Building a Spider-Man universe within the MCU has huge potential - both from a financial point of view and from a creative one.
I won't go for the obvious choice of Jessica Drew, just like I won't choose the Spider-Gwen version. There are plenty of Spider-Women out there - and Sony and Marvel should be able to work something out. This would add an extra dimension to the Spider-Man mythos and it would push the universe towards its final stage.
No matter what iteration of the character is chosen, this would add an extra superheroine to the MCU roster. And no matter what iteration of the character is chosen, it will always be an interesting story, with numerous possibilities for other movies being revealed.
It might as well be the Mary Jane version of the character - it would still be a welcome change. If Marvel and Sony will have already established the multiverse, the possibilities are limitless.
The other heroes
If until now I’ve mentioned just the Spider-Man related characters, this doesn't mean that all the other heroes should be forgotten. For that matter, the MCU should expand with the Inhumans, explore all the other alien races still owned by Marvel, introduce the concept of vampirism and other supernatural abilities, and so on.
Having a Spider-Man universe within the MCU doesn't mean that the Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, should be forgotten. In the same way, Marvel should pursue (hopefully) its plans of bringing the Fantastic Four and the X-Men into the fold.
As said, the Spider-Man universe would mean MORE superhero movies. And I guess everybody can agree that this is what we all want.
Moving on to the last point…
Just like the Infinity War, the Spider-Verse adaptation deserves more than just one movie. And that just for the casual moviegoers to understand the magnitude of the events unfolding. Morlun will have been already presented until now, with cameos and appearances throughout the previous movies. Just as it happened with Thanos in the first two phases of the MCU.
And it won’t be just the Spider-Men mentioned until now who will go up against him. No, against him there will be all of the superheroes of the MCU. If Thanos threatens the entire universe, Morlun is a threat for all the universes. And no single hero can stop him.
If Marvel plants the seeds starting with Homecoming, it won't have to worry about finding a stronger villain than Morlun. And it all needs to start with the Jackal - who is already rumored to appear next year.
What do you think? Which of these characters should appear in the MCU as soon as possible? And do you also think that a couple of Spider-Verse phases will attract the audiences just like the first two MCU stages did?