Sony Pictures and Walt Disney have agreed to share custody of Spider-Man, in a deal the superhero could appear in a future Avengers movie.

Spider-Man Swings to Marvel Studios in Major Sony Partnership

, which has been the steward of the franchise since 1999, is partnering up with Disney-owned Marvel Studios to bring a new version of the character to life.

The deal comes after Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 under-performed at the box office last year.

Despite a respectable $709m (£465m) box office haul, it was the lowest-grossing of Sony’s five Spider-Man films so far.

The character could now appear in such as Iron Man and Thor.

However, the timing of the deal makes it likely his first outing will be in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. The character already appears in the comic book version of the story.

Marvel is hugely successful at making superhero movies, and that means Spider-Man should be in much better shape the next time Sony puts him in a solo film.

Once the character is relaunched, Sony will then release a new Spider-Man movie on July 28, 2017. Marvel’s Kevin Feige will join Amy Pascal as a producer on the new movie. The duo will “collaborate on a new creative direction for the web-slinger,” according to the companies. Ari Arad and Matt Tolmach, who were producers on the previous movie, will now executive produce.

There is also talk of looking for ways to integrate characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the Marvel movies are known, into future Spider-Man films.

The move is a major team-up for two rival studios. Spider-Man has been Sony’s most lucrative franchise, but the most recent installment, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, disappointed. Disney’s Marvel, on the other hand, has had unprecedented success with its hero films.

Sony, however, will retain the final creative control and continue to finance, distribute and own the new movies.

Fans have been clamouring for Spider-Man to join Marvel’s roster on the big screen for more than a decade.

The Spider-Man move has been speculated for some time. Among the fanboy crowd, talk of a partnership between the companies arose last summer after the poor reception of Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Although the movie made $708 million worldwide, it was the lowest cume of all the franchise entries. More critically, the movie was widely panned by fans. Talks were confirmed when emails leaked during Sony’s hacking crisis although they seemingly broke down in the fall.

When Feige was asked about the rumored partnership at Marvel’s townhall in October, he responded coyly:

“Anything that wasn’t specifically and obviously revealed today is either not true at all, or still rumor until it’s worked out.”

Send this to a friend