A person can sound crazy for passionately arguing about something that seems trivial to others. Such is the way it is with me and this topic. I am going to try to articulate why I care about the relationship between Spider-Man and Captain America and perhaps in the end you will too. My hope is that executives at SONY and Marvel feel the same way.
Spider-Man's film rights are currently owned by SONY. Marvel would love to have Spider-Man enter their cinematic universe (The MCU) but want more creative control of the character. Many speculate that Spider-Man will in fact at some point move into the MCU. SONY has been having issues developing the character on their own and the move would springboard the character back on top. For Marvel, Spider-Man is by far their #1 character and their universe will never feel complete without him. As DC begins to roll out their own shared universe you can not help but notice that they have all the licenses to their major characters intact. Even though Marvel is ahead of the game with their universe they seem very handicapped without having their number one character on board.
Rumors continue to circle around the deal and whether it will occur. One thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that Spider-Man will not likely appear in Captain America 3 Civil War. The deal with SONY / Marvel appears to be ongoing and the script is already being written / finalized for Civil War. The window here was tight to begin with and may now be officially closed.
This disappoints me ......BIG TIME. Why?
Is it because Spider-Man was part of the Civil War comic story? Nope. He can be replaced in the story and I have no doubt that the Russo's will make a great movie. It will be awesome I am sure.
My issue is that the relationship between Captain America and Spider-Man is very important. Outside of comicbook fans the power of this relationship is not widely known. Spider-Man and Captain America have not appeared in each other's movies before, and they rarely cross paths in cartoons. Even in the comics there are not that many meetings between the two. The reality though is that when they have met it has been powerful, like emotional dynamite going off in both characters. Chris Evan who plays Captain America only has so many movies left in him. Some have even speculated that he could die in Captain America 3 Civil War (Like he does in the comics). If he leaves before Spider-Man joins the MCU then the two never shall meet. Wow talk about a major missed opportunity.
Why is Captain America and Spider-Man's relationship important?
When Spider-Man begins crime fighting his hero is his Uncle Ben. He uses Uncle Ben as his beacon for what is right and wrong. However, as he matures and enters the strange world of Super Heroes he finds a new person to look up to, Captain America. Captain America is Spider-Man's hero, the guy Peter Parker tries to be like. There is also a patriarchal relationship where when they meet it feels like a son meeting his long lost father. The meetings are poignant, powerful, and AWESOME! There is a reality that Spider-Man is an orphan who loses the his next major male role model at a young age. He doesn't really have a male figure to bounce things off of after Uncle Ben dies. Moreover he finds himself in this crazy world of balancing crime fighting with his personal life. Who does he turn to for advice? Captain America.
SONY/Marvel rumors indicate they want the new Spider-Man to be mature and past his origin story. This is a great idea. However, how do you get to the knitty gritty of who this Spider-Man is without Captain America? Is he still trying to live up to his Uncle expectations sure? But how does that help battle the Sinister 6? It doesn't. He needs some one to look toward and there is no one better than the first Avenger.
To simplify this:
You can replace Spider-Man in Civil War
You can't replace Captain America in Spider-Man's life
I don't know if I can fully explain the meaning of the relationship between the two. It is something that really needs to be felt. You need to get drawn into a story, feel like you are there and then see the impact the two have on one another. Such things are not easy to describe. What does Gandalf mean to the forces of good? How do you explain such things.
Maybe one way is to show you a moment that stands out in my mind. The event is Maximum Carnage the whole city has gone crazy. The heroes led by Spider-Man are battered, lying on the ground beaten. The 9 year old version of myself is in shock as I see them strewn about and the bad guys march forward triumphant. It is the darkest of dark moments....Then...
Why SONY's Spider-Man plans are awful!
Will Spider-Man be brought into the MCU?