Earlier this week, the latest casting and directing new for Sony and Marvel's Spider-Man picture was announced. Ron Howard endorsed the casting pick while Kevin Feige talked about producing with Amy Pascal.
What's a webbed hero dressed in red supposed to do when two studios made friends in order to coproduce a highly anticipated story? Swing from the top of the Empire State Building.
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In an exclusive interview, Superherohype.com spoke to Kevin Feige on the collaborative Spider-Man film between Sony Studios and Marvel Studios.
Initially, the phone call focused on Ant-Man, which premieres in the U.S. on July 17, but the conversation quickly turned to the recent casting and directing news on the high schooler's standalone superhero feature. And fans learned a few things happening behind the production screens.
“We’re producing that movie for Sony and in partnership with Amy Pascal, so it’s been going through the same process of any other Marvel film would, and it’s been great," said Feige. Amy Pascal served as Co-Chairperson of SPE, including Sony Pictures Television, until earlier this year when the hacked Sony documents presented a new career path for the producer.
TriStar Productions Chairman "Tom Rothman at Sony has been very supportive in the decisions and obviously the two big ones we announced this week."
Feige is of course referencing the latest casting news that Tom Holland will be the latest actor to take on Peter Parker. Slash Film points out that Holland will appear in some capacity in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, which is currently filming, and Spider-Man will premiere on July 28, 2017.
Holland's credentials are bit unknown to American audiences, where his biggest role has been as Billy Elliot on stage and later in the film The Impossible with Naomi Watts, set during the tragic 2004 tsunami.
However, The Heart Of The Sea director Ron Howard is one of the British 19-year-old's biggest fans. Citing "a great, great work ethic in someone so young," Howard points out that the Wolf Hall actor has "a great sense of fun" to BBC Radio 5. So while relatively unknown, unlike Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, Sony and Marvel are confident the young star can succeed.
And Holland released a few Instagram videos showing off that "fit" athleticism that Howard found rewarding on set when performing scenes and stunts.
When referencing Sam Raimi and Marc Webb's take on Peter Parker's journey, Feige politely distanced the latest entry into Sony's Marvel universe. But he did have some positives on Sony's prior takes. "Spider-Man 2 is one of the best superhero movies ever, so that’s a lot to live up to." Maguire's second attempt at the webbed one in 2004 grossed over $783.7 million. Just never ask about Spider-Man 3.
Thankfully, Marvel Studios knows a thing or two about successful distribution and marketing. And Feige also points out that Jon Watts will be directing the story.
Watts is best known for his indie film Cop Car, a gritty drama that premiered strong at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Known for a biting satire and a macabre sense of humor that fits in well with The Onion, Watts should bring a unique perspective to the latest reboot, according to Entertainment Weekly.
As for any future plans of incorporating Spider-Man characters into the MCU, the president of Marvel Studios was a little hedgier. "Right now, it’s all about producing the new stand-alone Spider-Man movie."
Noting that Sony's sole focus is on the current production, "whatever happened before that or after that, sort of remains to be seen, but it’s all about producing the best Spider-Man movie we can, certainly within the Sony Universe, next July.” SHH observes that the producer didn’t open up on what “next July” entails, but with a year to learn, fans and media will be clamoring for more details.
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Just the way Marvel loves to build up momentum. Just ask Ant-Man audiences.