20th Century Fox Film/Sony Pictures
There has, and always will be, speculation of a big screen crossovers between Marvel's characters from the Avengers, X-Men, and Spider-Man movies. Hopes remain, despite the fact that these properties are owned by three different studios, and that these studios have explicitly told fans not to expect real crossovers any time soon. But a new post-credits scene in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, promoting X-Men: Days of Future Past, has renewed the discussions.
Don't get too excited yet. Variety reports the Days of Future Past plug in Spider-Man 2 has nothing to do with crossover, and is simply an advertising deal between Fox and Sony in regards to their contracts with director Marc Webb. Basically, it’s a shared custody agreement: Webb signed a directorial contract with Fox after the success of 500 Days of Summer, and in order for him to direct The Amazing Spider-Man for Sony, the studio agreed to promote Fox’s big X-Men release. Although it’s not the deal fans were hoping to hear about, it’s a step — a very, very small step — in the right direction.
The fans’ discussion had serious vigor back when Marvel’s The Avengers became the biggest blockbuster success of 2012. In the comics, Wolverine and Spider-Man are part of the Avengers team, so fans were wondering if the two superheroes would make an appearance at some point within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While that is still unlikely in the foreseeable future, Marvel and Sony did sit down to discuss the possibility of including the Oscorp tower in The Avengers as a promotion for the then upcoming release of The Amazing Spider-Man. They couldn’t reach a deal because it was too late into the production of the film, but it showed that both studios were willing to come to the table for a discussion.
Even though the Days of Future Past post-credits scene in Spider-Man 2 is a marketing ploy — and a concession on Sony’s behalf for stealing Webb away from Fox for the Spider-Man series — that doesn’t mean fans can’t take heart in the deal.
If Sony, Fox, and Disney/Marvel are willing to discuss crossover promotion between their franchises, that’s the first step toward an actual crossover. Remember, these studios will do whatever makes them the most money. Although they each have enough material to keep their separate franchises going for quite a long time, someday that could be a crossover.