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Spider-Man is now a part of Marvel's Cinematic Universe

Spider-Man is now a part of Marvel's Cinematic Universe

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Spider-Man will appear in upcoming Marvel movies. A deal has been announced between Sony Pictures and Marvel that will see a new version of the web slinger appear in an as-yet-unspecified movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — the same universe that contains Iron Man, Thor, and the rest of the Avengers.

The timing of the deal means Spider-Man's likely to make his first Marvel movie appearance in Captain America: Civil War in May of next year, but the agreement doesn't mean that Sony is giving up the movie rights to the character. The studio will continue to finance, distribute, own, and have "final creative control" of standalone Spider-Man films, but Marvel Studios will be coming in to co-produce the next entry, now slated for July 28th, 2017. Sony Pictures said it was also "exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into future Spider-Man films."

Sony still owns the movie rights to Spider-Man

Last year's Sony Pictures hack showed the studio conducted "extensive discussions" with Marvel about the future of Spider-Man. Marvel tried to push for Spider-Man to appear in the next Captain America movie, while Sony Pictures president Doug Belgrad wanted a Marvel-produced Spider-Man movie in which Sony retained "creative control, marketing and distribution." The discussions went right to the top, with Sony CEO Kaz Hirai and Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger involved, and the companies considered holding a "Spidey summit" in January; today's announcement seems to fit all of those parameters.

Marvel has reshuffled its entire release schedule in the wake of the news, fitting the untitled new Spider-Man film where the next Thor film had originally been scheduled. While it's not clear who will be playing Spider-Man in his first Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance, in a statement Sony does refer to him as "the new Spider-Man," so it appears that Andrew Garfield, who played Peter Parker in the last two Sony films, is out. Should we get an entirely new Spider-Man, it'd be the third movie reboot in 15 years for the superhero.

Read next: How Marvel will save us from more terrible Spider-Man movies