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ICYMI | SONY Pulls SPIDER-MAN Out of the MCU

Sony and Disney can’t come to an agreement! Keeping Spider-Man far from home and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at least for the immediate future! 

Oh what a tangled web indeed! After years of back and forth, Sony and Disney had finally come to an agreement that allowed the studio to share custody of one of Marvel Studios biggest brands Spider-Man. After a series of very successful box office hits in the early 2000s starring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst directed by Sam Raimi, Sony sat comfortably with its winning piece of the Marvel Comic icon grabbing big-ticket sales and breaking records — before the summer movie landscape would appear littered with the competition.

It wasn’t long before the franchise would suffer from fatigue and with an underwhelming performance with its third installment, Sony found itself in the peculiar predicament as Marvel Studios started spinning out its “Expanded Cinematic Universe” with hit after hit starting with 2008’s Iron Man and followed by Thor and Captain America. Marvel waited patiently for the ownership rights of its titular web-slinger to drop our of Sony’s hands, especially after the critically panned Spider-Man 3. In an effort to stay on top Sony went to work on a “reboot”!

The 2012 effort The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield didn’t hit the mark as had been anticipated, and with it running counter to the eventual blockbuster Avengers fans began to speculate whether Peter Parker’s friendly neighbor superhero would ever find himself in the same league as his Marvel Studio headliners. The answer to that question would have to wait, and in 2016 Disney which had since purchased the Marvel brand and all of its properties (including the film projects) introduced Spider-Man into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War.

SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

Homecoming

By the 2017 release of Spider-Man: Homecoming which spotlighted Tom Holland the latest actor to wear the fancy red and blue suit, the latest reboot joyfully indoctrinated Peter Parker into the MCU with none other than Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as the aspiring hero’s benefactor. The film was also released as a studio cooperative between Sony and Disney, granting Sony co-partnership in the distribution of the feature film, while giving Disney ownership over the placement of the character throughout its franchises. Spider-Man would play a pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War.

And although it appeared that the web-slingers fate was sealed at the conclusion of that epic battle, the follow-up feature Avengers: Endgame reconstituted Spider-Man just in time for the hero to headline his next big theatrical outing. Spider-Man: Far From Home the fourth film to feature Holland as Spider-Man also proved box office gold for Sony giving it the largest opening for the franchise, with a worldwide hovering over 1 billion, making it the studio’s biggest grossing release ever. With that record set, it’s curious that the studios would through a kink into the works.

This week Sony and Disney announced that effective immediately, Spider-Man would be exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe! That doesn’t mean the future of the character is hanging from a thin web strand, it means that Spider-Man will not be part of the shared expanded cinematic universe that Disney reigns over, and going forward Spidey can’t Marvel Team-Up with any captain or doctor he may have saddled up to recently, and as for that special relationship between Peter and Tony Stark — yeah, that’s gone too!

Spider-Man (Tom Holland) takes MJ (Zendaya) out for a spin in New York City at the conclusion of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.

A Multiverse of Possibilities

[Warning: SPOILER ALERT] Could the filmmakers have foreseen this descent into disillusion? Given the subplot context of the Marvel Multiplex in Spider-Man: Far From Home with the villainous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) duping Peter and SHIELD into thinking he was the last survivor from an alternate-earth in the multiverse and the success of the animated full-length feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse could Sony had suspected that its partnership with Disney would become tarnished so quickly?

Inevitably this opens the way for Tom Holland (who apparently is locked in for 2 more pictures as is the franchise’s current director Jon Watts) to interact with Venom and expand on the much talked about inhabitants of the Spider-Verse. A film focused on the femme fatale Black Cat and one-time love interest of the web-slinger has been brandished about, so has another feature meant to capitalize on the hero’s rogues gallery. For a hot minute Sony had everyone waiting with bated breath on the arrival of The Sinister Six — it never happened.

With so many ideas to mine, perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea after all. With out the distraction of having to find a way to place mild-mannered high school student, turned Avenger, Peter Parker into a more elaborate storyline to service a grander theme, the future of the Spider-Man features could be far more incapsulated and center on the hero’s own trials and tribulations. With more than 6 decades of comic book stories to draw inspiration from, it could turn out far more profitable for Sony to hold onto the character.

Fans biggest fear though may be that away from the creative lead of Marvel’s chief creative mind Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, the Spider-Man brand will suffer without the proper amount of coddling and support from the bigger cast of characters. Certainly the upcoming slate of films on Marvel’s slate may not have to worry about it; without a “next” Avengers on the horizon, it may not even matter. In the meantime we’ll have to accept that Spidey may inevitably remain far from home and has reached his own endgame.

Spider-Man: Far From Home has gone on to become the top-grossing film in Sony Pictures entire history, taking its predecessor Skyfall down a notch with a worldwide gross of $1.1 billion.

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InPrimetime | The Countdown to “CRISIS” has Begun!

The most anticipated primetime event of the season gets an airdate! The countdown to The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” 5-part crossover is imminent!

Some worlds will live and some worlds will die, but one thing is certain… The CW’s primetime landscape may never be the same after this season’s widely anticipated crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” hits the DC television universe. Teased at the end of last season’s “Elseworlds” 3-part event, which set-up an impending threat to the extended DC primetime universe will continue with an endgame that will shake the foundation of the multiverse. The result will undoubtedly be felt across all The CW’s superhero shows.

The 5-part epic was the cornerstone of the network’s introduction at this year’s Upfront, the annual media gathering where the competing network’s reveal to advertisers what they have on the slate for the coming season. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” does not aim to disappoint and will straddle the winter hiatus with five interconnecting episodes across the primetime series, not excluding Black Lightning starring Cress Williams which has been reported will play a role in the crossover event as well.

The event may also signal the end of the “Arrowverse” as the series enters into its final and Eighth Season with a 10-episode run, as something new is promising will emerge after “Crisis” concludes. The Flash show runner Eric Wallace has suggested that especially for Central City’s Scarlet Speedster, the season will be divided into two-acts with the second half dealing with the post-effects of “Crisis”. Fans are certainly hopeful that in the fallout, series like Supergirl which exists on a parallel earth (Earth-38) will be integrated into a Prime-Earth.

Save the Dates

The television series and “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event will be impacted by the winer hiatus, pitting the second half of the story arc to air five weeks later and concluding in 2020; that is presumably when Arrow will be entering into its final episode and the team show DC’s Legend of Tomorrow returns for its Fifth Season. It’s likely that is also when returning series Black Lightning will be wrapping up its Third Season (making way in its time slot for Legends to move in). Here’s a breakdown of the airdates for The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event:

  • Supergirl “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 1, Sunday, December 8, 2019 8pm.
  • Batwoman  “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 2, Monday, December 9, 8pm.
  • The Flash “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 3, Tuesday, December 10, 8pm.

Then, five weeks later…

  • Arrow ”Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 4′, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 8pm.
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 5′, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 9pm.

Starting Line-Up

Though the guest starring list of actors to appear in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” continues to grow, it was recently announced that Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the critically acclaimed series Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond will be appearing as the Bruce Wayne of the Batman Beyond era, leading many to speculate of the costumed appearance of Terry McGinnis’ futuristic Dark Knight. Among other famous faces said to be partaking of the crossover spectacle are Lynda Carter said to be reprising her role as Wonder Woman, and Burt Ward who played Robin in the 60s television iteration of Batman.

Tom Welling who starred as a young Clark Kent in 10 Seasons of Smallville is also suggested will be appearing as his earth’s Superman. In fact there will be at least three Supermen appearing during the crossover. DC’s Legends headliner Brandon Routh who inherited the cape and debuted in Superman Returns famously revealed at SDCC this year that he’ll also reprise his role as the Man of Steel, with Tyler Hoechlin returning as the Superman of Earth-38, Supergirl’s (Melissa Benoist) Kryptonian cousin. Jon Cryer is also on board as Lex Luthor.

LaMonica Garrett will also be pulling double duty! He’ll be playing the man at the center of all the machinations The Monitor and his evil twin The Anti-Monitor. Another CW series favorite that will be returning for the crossover event is John Wesley Shipp; fans are hopeful he’ll be returning as The Flash of Earth-90, the Barry Allen that Shipp played in his 1990 CBS series, which is also soon hitting a milestone. Shipp’s landmark series will be turning 30! It is also speculated that the actor will be appearing this season on The Flash as The Golden Age, Jay Garrick.

Stay tuned as more is revealed of this season’s most climatic television event!

ICYMI | FX’s AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 Gets Premiere Date

Television’s most anticipated shows of the fall are clamoring for audience attention and FX’s hit gothic anthology American Horror Story: 1984 is slashing its way onto the primetime schedule!

The latest installment of super-producer Ryan Murphy’s hit gothic terror anthology American Horror Story: 1984 has been given a premiere date! The series will enter into its ninth season on FX on Wednesday, Sept 18 @ 10pm EST and will feature returning ensemble cast members including fan-favorite Emma Roberts. Last year’s end of days themed Apocalypse spotlighted the return of Roberts bitchy witch Madison Montgomery from Season 3’s  Coven and further connected the AHS mythology first introduced in 2011’s Horror House.

The theme selected for Season 9 of American Horror Story: 1984 is taking inspiration from the 80’s  slasher film phenomenon in the vein of such horror classics like the Friday the 13th franchise. Early promotional materials have introduced what appears to be a masked knife-wielding serial killer hunting his hapless prey, a nondescript female victim — and when she enters a dark, wood cabin, a large knife slashes through the door (Yikes)! Although very little else has been revealed of the new season AHS: 1984 or its cast, Olympian Gus Kenworthy is signed to play Roberts’ boyfriend.

Check out the Teaser Trailer here:

American Horror Story: 1984 premieres on FX Wednesday, Sept 18 @ 10pm EST. Stay tuned here and on The Fanzite for additional news and updates!

Smith Handed His Place in History

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