spider-man crossover film

At one point, the idea of characters crossing over between Marvel and DC Comics titles seemed like an impossibility. But it happened, just as fans of the cinematic versions of those characters think such a thing will happen on movie screens eventually — even if there are more companies involved now, all of which are bigger, more complex corporate entities. Still, it’s not going to happen soon, and original Marvel Studios co-founder and Spider-Man film producer Avi Arad isn’t even able to be straight about the reason why. Arad says Spider-Man won’t end up in a film with the X-Men or Avengers until “we’ve run out of ideas.”

Read Arad’s quotes, and watch a video of the interview, below.

Speaking to IGN, Arad talked about the potential for a crossover film:

I think I’m probably a little bit of the militant here. I think it will take a moment in which we’ve run out of ideas. There’s so much to tell about Spider-Man. There’s so much to tell about the Sinister Six. The relationship between Spider-Man and Venom will bring a whole other world in.

This is the guy who turned the new Spider-Man series into a reboot — the same sort of reboot that has fans saying Sony is already out of ideas for the series. If only Arad could be more openly honest about this — it won’t be when they’re out of ideas, but when they’re out of money. Studios will talk “team-up” when the business starts to dip across the board. They’ll treat it as a plot to rope people back in. Arad even hints at that with another comment: “you know, in the toy business we used to make toys glow in the dark when they weren’t selling well and it gave at least another Christmas. We don’t need it yet.”

Co-producer Matt Tolmach echoes that take:

You know Avi always refers to that question as a stunt. If you were to do that, you know, Spider-Man in the Avengers is a stunt. And I get why everybody – you know, fans and audience members and movie goers – I understand it. When you think about the Sinister Six and you think about Venom and you think about Carnage and you think Spider-Man in whatever way you want in association with those movies, they feel like they’re built for Spider-Man. Like that’s where his story needs to go and wants to go and it has to be about more than a stunt.

Thing is, like some of those old Marvel/DC crossovers, it can be a stunt. But especially with heroes that all came from Marvel in the first place, and which are now scattered to Fox and Sony in addition to Marvel, there are good story reasons to bring them together. Fans like those stories; audiences would respond to them. It feels totally natural to people that there would be an X-Men tag at the end of a Spider-Man film, because in an ideal world they all do take place in the same space.

Sadly, more than anything else, these comments reinforce the idea that when a crossover does happen, it probably won’t be for a story reason. It won’t be because fans want it. It will be a stunt, a cheap ploy to keep the superhero movie business going.

As Tolmach continues,

Stunts can be cool but it’s also a business, and so the other side of the answer is they’re owned by different companies. And there’s a ton left in Sony’s world; there’s a lot of business left because there’s a lot of story left. So for them to want to take this character and put it with Marvel and Disney is a huge undertaking and probably, as Avi’s saying, isn’t necessary until you feel like, ‘Wow, we’re sort of out of ideas. What should we do?’ And we’re far from out of ideas.

Here’s the video interview:

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