Warning: Spoilers from Spider-Man: Far From Home and the MCU will be found below.
As we reported, Sony launched a new Spider-Man website, which is Daily Bugle-focused, this week. The site takes the form of a web-news-cast hosted by J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson, who revealed Peter Parker’s identity to the world in a Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scene. Jameson is still very anti-Spidey on this website, which is being used to promise the home release of the third Tom Holland-Spidey standalone movie and also points toward the future. It’s also notable that one portion of the website directly contradicts remarks from Marvel’s Kevin Feige regarding what the MCU called Thanos’ “snap,” which was refashioned in Far From Home as “the blip.”
Of course, Far From Home took an amusing spin on the reverse-snap moment with a mockumentary-style rendering of high-school marching band members getting dusted during an assembly and magically reappearing in the middle of a basketball game. This was pure chaos and darkly funny, and director Kevin Watts said that the movie purposely avoided showing scenarios that showed people in cars or airplanes during the snap because “so many people would die,” and in his mind, “[e]veryone arrived back safely somehow” because that’s what Tony Stark would have wanted. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige went further with his remarks while also attributing foresight to The Hulk because someone needs to while speaking with Empire:
“If people were in an airplane when they were dusted, they didn’t return at 35,000 feet. They didn’t fall to their deaths because Smart Hulk is smart, and when he snapped. You can wish for whatever you want and you can wish for everyone to come back safely. Done.”
Well, the Daily Bugle is ready to erase that happy ending for all. The website features user comments, including one from a Jack Triconi, a movie stuntsman who blipped back into existence in the middle of a dangerous stunt:
“My crew and I were working the new Extreme Measures movie. I was right in the middle of a leap off a sixty-story building - the fallpad was below me and everything - and then I blipped. I guess they didn’t leave the pad there for five years, cuz I’ve been in the hospital ever since.”
Um, awkward? Not only does “Triconi” make claims that snap away Kevin Feige’s take, the guy is also contradicting Sony’s Spider-Man helmer and the humorous take on blipping back in Far From Home. Of course, there’s been a very Infowars-esque approach from Jameson, so there’s no telling if Triconi’s claims will turn out to be legit or a planted portion of some wide-reaching conspiracy theory. We might not hear more about this discrepancy for awhile, until we learn more about Sony’s future plans for Peter Parker as their Spider-Man multiverse continues to rage with spinoffs galore.
It wasn't long ago that Marvel boss Kevin Feige insisted he wasn't going to trade over to Disney's other biggest franchise, but tonight it's being reported that the producer behind Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie of all time, is developing a new Star Wars movie. Details on what the Kevin Feige Star Wars movie will be are scarce at the moment.
Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn explains that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy is ready to make some changes, and is forging a new path for the Star Wars franchise, which will all fall into place after the launch of The Rise of Skywalker this December. Horn had this to say in a statement.
"[Kathleen Kennedy] is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together."
It should come as no surprise that Kevin Feige is a huge Star Wars fan. What may come as a surprise to Marvel fans is that Sony Pictures claimed Feige was too busy bringing Fantastic Four and X-Men into the MCU to really concentrate on Spider-Man any more. He has the next two Marvel phases planned out, which includes both movies and Disney+ TV series, so he's quite busy. No one was expected Kevin Feige to add this to his plate.
Kevin Feige had been discussing his foray into the Star Wars universe this past summer with Kathleen Kennedy, bringing studio co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman into the discussion. Horn went onto say this about the developing new phase for Star Wars after the Skywalker saga.
"We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together."
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are currently working on a new Star Wars trilogy that has been rumored to take place during the Knights of the Old Republic. It is believed that they will only be directly involved in the first installment, and plans beyond that have not been announced. Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, is also working on a separate Star Wars trilogy, though details are scarce, and he will probably direct another original movie before work gets under way.
Lucasfilm has carved out three theatrical dates for the future beyond The Rise of Skywalker. Those are set for December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024 and December 18, 2026. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are expected to be working on the 2022 release, so Kevin Feige's Star Wars movie could be one of the other two dates listed here. But there is no official confirmation on that at this time. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.
Disney has owned both Marvel and Star Wars for a while now, so it’s almost surprising this has taken so long: According to a Hollywood Reporter exclusive, Kevin Feige, lord of the MCU, is going to develop his own Star Wars movie — one that hopefully won’t further enrage the already apparently tetchy George Lucas.
According to THR’s source, Feige met with Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas’ hand-picked president of Lucasfilm, in late summer to discuss his dipping a toe in another part of Disney’s ever-swelling content pool. There, of course, is no word on what type of movie it will be — a prequel, a spin-off, something else — and there likely won’t be until The Rise of Skywalker, aka Episode IX in the main branch of the franchise, comes out mid-December.
There’s been some anxiety around the property of late, with the spin-off/prequel A Solo Story underperforming during the 2018 summer and slightly underwhelming attendance at Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge though some postulate that may be due to complex circumstances, such as rising hotel prices and potential attendees’ fears of packed crowds.
And yet there’s clearly more room in the Star Wars inn. There are film projects in the works by Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, plus all the Disney+ shows, boasting the likes of Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and New German Cinema titan Werner Herzog.
Should Feige indeed board the ship, he’ll come bearing some experience with contemporary blockbusters: He’s overseen the MCU from its infancy, watching as four of its 20-plus titles have entered the Top 10 all-time box office not adjusted for inflation. Feige may be busy — one reason Sony yanked Spider-Man from the MCU was they felt he was already over-extended to look over their boy — but clearly he’s not too busy to sprinkle some of his magic dust on a franchise that might need it.
Thanks to a fanmade trailer, we have some idea of what Deadpool 3 could have looked like in an alternate universe. One in which Sony and Disney managed to work out their differences, allowing for Tom Holland's Spider-Man to continue existing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this slightly alternate reality, Holland's webslinger could have teamed up with Ryan Reynolds' Merc With a Mouth for what could have been an extremely entertaining ride, as we see in this trailer.
The video was cooked up by a YouTuber named Billy Crammer. It simply cobbles together footage from Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and even some of Andrew Garfield's work from The Amazing Spider-Man series, to show us what these two characters sharing the screen could have looked like. Wade Wilson and Peter Parker, though very different, both like to crack wise, and we see how that could have played out. It's action-packed, playful and fun. Also, the visual styles of both characters seem to flow quite nicely, when looking at the footage in this way.
Related: Josh Brolin Is So Serious About Cable's MCU Return, He's Been Calling Marvel
Ryan Reynolds previously expressed his openness to the idea of sharing the screen with Spider-Man. It's something many Marvel fans would like to see. Sadly, this is no longer a possibility, even though, for a brief time, it was very much something that could have been explored. Back in March, the Disney/Fox merger finally closed, which means Marvel Studios now controls the X-Men and Fantastic Four character franchise rights. This extends to Deadpool. When the deal first went into effect, Marvel Studios' deal with Sony, who controls the movie rights to Spider-Man, was also still going strong.
However, as fans are surely aware, Sony has decided not to continue working with Marvel Studios on future Spider-Man movies. The two sides couldn't come to an agreement on terms, so Sony will be taking Tom Holland's Peter Parker and venturing out away from the MCU. Eventually, the plan is for them to fold Holland into the Venom-verse, as it were. While some are holding out hope the two sides could come back to the negotiating table, there is no evidence that is going to happen. For now, Spidey's time in the MCU is done, just as Deadpool's time in the MCU is ready to begin.
To that point, it hasn't yet been revealed how Marvel intends to bring Deadpool into the fold. Will it be with Deadpool 3? Will they instead try to introduce him in another movie first? His R-rated sensibilities don't quite align with the PG-13 nature of the MCU, which complicates things at least a little bit. But there's money to be made here, so they will undoubtedly figure it out. Just don't expect to see Spider-Man as part of the equation. Be sure to check out the Deadpool 3: Spider-Man trailer from Billy Crammer's YouTube channel for yourself.
Sony Pictures Television will shop the story of Jeffrey Epstein's human-trafficking crimes as a limited series after optioning Conchita Sarnoff's book TrafficKing. The studio has come on board the project after More/Medavoy Management had previously optioned the book, and Sarnoff's life rights, for television in July.
Separately, publisher Post Hill Press has signed a deal with the author to publish her follow-up book The Cover Up, as well as an updated version of TrafficKing, following Epstein's death last month in prison.
Sony TV is in the process of attaching a writer to the project before taking it out to the market. The move was made by SPT's SVP Limited Series and Movies Tom Patricia.
TrafficKing explores the “darkest recesses of the corridors of power, from Harvard to the White House.” The Cover Up, meanwhile, will reveal why the pedophile billionaire, Wall Street hedge fund manager and registered level-3 sex offender was arrested a second time on July 6, when he pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, including with girls as young as 14. He was found hanged in his jail cell August 10. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, although Epstein's lawyers disputed the ruling. Regardless, because of his death, a judge dismissed all criminal charges at the end of August.
The Epstein case continues to intrigue journalists, particularly as a result of his friends in high places including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Earlier this week, French police searched Epstein's Paris apartment and the offices of a model agency owned by alleged associate Jean-Luc Brunel.
Sarnoff is a human rights activist and correspondent for The Daily Beastwho reported on the Epstein case in 2010 after he was first arrested in Palm Beach, FL. She was shocked to discover that the original charges against the billionaire financier were first filed as human trafficking and later reduced to alleged charges of prostitution. Her reporting included video interviews with the first victim who filed a complaint.
Sarnoff alleges she was followed, received bribes, threats and was hacked when she sought to first publish her book. Her research in the book includes interviews with British socialite and Epstein's longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell; then-U.S. attorney for Southern Florida Alex Acosta, who resigned as Donald Trump's Labor Secretary amid the scandal; Epstein's victims; attorney Alan Dershowitz; and Epstein himself.
Sarnoff will exec produce the limited series alongside Erwin More and Brian Medavoy of More/Medavoy Management and Judith Verno of Peace Out Productions.
Patricia said, “During Conchita's decade long quest to reveal the truth, she interviewed many key players and insiders involved in this epic story including Epstein himself and Ghislaine Maxwell. In TrafficKing, Conchita examines, in depth, Epstein's crimes and his network of enablers and defenders. We are looking forward to working with her on this project to share the truth behind this shocking story.”
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is not only one of the most important creatives in the Disney fold, but arguably in all of Hollywood. Yet, things could have gone in a very different direction, as Feige nearly left Marvel several years back due to clashes with Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter. Luckily, Disney CEO Bob Iger intervened and got the ship moving in the right direction.
Bob Iger recently released a new book called The Ride of a Lifetime, documenting his experience as Disney's CEO. One part of the book details this clash between Kevin Feige and another executive before the Marvel hierarchy was restructured. As Iger tells it, Feige was clashing with the New York office over both Black Panther and Captain Marvel, an unnamed executive, believed to be Ike Perlmutter, doubted those movies could be legitimate hits around the time that Captain America: Civil War was being developed. Here's how Iger explains it in the book.
"Kevin is one of the most talented film executives in the business, but my sense was that the strained relationship with New York was threatening his continued success. I knew I had to intervene, and so in May 2015, I made the decision to split Marvel's movie-making unit off from the rest of Marvel and bring it under Alan Horn and the Walt Disney Studios. Kevin would now report directly to Alan, and would benefit from his experience, and the tensions that had built up between him and the New York office would be alleviated."
As it turns out, that proved to be the right call. Since 2015, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has exploded in popularity. Both Black Panther and Captain Marvel were massive hits at the box office, grossing more than $1 billion globally. Black Panther also scored a Best Picture Oscar nomination and won Marvel Studios its first Academy Awards.
Meanwhile, eight of the ten highest-grossing entries in the MCU came after 2015, with this year's Avengers: Endgame overtaking James Cameron's Avatar to become the biggest movie ever. While there are near countless filmmakers and individuals owed credit for these accomplishments, Kevin Feige is the captain of the ship and is certainly owed a great deal of credit. Would any of this have been the same without him? Or would some other studio be benefiting from his proven genius?
Related: Marvel Fans Spend National Cheeseburger Day Mourning the Loss of Iron Man
The future is bright for the MCU. Despite the recent loss of Spider-Man, who is now back in Sony's hands fully, the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises are in Kevin Feige's hands, thanks to the Fox merger. We're also seeing more diversity in the MCU, with movies like Eternals and Thor: Love and Thunder, both of which will feature LGBTQ characters. Plus, Black Widow is finally getting a sorely deserved solo movie. Bob Iger, fortunately, has the vision to understand keeping Feige was essential. The Ride of a Lifetime is available now through Penguin Random House.