Rumor of the day: Sony and Marvel might get together on Spider-Man

Could the Marvel crossover we've all been dreaming about finally be happening?

I'm talking, of course, about the introduction of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- something that has been impossible until now because the rights to the wallcrawler belong not to Marvel Studios, but to Sony Pictures.

In the opinion of Hitfix's Drew McWeeny, however, that could all be changing. Amidst all the other Marvel news and rumors that began springing up yesterday, McWeeny reported that there are "very cool Spider-Man plans being discussed" that would have the effect of "opening up some connections in the onscreen Marvel movie universe that would blow fandom's minds."

That certainly sounds like the two studios are attempting to find a way to make some sort of joint venture work, both creatively and on a corporate level, and in many ways it's a logical progression for both. For starters, Marvel Studios would love the chance to bring the single most popular character in the Marvel comics canon into its movies alongside Iron Man, Cap, Hulk and everyone else. 

But for Sony Pictures, the payoff could be even bigger. The Spider-Man franchise has been the studio's crown jewel since 2002, but the underwhelming performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this past summer made it clear that the series had hit a wall. 

Trying to create a mini-universe around a half-dozen villains does not seem to be the right answer, but allowing Spider-Man to fight alongside his fellow Marvel superheroes -- if the two studios could come to an agreement acceptable to both sides -- might be just the boost that Spidey needs, while delighting millions of fans.

Marvel Studios has big plans afoot as it heads toward Phase Three and beyond, but it's been a source of frustration to the company that several of its most iconic properties -- like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men -- remain out of reach because of deals made years ago when Marvel was forced to sell its characters to other studios. Bringing even one of those back into the MCU could be a triumph for everyone concerned ... don't you think?

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