Sony has announced a new animated Spider-Man movie that it will release in theaters on July 20th, 2018.
One of the biggest pieces of recent news to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was the reveal that Sony, Disney and Marvel had finally come to terms that will allow Spider-Man to take his rightful place as a member of its ever-evolving continuity. Put shortly, the character will join the MCU with Sony collaborating with Marvel Studio but retaining control of Spidey's film rights. A new stand-alone Spider-Man film is, in turn, planned for release in June 2017 with the new Spider-Man himself set to debut in Captain America: Civil War. Even with these lofty plans in action however, it would seem that Sony wants more.
In an announcement yesterday, Sony revealed plans to create a new animated Spider-Man movie for theatrical release. The film, which is currently slated to hit cinemas on July 20th, 2018 will be produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Moviegoers may remember the duo from their work on The LEGO Movie, arguably one of 2014's more unexpected critical and box office successes. Sony Pictures chairmain Tim Rothman has also confirmed that the new animated feature "will exist independently of the projects in the live-action Spider-Man universe." In other words, this movie will have nothing to do with the MCU.
Speaking personally, I'm not really sure what Sony Pictures hopes to accomplish with this. I could be wrong, but I don't think there's anyone out there who was sitting around thinking "You know what we need? A separate animated Spider-Man franchise." Heck, you'd think after the failure of The Amazing Spider-Man movies that Sony might want to just cool its jets for awhile and let Marvel take the wheel. That being said, there's no reason this has necessarily have to be bad and if Sony Pictures can produce something worthwhile with this new approach, we'll all be better off.