It seems the last effort to meld the filmic universes shared betwixt Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures has found on a new catalyst that goes far beyond the appearance of Michael Keaton’s Vulture in the Morbius trailer. The ebb seems to now have some flow as a character from the Sony Pictures’ side of the Marvel-verse is making their way to the MCU.
It is reported that Jamie Foxx’s Electro is set to return in the next Tom Holland MCU movie. Of course, you know Foxx’s character existed in Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man 3 movie. So it seems to be a case of threes as Jamie Foxx is set to reprise his role yet again in the third installation of a Spider-Man movie. Aside from that, the move also suggests the last set of negotiations over the Spider-Man film IP may have had some crossover-melding stipulated in the contract.
Now what does this mean for the MCU? If Spider-Man 3 gets accepted as canon, why hasn’t the likes of X-Men and Deadpool garnered the same privileges? Despite Marvel/Disney owning these film IPs outright?
Jamie Foxx’s introduction into the MCU could mean many things for the present and future of not just Spider-Man movies, but for the MCU and Spider-verse movies as a whole. But this all depends on the validity and context to which Foxx’s role will take.
The MCU and Sony’s Spider-Verse are one in the same
Jamie Foxx’s Electro, being melded into the MCU would suggest everything connected to his existence on the Sony-side is MCU canon. Now, this of course raises a few eyebrows. Particularly, who is Sony’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man meant to be? Of course, it could all be an ‘Aunt Viv’ swap scenario, but ultimately this would be way too distracting and raise way too many questions on the overall narrative of a MCU/Sony movie.
Then again, contrarily we did get J Jonah Jameson in a different context of conspiracy news anchor. So would it be a issue of him having lost respectability before or after Spider-Man put on the suit. So Peter would have known him before becoming Spider-Man? And we just don’t see Peter spending his free time taking snaps for an Alex Jones-esque network. See. A lot of questions.
Which leads us to our second hypothesis…
Leave the Gun. Take the Cannoli.
And the less annoying option is simple. Jamie Foxx is a great actor. They need him for a role. Hey, Electro. He’s played it already. Distracting? Yes. But if the style, action, and demeanor of MCU’s Electro is vastly different than Sony’s efforts, but just as good if not better, there is a chance that we as an audience will divorce enough of Spider-Man from our minds to know that these universes are not necessarily connected in a major way.
This is however difficult to believe as Marvel’s schtick has always been the quilt-like connectivity of all the films in the arcing Infinity Sage and presumably for the next decade-long film effort being orchestrated not just for cinema but for Marvel TV via Disney+. To back down from their signature modus operandi would go against its very nature and potentially would alienate some fans. Despite our feelings documented on the topic.
Ultimately, this is what makes slow-starters like the DCEU have the potential to expand into something greater. They are not as much bogged down or restricted by ‘continuity’ of some great cosmic quilt that soon smothers than envelops when it gets too big with numerous partners in the bed.
We see where both Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have flirted with the potential retconning narrative devices congenital to the concept of multiverse and time-dimensional travel. For Marvel, it was the Avengers: Endgame and for Sony Pictures, it was Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. And, of course, jointly speaking, Spider-Man: Far From Home. What this says, despite being very lazy, is we could hypothesise that Electro is from a different but parallel universe, and has found a way to enter our MCU world.
I think both Sony and Marvel are set to use multi-dimensional windows as a form of a ‘fix-all’ device. If it works, they keep it as canon. If it does not, then they have techniques in their arsenal to employ to iron out any adverse effects. In theory.
Effectively, this could take the form of diminishing an adverse narrative’s impact, changing the course set by said narrative, or ignoring it altogether. Which is sound, except we have never forgotten Spider-Man dancing a jig, nor have we forgotten, well, the uninspired use of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio. People remember. Even if you do not want them to. And the hurdle to make them forget adds that much more pressure to deliver a sound narrative. Not just leaning heavily on fandom and nostalgia.
Part of the Deal
As menthioned earlier, the stipulation for getting Marvel access to the Spider-Man film IP may have very well been put into ink and contract to allow cross pollination of characters from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures’ efforts. But to this point they have been slightly one-sided save for the Far From Home collaboration.
Now, it seems Marvel had a decision to make: to continue the success of Spider-Man movies and the resultant merchandise the character spawned in the likes of toys and games. The price would involve taking a few characters from Sony Pictures’ efforts in an MCU movie. Effectively making Sony movies canon part of the MCU, just by mere proximity. Or stand to lose the right to create Spider-Man movies altogether. And if the Spider-Man movies have been integral as a vehicle to push Marvel merchandise, which they have total control or access to, we can see why Disney and Marvel would bite the bullet. The cost of business.
And do not get me wrong or twisted. It is a decent bullet to bite into. Jamie Foxx is a phenomenal actor who was one of the higher points in the Spider-Man 3. It is however, everything surrounding his specular performance that unjustly makes Foxx the trojan horse for Sony Pictures’ poor choices in past film efforts.
Staying the course: Spider-Man V. Venom V. Sinister 6
We have heard the rumours and the musings of many creators and personalities behind the scenes. Particularly on Sony Pictures’ side. The ultimate goal seems to be a reoccurring and resound one; Spider-Man and Venom sharing the same screen. The introduction of Electro may very well spawn and prime us to be ready for the clash of the titans. And we are pretty sure Tom Hardy would not mind taking on the Webslinger and it would be something great to look forward to after Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
However, there may be another project the likes of Electro may be a conduit for. A project that was teased for years since the cheaesy end of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man 3 with that hideous Rhino mech suit. The Sinister Six. It has been a project that seemingly been shelved for some time, but Electro’s resurgence in an MCU movie may be reigniting ideas and thoughts for bringing the Sinister Six a new lease of life. Electro, Doc Oc, Sandman, Kraven, Vulture and Mysterio are all part of the Sinister Six, the nefarious group of villains that has made it their task to take out Spidey.
Now as far as the MCU and Sony’s Spider-verse are concerned, between the two of them they do have all the components to make up this villainous team. Save for Kraven. And we all know Sony has shown interest in making a solo movie for Kraven The Hunter. And seeing that movie/universe crossovers are possible and in the cards, we may already have a Sinister Six movie in the works.
And we are sure Mysterio’s end in Far From Home will be retconned somehow to make it work if it comes to it. As irksome as it may be. Or someone inherits his technology?
In any case, Sony Pictures seems to be playing with more pieces on the chessboard than they once had only 3 years when the first Spider-Man: Homecoming movie premiered. And it seems to be working to their advantage. It will be interesting to see just how much Jamie Foxx’s reprisal of Electro will affect the future of Sony and Marvel’s endeavors, be it a vivacious surge or bad charge.