Tom Holland’s Spider-Man teamed up with The Avengers, but why did not Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man universes have other heroes?
Warning: SPOILERS to Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Tom Holland’s Peter Parker really began his superhero career when he joined The Avengers, but there are a few reasons why Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfields Spider Man universes have never had their own Avengers. Spider-Man: No Way Home sees Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfields Peter Parkers compare universes, heroes and villains where the early Spider-Men have no idea what The Avengers are. Superhero comics are clearly found in Tobey Maguire’s Spider Man universe as he mentions Superman, but he never really had any alternative heroes to team up with during his web-swinging career.
Tobey Maguire’s Spider Man led the screen from 2002-2007, with Sam Raimi’s trilogy after Peter Parker against Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman and Venom – although quite understandably only three of these four enemies appeared in No way home. When Sony decided to reboot Spider Man films with Andrew Garfield in 2012 and 2014, Peter Parker took on a similar series of villains, but these films all shared one big difference from Tom Hollands: they fought alone, not to mention other helpful heroes. Sam Raimi Spider-Man 2 had J. Jonah Jameson name-drop Doctor Strange as a hero, but nothing ever came of it. Other heroes clearly existed in the universe, but Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men so strangely enough never or merged with one, which is in contrast to Holland’s Parks, which operate almost exclusively under The Avengers.
The main reason why Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man universes never had Avengers is that Sony did not have the rights to them. When Sony bought the rights to Spider-Man in 1999, The Avengers and MCU was over a decade away. Sony also only owns the rights to Marvel’s Spider-Man characters, and attempts to include other comic book heroes would likely have resulted in a complicated legal mess. In terms of contracts, Sony had no right to include Avengers as they had either not yet been purchased or were under Disney’s jurisdiction. That was before Sony and Disney got together Captain America: Civil War at Spider-Man’s MCU debut was possible, and thus became mutually beneficial to both companies. Sony benefited from MCU’s huge connections and heroic relationships, while Disney benefited from Spider-Man’s massive attraction and popularity.
Sony bought the rights to Marvel’s Spider-Man long before Kevin Feige began formulating the MCU and Avengers, so there was not a significant move for them to join forces yet. Sony bought Spider-Man’s movie rights because the hero is without a doubt the most popular of Marvel’s characters and was rightly a money cow for the company. Tobey Maguire’s Spider Man movie succeeded with nothing but the title hero and his own cartoon villains, which is the exact formula that Sony repeated for Andrew Garfields The amazing Spider-Man movie. All of that changed as the MCU began and the pressure to include Spider-Man grew.
The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 both debuted in 2012, but while The Avengers rose at the box office, Andrew Garfield’s film was a disappointment. In response, Sony agreed to lend its character to the MCU and take advantage of Disney’s massive success, but the problem was that Disney would start on a fresh start with Peter Parker. In other words, Andrew Garfield’s universe is technically could have had Avengers if Disney chose to bring its hero into the MCU instead of starting the story over and casting Tom Holland.
It seems that MCU was already eager to introduce Spider-Man before Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, as an original concept for the Manhattan skyline in The Avengers would have included Oscorp Tower. This probably would have done Andrew Maguire’s Spider-Man MCU cannon, but it was too time consuming and was thus scrapped. With the name of Doctor Strange and the deleted Oscorp Easter egg, it looks like Maguire and Garfields Spider Man universes could have met other heroes, but were probably never destined to work with them as Avengers. By not being part of a universe where other Marvel heroes join together, Maguire and Garfields Parkers are also better separated from the specific qualities of the MCU.
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release Date: May 6, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release Date: July 8, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever / Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: November 11, 2022
- The Marvels / Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release Date: February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release Date: May 5, 2023
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release Date: July 28, 2023
Andrew Garfield Breaks Silence On Spider-Man: No Way Home
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