Little by little, more of the inner-workings of the Sony / Disney deal to bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are coming to light.
Let's start with the casting news. We correctly predicted that The Maze Runner's Dylan O'Brien would be in the running; he'll be joined in the race for Spidey by Logan Lerman. We'd like to point out that we thought about Lerman, but bumped in favour of Thomas Brodie-Sangster in our article. Ahem.
It appears that they're pushing Spider-Man right back to the start by placing Spider-Man in high school, which rules out 31-year old Andrew Garfield or anyone of his stripe. This would indicate that the previous two Amazing Spider-Man films are either being ignored or simply retconned - that's a comic term for rewriting something retroactively.
We think it's safe to assume that Marc Webb, who directed The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel won't be back for this, although there's no official word. Who would we like to see in the chair? More on that later.
As for the financial aspect of the deal, it's quite interesting if you're into studio politics. According to several reports, no actual money changed hands between Sony and Marvel. The character of Spider-Man will be written into future Marvel movies, however Sony will work on its own standalone films.
Sony's Amy Pascal - who has since stepped down from her role as chief of Sony Pictures - will now stand in as an executive producer and will exert some amount of control over who's cast. Essentially, the character is being rented out to Marvel. This will essentially mean that when Sony go to make their own standalone picture, they'll have the backing of Marvel Studios' creative talent and, most likely, the ability to put the likes of Iron Man, Thor or whoever into their own standalone film.
Sony needs a hit, especially considering the two Marc Webb-directed films didn't go over with audiences in any big way. By latching themselves onto the powerhouse that is Marvel, they can hopefully turn the character around and get him back to prominence.