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Spider-Man joins Marvel’s movie-verse in a long-term partnership with Sony

Spider-Man is finally coming home to Marvel Studios. The Disney-owned company has struck a deal with Spidey film rights-holder Sony Pictures Entertainment that will see the wall-crawler introduced in an upcoming, unspecified release in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony will then continue on with its own Spider-Man movie, set for release on July 28, 2017, but it’ll be the product of a creative union between Marvel and Sony, with the former’s Kevin Feige and the latter’s Amy Pascal co-producing.

The two will collaborate on “a new creative direction for the web slinger,” according to Marvel. Given Feige’s involvement and Spidey’s now-confirmed appearance in an upcoming MCU release, it’s clear that the beloved superhero’s solo efforts will be folded into the larger timeline that Marvel first established in 2008’s Iron Man. It’s worth noting, however, that Sony “will continue to finance, own, and have final creative control” of those films.

Related: What the future holds for Sony’s Spider-Man universe

Fans should also note that Marvel intends to work with Sony on finding ways to bring MCU characters into Spider-Man films. The announcement makes mention of Sony’s “$4 billion Spider-Man franchise,” suggesting that some or all of the plans for spin-offs, including confirmed Sinister Six and Venom films, remain in place. Variety reports that, under the terms of the deal, Spidey franchise star Andrew Garfield will be re-cast.

“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Feige, Marvel Studios’ president, in a prepared statement. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”