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Spider-Man 3 Reportedly Includes Team-Up That'll Please Fans

Peter Parker is going to need some legal counsel, and the rumor mill thinks it knows who it'll be. 

The ever-anonymous sources of rumor-slinging website We Got This Covered have reported that the third turn of the Spider-Man franchise wheel will feature an iconic team up, and one long clamored for by fans: Spider-Man and Daredevil, who have been staunch allies in the pages of Marvel comics for decades.

Yes, WGTC's sources insist that the MCU's Spider-Man 3 will see Parker employ Matt Murdock of Hell's Kitchen to assist him in the legal and PR quagmire that will surely emerge in the wake of Quentin Beck/Mysterio's allegedly posthumous revenge in Spider-Man: Far From Home. On top of that, the report states that it'll actually be Charlie Cox's Murdock, of the now-defunct Netflix Daredevil series, who will appear in the film.

There's no doubt that bringing Cox back into the Marvel fold would fulfill a lot of dreams for fans lamenting the cancellation of the entire Netflix Marvel TV slate, and that of all four of the erstwhile Defenders, his chances of returning are best in a probability game of very small numbers. Rumor mongering and wish fulfillment, however, do not a factual statement make. There's an entire shaker worth of salt to take with this bit of speculation, so let's turn it over and examine why this rumor is unlikelier than most.

It's unclear whether Marvel Studios can legally use Daredevil yet

After the mass cancellation of the Netflix shows, Variety reported that the original deal between Netflix and Marvel had a clause stating that in the outcome of cancellation, Marvel is not allowed to produce new content featuring any of the characters until two years after the end of their respective series, meaning that Disney and/or Sony (which produces the MCU-set Spider-Man solo films) would be open to a lawsuit if they released content featuring the characters before 2021.

This is very sticky legal territory; this information was reported to Variety anonymously, and the contract has never been made public, so the letter of the corporate law cannot be known. It may indeed be true, but Daredevil and his friends were produced under the Marvel Television banner, and that contract would have been put into effect before Marvel Studios was officially moved under Disney's corporate umbrella in 2015.

Further complicating matters, Marvel Television — which produced the Netflix series — is owned by Disney, but operates under a different executive structure than Marvel Studios. (It's also late in the process of being phased out entirely, with future television endeavors such as the upcoming slate of Disney+ Marvel series to be handled by Marvel Studios). 

It's impossible to know if that old contract would restrict Murdock from appearing in the MCU at this point, but any corporate lawyer would probably advise Disney to be smart and wait it out for diligence's sake. All that said, the untitled Spider-Man feature is set for a summer 2021 release date, and Daredevil's final episode streamed in October 2018; it's a very narrow gamut that lets this rumor squeak by on a technicality.

Sony Pictures may not want Daredevil in their Spider-Man movies

It's been rumored that Feige genuinely liked Charlie Cox's Daredevil and wants to incorporate him somehow into the MCU. "Somehow" is a word that is doing a lot of heavy lifting, however. Maybe Feige did like Cox's performance — Daredevil was the most popular of the Netflix series, and Feige is basically the world's biggest comic book nerd given an executive career. But, after the drama of fall 2019 surrounding the custody battle between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios, he's likely not eager to inject too many complications into Spider-Man 3.

After all, these are Sony Pictures films first — with some help from Marvel Studios. Feige's specific role within the Spider-Man franchise is as a consulting producer, and he's helped craft the characterization underpinning the films because Sony as a company understood the power of Marvel Studios' narrative model. Sony, however, has "final creative control", slippery though that legalese may be.

Furthermore, it simply doesn't make much long-term bankable sense for Feige to re-introduce a character that came strictly from Marvel TV roots into a co-managed franchise. Sony reportedly broke off the collaboration because the studio believed it didn't need Feige's guidance anymore (and didn't want to pay for it). Despite Sony struggling to maintain a Spidey franchise of its own, they do have the success of Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the live-action Venom to help it feel better about its chances. 

Just because the studios have made up doesn't mean Sony's attitude has changed. The MCU-set Spider-Man 3 is currently slated for release on July 21, 2021; we'll be on the lookout for any official news, and we'll keep you up to date.