Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

For awhile there we thought the sad sap was going to be stuck under the suffocating grip of Sony, but executives have come to their senses. The deal will see the "new Spider-Man" appear in an upcoming Marvel film from MCU, though it's unclear what film he'll show up in first. Our money is in the upcoming Civil War film, which is slated to come out on May 6, 2016.

Remember: Spider-Man plays a big part in the Civil War comic arc, and while we don't expect he'll get major screen time when that comes out in 2016, he'll likely have an important part to play. Once he does make his initial triumphant MCU appearance, Sony will release the next standalone installment, which has already been schedule for July 28, 2017.

Today's news actually means Marvel Studios will need to completely reshuffle its Phase 3 lineup; and even though we'll have to wait longer to see certain movies, the line is even better than we could have imagined. At the bottom of this post is the full list.; Spider-Man shuffles into the spot Thor: Ragnarok initially took up, while that film is being pushed into Black Panther's spot; Black Panther is being pushed back to July 6, 2018. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel is now set to come out on Nov. 2, while Inhumans has been scheduled to hit theaters on July 12, 2019.

Starting with Age of Ultron on May 1, Marvel's Cinematic Universe will release a total 12 movies in just four short years. That, my friends, is a lot of movies, but it just means more content for us to consume. Only one standalone Spider-Man film is being planned for the moment, but he could very well pop up in Civil War, and then play a role in the remaining Avengers: Infinity War movies, which are set to come out in May 4, 2018 and May 3, 2019, respectively.

(I mean, the picture Marvel provided is a shot of Spider-Man among Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, which may or may not be a hint. Come on, that's a hint, right? That has to be a hint. If it's not, he sure looks great up there.)

There's been plenty of speculation over the future of Spidey, and considering the tepid success he's had over the past few years under Sony Pictures, it was only a matter of time before Marvel Studios gained control. Kevin Feige will produce the next installment of the Spider-Man franchise, Marvel said, with the help of Amy Pascal. The release says the two will "collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger."

It'll be curious to see what that new creative direction will be. We've already seen his origin story done on the big screen twice, so it's unlikely Marvel will cover the same ground. In any case, Sony will ultimately have final creative control of the Spider-Man films. Even though the release says Sony has final say, I'd imagine Marvel is really the one that will have final say. MCU's success speaks for itself.

It's unclear at this point who will don the red and blue Spider-Man colors, but I bet an announcement will be forthcoming sooner rather than later. The release says "the new Spider-Man," so it would seem Andrew Garfield's tenure has come to an end. Any ideas who would make a good Spider-Man?

This has been a long time coming, but it's finally a glorious, exciting, tremendously potential-filled reality. Expect to see Spider-Man become a major player among the MCU in the years to come. Now if only we could get the X-Men to join the MCU, Marvel Studios' world domination would be complete.

Marvel updated Phase 3 lineup is below, with the changes in bold.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron: May 1, 2015
  • Ant-Man: July 17, 2015
  • Captain America: Civil War: May 6, 2016
  • Doctor Strange: November 4, 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2: May 5, 2017
  • Spider-Man: July 28th, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok: November 3rd, 2017
  • Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1: May 4, 2018
  • Black Panther: July 6th, 2018
  • Captain Marvel: November 2nd, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2: May 3, 2019
  • Inhumans: July 12, 2019