This article was originally published on on November 15, 2021. Click here to see it:

Disney+ Day has come and gone. As expected, there were tons of announcements (though not as many as people expected). One of the most surprising announcements came in the form of a new Disney+ exclusive animated series called Spider-Man: Freshman Year.  This, in canon series from Marvel Studios will follow the exploits of Peter Parker’s first year as Spider-Man as he learns that with great power comes great responsibility (even though Civil War was meant to be 6 months into his career, but who’s keeping track any more). 

As Spectacular Spider-Man fans will know, Disney holds the animation/television rights to Spider-Man. This is one of the many reasons why that series was cancelled in favor of Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man.  A new animated adventure for the MCU’s Peter Parker was practically inevitable when Marvel Studios began building up their animation division.  There seems to be two potential reasons why Marvel Studios is interested in pursuing this series.

Spider-Man only exists in the MCU thanks to a deal between Sony and Marvel/Disney, effectively giving Kevin Feige creative control of the solo Spider-Man movies. A deal that won’t last forever.  After Spider-Man: No Way Home, the future is unclear for the MCU’s wall crawler. There are conflicting reports if another MCU appearance was part of the deal. Behind the scenes, a deal is no doubt being worked on to continue Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, but Spider-Man: Freshman Year could point to Marvel being uncertain what the future could hold for him. Potentially, Marvel Studios would be looking for other mediums to keep telling Spider-Man stories. In the event that a deal isn’t struck, this series could be a way for them to continue telling stories with the MCU Peter Parker without having to go any further into the future. Effectively leaving the door open for Sony to return to the negotiating table someday down the line.

On the other hand, this move could signal Marvel Studios confidence that a new deal will be signed and are already setting up plans for the next few years of the MCU Spider-Man. It would be beneficial for both parties to keep Spider-Man in the MCU, even if Sony insists on making other Spider-Man related films, they’re aware of the fans desire to keep seeing Tom Holland interact with the wider MCU. At this point, continuing Spider-Man’s MCU journey is impossible for Marvel to do without Sony as it’s proven to be a huge success for all parties.

Of course, realistically and optimistically speaking, the second option is far more likely then the first. Fans are not only eagerly anticipating the next Spider-Man film but holding their breath as to what the future for this character could be. By its very nature, Spider-Man: Freshman Year is probably not going to be a long series but it is nice to know that there is more MCU Spider-Man in our future, even if it is a prequel series.

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