The war has finally ended. Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have finally come to terms to include everyone's favorite wall-crawler in the ever expanding Marvel movie universe. The battle began in 1999 with the first Spider-man film staring Tobey Maguire. Since then, Marvel has been devising a way to rescue their beloved character's rights from the clutches of Sony to utilize in upcoming films. Ostensibly, the only way to reclaim Spidey would would be a massive payout to Sony. What actually went down turned out to pretty anti-climatic, but also pretty awesome.
Basically neither studio is paying each other anything. So if Spider-man were to appear in Avengers 3, the next Captain America movie, or even Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel doesn't owe Sony a cent. Additionally Sony receives no percentage of the revenue generated by Spider-man's inclusing in the Marvel film universe and Marvel will not make any money from Sony's continued franchise.
A deal like this is odd to say the least. Not often do two huge competing corporations come out with such a peaceful delegation. The fans got exactly what they wanted - a solution that makes everyone happy. Well, everyone except Andrew Garfield who will no longer be doing everything a spider can. As Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool points out, perhaps Andrew shouldn't be the only one concerned.
Marvel has been taking risks with its movies because of its legal issues in capturing the rights for X-men and Spider-man. Johnston notes that "Guardians of the Galaxy would never have happened" if Marvel had Spider-man in its wheelhouse. Reports that production of Black Panther and Dr. Strange have been slowed down due to the acquisition of Spider-man might lend credence to this speculation.
Still true believers, we need to take the bad with the good. This, for the most part, is what we've always wanted - Spider-man on the big screen with the rest of the Marvel family. If that means we need to wait a little longer before heroes like Antman and Dr. Strange get their shot at the silver screen, so be it. I have faith that with the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel will no longer have fear in committing to films that can be seen as "riskier." One could say this is a truly SYMBIOTIC relationship. (Cringe Intended)