The Sony hacking scandal has been a nightmarish ordeal for everyone involved and it feels crass and mean-spirited to dwell on the stolen information that’s been circulating around the internet for the past week or so. A lot of movies, movie ideas and personal exchanges are now public knowledge and some of it has been pretty gross.

However, one story became so widely reported that it feels necessary to at least touch on it here: Marvel Studios tried to “borrow” Spider-Man from Sony for a role in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ but negotiations ultimately broke down.

In fact, a great deal of the leaked information dealt with Sony struggling to find something, anything, to do with their one and only superhero. It’s no secret that the failure of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ threw the studio for a loop (although it shouldn’t have, because it’s terrible) and dashed most of their future plans for the franchise, leading to a mad scramble to figure out how to rescue this sinking ship. It was this desperation that led to them talking to Marvel and considering a very interesting pitch: Marvel Studios would develop and make a new series of Spider-Man movies that have ties to the Marvel cinematic universe and Sony would have a hand in distributing. Since Spidey plays such a big role in the comic book version of ‘Civil War,’ that movie would mark his debut.

This was already a sticky situation and a plan that Sony was not sold on, but it fell apart because Marvel had one other condition: if they got control of Spidey, they would have recast the role. Sony, who feel like they have a lot invested in Garfield, balked at this idea. And then everyone was back to the square one, with Marvel shrugging and moving onto their next bajillion films and Sony still desperately trying to figure out what to do. Maybe an animated Spider-Man comedy from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the geniuses behind ‘The LEGO Movie’? It was discussed.

Anyway, Sony has to do something drastic to save Spidey. When composer James Horner is going around saying that he refused to return for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ because it was awful and the studios treated director Marc Webb like crap on the first film, you have a serious (and public) problem.

Just like in the comics, Peter Parker just can’t catch a break.

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