Following up on earlier reported rumors, Entertainment Weekly has reported that, according to their inside sources at each movie studio, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are engaged in "delicate preliminary conversations" about sharing Spider-Man on the big screen. As of right now, Sony Pictures owns the rights to Spider-Man's film franchise -- which means Peter Parker can't show up in any of Marvel's immensely popular feature films. That's why this past summer's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" featured no shout outs to "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" or "Guardians of the Galaxy," even though the stars of those three films are all Marvel Comics characters.
EW compared the rumored talks to passing notes in class; any discussions happening are still too early in the process, and Sony has neither checked the "yes" or "no" box. As it stands right now, Sony has to make a film using Spider-Man every three years. If they fail to do so, the character's film rights will revert back to Marvel -- just like they did for Daredevil in early 2013 when Fox failed to greenlight a new feature film for the hero. Whether or not Sony will be able to keep their new Spider-Franchise afloat remains to be seen; "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" earned $60M less at the box office than its 2012 predecessor.
Whether or not these supposed talks amount to anything seems to hinge on the success of Sony's next Spider-Man film, 2016's "Sinister Six." The studio apparently hopes that "Cabin in the Woods" writer/director Drew Goddard will be able to inject new life into the film series with his take on Spider-Man's villains. If Goddard's villain team-up film flops, EW theorizes that could make any offer Marvel's made to share Spider-Man even more enticing.
Marvel already has films scheduled out to 2019, meaning that even if "Sinister Six" tanks and Sony accepts Marvel's rumored offer, we won't see a Marvel Studios "Spider-Man" until 2020 at the earliest -- and remember, that's taking a lot of variables into account.