A surprise Marvel crossover is happening. It has been confirmed that a clip from X-Men: Days of Future Past will be play after the credits roll on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This is not only weird because previews of upcoming movies usually come before the film and not after, but because X-Men and Spider-Man are owned by separate studios. Yes, they’re both Marvel comics properties, but Fox retains the rights to all X-Men characters while Sony is in control of all things Spidey. This has been the principal hurdle preventing possible crossovers between the Spider-Man/X-Men/Avengers universes, since the practicality of any “team-up” film would necessitate a split of profits between major studios.
The staff over at Empire broke the news that a scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past involving Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, Lucas Till’s Havok, and Evan Jonigkeit’s Toad will play after the credits of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. /Film subsequently confirmed that this won’t only be the case in UK cinemas, as it will play in domestic theaters as well.
It’s unclear whether The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will have a post-credits scene of its own, as with the previous film, but reports out of initial screenings of the film in the U.K. noted that there was no Spidey scene after the credits. If folks do stick around after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hoping to get a tease of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 or The Sinister Six and instead are greeted with a commercial for X-Men: Days of Future Past—which has nothing to do with the Spider-Man universe at all—I’m not sure how that’s going to go over. Confusing would be my best guess, as it may lead some moviegoers to think Days of Future Past has something to do with Spider-Man, which is certainly doesn’t.
While it might not sound like a big deal, it could lead to huge things down the road. Even though Fox and Sony are simply teaming up to air a glorified commercial for Days of Future Past, it does show willingness on Sony’s part to at least acknowledge the existence of other Marvel comics properties. This is a far cry from actually featuring Sony-owned and Fox-owned characters in the same film, but it could mark a tiny step towards that eventual possibility. Hugh Jackman has stated numerous times that he would love to show up in an Avengers or Spider-Man film.
Of course it all comes down to money and profits. I can’t imagine studios as big as Sony and Fox willing to come together and split the profits on such a lucrative possibility when they can just make their own $500+ million-grossing movies and keep the profits all to themselves. Then there’s Marvel Studios, which has twice-now crossed the $1 billion mark with The Avengers and Iron Man 3. At the end of the day, a big team-up movie with Spider-Man joining The Avengers is a nice idea, but these studios are businesses first and foremost, and $1 billion all to yourself versus $1.5 billion split multiple ways isn’t a terribly tough decision. One imagines the contractual negotiations that would have to take place pertaining to profits, merchandise, actors, etc. would be an absolute nightmare.
For now, though, there’s an impossibly tiny glimmer of hope thanks to a very strange marketing agreement between Sony and Fox. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters on May 2nd, while X-Men: Days of Future Past arrives on May 23rd.