Saturday, August 31, 2019

Football Counter-Programming 2019: Week 2

Welcome back to another week of Football Counter-Programming. It's my seasonal attempt to get you doing something other than watch Saturday college football by disrupting your alumni social media feed with something other than sports. How well do I accomplish this? Well, you tell me. Are you reading this on Saturday afternoon rather than waiting through another Home Depot commercial to see your favorite school pound a week 1 cupcake opponent?

I sincerely hope that is the case.


So, I'm sure that you've heard the big cinematic news of the month--the breakdown of profit-sharing talks between Sony and Marvel Studios over the film rights to the Spider Man character.

Not since we learned that Kenneth Branaugh was going to direct a movie about Thor have the Marvel fans been so worried. How can Tom Holland survive? The news says that he'll still make Sony-created, stand-alone Spider Man movies, but it won't be connected to Marvel? (And to be clear, I am a big fan of Holland's Sony movies. I've appreciated his narrative connection to the MCU but I really like what has been happening with this new version of Peter Parker on his own.

But the fact remains that unless Kevin Feige and Disney back down from their initial aggressive profit-sharing demands, our boy Tom Holland may never show up as a new Avenger in the future and he won't be spending time with Falcon and Ant Man. How do we solve this problem?

If I understand things correctly, Sony isn't granting the right for their Peter Parker/Spider Man intellectual property from appearing in a Marvel movie. But does that prevent Tom Holland the actor from being in an MCU movie--as long as he doesn't wear a Spidey suit and no one ever calls him Peter Parker?

(I don't know how the language of his contract is written, but play along with me and just assume that Sony doesn't have lawyers that are so good that they can tell Holland what to do with his time as a professional actor 24/7/365.)

If my assumption is okay, then I can think of two options--

One--Holland becomes the MCU "guy in the chair" with a new code name. He never uses his own spider-powers again--at least not when he's around the Avengers. This turns him into a  Barbara Gordon/Oracle type.

Two--Disney works out a compromise with Sony and lets Holland join the scrap heap of deceased Spider Men actors that litter the past two decades The other part of that deal is that the MCU is integrated into the "Into the Spiderverse" verse. Imagine the press write-ups that spend so much time praising the technological wizardry on display when, ten years from now, Black Panther III features an animated Miles Morales! Imagine all of the befuddled Ant-Man jokes Paul Rudd gets to deliver when he encounters an animated Spider-Man! It would give a whole new spice to Phase V of the MCU--exactly when Kevin Feige needed it most!

But if that isn't what you want, how about enlisting a new Marvel character to serve as the replacement for Spider-Man within the MCU? If Tom Holland is lost and no amount of cleverness can bring back the relationship, then how does Disney and Marvel reconcile the plot thread where Peter Parker was being set up as the replacement for Tony Stark? My next idea offers up a character who is also young like Peter Parker, who has a hip comic book that is popular, who brings much-needed diversity and femininity to the MCU . . . and who happens to already be deep in the corporate clutches of the Disney + streaming universe.

I'm talking about Ms.Marvel, Kamala Khan, the star of the comic The Magnificent Ms. Marvel.

Her character is located in New Jersey, so it is close to the center of a great deal of Marvel action--conveniently (I guess?) across the river from Avengers Tower.

She has worked with the Avengers before. She recently acquired a costume upgrade (courtesy of an alien world encounter) that shows some self-aware/AI capabilities that work well within the Stark Industries/Jarvis/Friday/Karen mental suit "system" that we've grown accustomed to.

But don't get her mixed up with Captain Marvel--though I wouldn't blame you if that happened because Kamala Khan and Carol Danvers are definitely intertwined.

(And as I was searching around for images, I saw more than one web story that already backs up my--very obvious--idea.)


So, there you have it. Crisis averted.

Until next time, remember that I'm available next week to help your alumni's offensive coordinator whip those young men into shape before the important conference games begin in October. They have to be doing more than give the old-college-try to beat their old rivals on Homecoming week!

Go outside and pick some apples!

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