There's a number of Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers rumours doing the rounds right now, but most seem to be completely spurious.* Interestingly, the only two to carry any weight with me at all both relate to the possibility of a cross-over between Marvel Studios' movies and Sony's Spider-Man series.
Apparently, we narrowly missed out on a sweet little easter egg in Whedon's movie. According to Latino Review, plans were afoot for an element of The Amazing Spider-Man's production design to make a cameo in the main Marvel Movieverse:
Marvel Studios and Sony [had] the discussion about inserting Oscorp into The Avengers skyline. The Unified Marvel Manhattan Skyline almost existed.
By the time the Oscorp building was fully designed, The Avengers digital Manhattan was already basically rendered and there was some up-conversion that needed to go down, so – for timing – it was scrapped.
BUT – Sony and Disney were going to let this happen. THAT's the key thing here. Timing just didn't work out.
So it didn't happen, but it may have. Nice story, I hope it's true – though if Spider-Man does exist in the Avengers' world, why didn't Fury recruit him too?
Meanwhile, Spider-Man producer Avi Arad has rather loftier ambitions for a future tie-in. He told Crave:
Everything is possible. If something like that happens, it's great for Disney, it's great for Sony. If the right story comes in, we are now working on Venom first. It's our first out. So our thinking is in the right direction. Avengers to me was an expected success so I never looked at it because Avengers was successful.
There is, of course, a limit to the scope of this cross over. Don't expect Spider-Man to join the team for Avengers 2. This snippet from Latino Review makes that pretty clear for anybody getting ahead of the game:
I told Avi and Matt [Tolmach, Spider-Man producer] that I realize it's a business impossibility to share the characters, ("Thank you for understanding that" – Matt Tolmach to me), but wanted to get across that these small, small things are enough for the fanboys.
Matt said they'd love to do more like this, meaning crossovers on the smaller level.
So, buildings on the skyline seem like a yes, character sharing is still a real no no. But where's the limit? What can they stretch this to?
I don't think it's impossible that an original character, created for the movies (think: Agent Coulson) could be cooked up just for this kind of crossover, but I'd expect that's the very limit.
We'll see, though. Time will tell just how much connective tissue that these huge rival corporations will grow.
And besides just doing it for the sake of doing it, I'm very curious to see what use such a cross-over could actually be put to. I'm sure somebody like Joss Whedon could come up with a smart idea or two. He certainly put Coulson's position as the movie cross-over guy to good use.
*I really wouldn't expect to see The Avengers: Director's Cut in cinemas if I were you.