In the treasure trove of info that are the leaked Sony Pictures emails, one conversation has been discovered that would blow Marvel comics fans' minds — the fact that Sony and Marvel was indeed discussing a way for the Sony-owned Spider-Man to appear in Marvel Studios cinematic universe. That's the good news.
The bad news is, of course, Sony decided not to let Spidey be a part of Captain America: Civil War, despite the fact that Spider-Man plays a large role in the original comic storyline and Sony's Spider-Man franchise could desperately use the kind of reinvigoration joining the MCU might provide. According to the Wall Street Journal, the discussions went all the way to the top of both companies, Walt Disney's Bob Iger and Sony's Kaz Hirai, before Sony decided no go.
That's a shame, but on the plus side the emails reveal that Sony is also working on an animated Spider-Man film to be produced by The Lego Movie's Chris Miller and Phil Lord, which sounds potentially very awesome indeed. Between this and the aforementioned 21 Jump Street/Men in Black crossover, it sounds like Sony should just give these two guys the checkbook and ask them if they wouldn't mind making all their movies.