Spider-Man in ‘The Avengers?’ Probably not. But …

The Internet broke today.

And you can blame British actress Jenny Agutter.

In an interview with Radio Times, a Brit publication, Agutter noted that she has a small role in this May’s movie version of the classic comic book “The Avengers.” While on the set, Agutter said, she saw trailers for the actors playing Iron Man and Spider-Man.

Only one problem: Spider-Man isn’t supposed to be in the movie. The webslinger’s big-screen adventures — including the reboot coming out late this summer — are being made by Sony, while “The Avengers” is coming from Disney.

So is there some cross-studio crossover in the works? Have Hollywood moguls loosened their grips on their respective superhero tentpoles and allowed the kind of hero visitation the comics have always enjoyed?

Probably not.

Anyway, there was a LOT of talk about the possibility of a Spider-Man cameo online today. About twice as many people discounted the possibility as touted it.

I guess we’ll know for certain, though, when “The Avengers” comes out on May 4.

It’s too bad that movie rights to the Spider-Man character are owned by Sony, while Fantastic Four is owned by Fox and Iron Man, Captain America and all the other Avengers are overseen by Paramount and Disney.

Because one of the best things about the comic book universe has traditionally been that it is a shared universe. As seen in the vintage cover above, Marvel heroes regularly showed up in each other’s comics.

On the current “Avengers” animated series on Disney XD, a season-one episode featured the super team fighting some bad guys in the streets of New York City. Suddenly a burst of flame pummels the baddies. The Avengers look up and the Human Torch, member of the Fantastic Four, skywrites, “You owe me one” before flying off.

Then the Torch’s FF compadre, the Thing, shows up to clobber another bad guy.

It was a throw-away gag, sure. And there was nothing to lose compared to the high stakes of big-screen movies.

But maybe someday we’ll see that big old comic-book universe play out on the movie screen.

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