Update: Looks like a certain friendly neighborhood superhero isn’t leaving Marvel Studios after all.
On Sept. 27, Variety announced that Marvel Studios and Sony have managed to form a new deal that will allow Spider-Man to remain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in a third film to be released in July 2021. The studios have reached a new deal that will give Disney 25% of the box office but require them to pay for a quarter of production in exchange for using the character.
On Aug. 20, many fans of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) received a rude awakening when it was revealed that a friendly neighborhood superhero would no longer be appearing in the same movies as fellow Avengers. The deal between Disney and Sony Pictures (the company that owns the rights to Spider-Man) had fallen through due to unsuccessful negotiations.
Previously, Disney forged a deal with Sony that said Spider-Man could appear in the MCU alongside characters owned by Disney like Iron Man and Captain America. For films like “Avengers: Infinity War,” Marvel Studios produced the film and kept the profits. But for Spidey’s solo films like “Far From Home,” Sony paid for production and received most of the box office haul while Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege gave creative oversight and allowed for cameos of other heroes. The deal seemed like a great success, but fell into sudden disarray when Disney demanded a greater share (reportedly 50%) of the box office sales for Spidey films. Sony refused, and is pulling the character away from Marvel Studios.
Fans of Spider-Man and the MCU were unhappy, if not furious, over the news of the character’s departure. The character, played by actor Tom Holland, had been well received by many and praised for showing the character’s relatable struggles as a teenager. Holland is still expected to play Spider-Man for Sony-made films, but will no longer be able to interact with other heroes. Spidey was expected to become a key player in the new MCU and had meaningful relationships with characters like Iron Man, and fans fear that both the MCU and future Spider-Man films will be lacking. As of Sept. 10, an online petition to keep Spider-Man in the MCU received over 100,000 signatures.
Fiege seemed to take the news in stride.
“We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers,” Fiege said. “It was a dream that I never thought would happen.”
Fiege has also pointed out that the MCU still has new heroes on its plate like Captain Marvel and Black Panther that they are excited to promote.
Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra recently addressed hopes of a new deal and stated that “for the moment, the door is closed.” Vinciquerra was optimistic about Spider-Man’s future, adding that Sony has “some pretty terrific people” and teased crossovers with characters like Venom.
Actor Tom Holland, making an appearance at Disney’s official fan club expo, addressed Marvel fans and thanked them for their support.
“I want you to know that I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart,” Holland said. “And I love you three thousand.”
Cover photo courtesy of Flickr