In an absolute shocker, Sony just dropped some major Spider-Man news that is neither amazing nor spectacular.
On the heels of Spider-Man: Far From Home becoming the highest grossing film in Sony Pictures history (surpassing the 007 blockbuster Skyfall), the studio has decided to part ways with Disney’s Marvel Studios. Their historic collaboration was one that finally brought Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and revived the iconic superhero from its dormant state of cinematic limbo.
Now that collaboration is no more. What’s clear is that MCU producer Kevin Feige will no longer be involved in making solo Spider-Man films, nor will Marvel Studios or Disney be involved creatively or financially. Spidey’s connection to the MCU, however, remains…cloudy.
Talks between Sony and Disney were underway to extend the lucrative alliance, one that had far-reaching implications into the MCU (with Peter Parker appearing to be Tony Stark’s heir apparent), but those talks broke down when Sony refused to agree to Disney’s request for a 50/50 co-fianancing deal and profit-sharing partnership. Previously, Disney only had a 5% share.
Although Spider-Man is a Marvel Comics character, the film rights have remained with Sony/Columbia since they first required them back in the 1990s, and Sony will keep them for as long as they want to so long as they don’t allow a set number of years to pass before producing another one (reportedly in the 3-to-5 year range). That, in part, explains why the ill-conceived Andrew Garfield reboot was rushed into production.
It’s understandable that Sony wants to guard its biggest financial asset, but there’s no denying that Feige, Marvel, and Peter Parker’s inclusion into the MCU is what made Spider-Man a hot movie property again.
Star Tom Holland and director Jon Watts remain under contract for at least two future solo entries, which is a major insurance policy for Sony, but their “no worries, we’ll be fine, thank you and goodbye” posture suggests that there some egos involved as well. Yes, money differences are understandable, but they can be worked out if egos are set aside.
Even so, after the non-MCU successes of Venom and the Oscar-winning animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it’s understandable if Sony’s confidence is on the rise as they move forward with their “we’ve got this” approach.
Plus, as reported, Holland and Watts remain, and that’s huge, but taking Spider-Man out of the MCU removes a major appeal for this particular Spidey incarnation. That is, well, if he really is out of the MCU.
While some reports and headlines have deduced that conclusion, the only offiical news reported by the studios has been related to the Spider-Man solo projects. In addition, Collider is reporting that a studio insider has told them, “This comes down to producer credit only and our understanding is negotiations are ongoing.” So we shall see.
Stay tuned, true believers…