The relationship between Sony, Marvel and Spider-Man has always been a rather contentious issue.
As the Avengers films demonstrated, Spidey belongs with his team of fellow superheroes, though he’s very capable on his own, too.
However, like a divorced couple arguing for custody, the studios who own the intellectual property of the character can never quite decide what to do with him. We thought they’d reached an agreement, and they did to some extent in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Now, it seems the amicable, joint-custody-type deal Sony and Marvel had going on has unfortunately come to an end, as Disney are reportedly seeking 50 percent of the profits related to the character, rather than the previous deal’s 5 per cent, ComicBook reports.
As the deal isn’t so great from Sony’s point of view, it seems the agreement has concluded between the two. In a new statement, the studio have addressed some of the rumours, Marvel boss Kevin Feige’s involvement, and the possibility of future collaborations.
Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film.
We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own.
Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.
Though the details of the deal are purposefully vague, as they often are when billions of dollars are involved, the possibility of projects further down the line are not ruled out.
What is does suggest, however, is Spider-Man is no longer part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the future movies will take place out of the Avengers-led world.
The deal was initially struck in 2015 between the two studios, whereby they could share rights to Spider-Man, resulting in Tom Holland’s first appearance in Civil War, two standalone Spider-Man movies and two Avengers films. Sony handled the standalone movies, while Disney did the group efforts, according to MovieWeb.
However, the renegotiation of the percentage split seems to be a sticking point for the two studios, with our friendly neighbourhood Spidey stuck in the middle.
The dissolution of the studios’ Spider-Man agreement comes shortly after Spider-Man: Far From Home became Sony’s most successful release at the global box office.
The studio, however, has two more Spidey films in the back pocket, with both director Jon Watts and star Tom Holland reportedly still attached, Gizmodo reports. The studio has, of course, already started its own Marvel-less Spider-Man universe, with the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom, both of which are reported to have sequels on the way, and the upcoming Morbius film.
While the Oscar-winning animated Spider-Verse film proves Sony can do things on their own, not having Feige on board will undoubtedly be a blow – as he has helmed the past 10 years of Marvel films, grossing around $26.8 billion for the studio, with all films under his supervision opening at number one at the box office, Deadline reports.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.