Disney and Sony Pictures have failed to reach new terms that would have given the former a 50/50 co-financing stake going forward, which means that the web slinger will no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), according to Deadline.
On the last two Spider-Man movies, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Disney took a smaller percentage of profits from each (roughly 5% of first dollar gross), in exchange for Sony allowing Marvel to use the character in “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Avengers: Endgame.” It was likely inevitable that Disney would want to renegotiate the agreement in favor of a more equitable deal between the two major studios on future Spidey movies.
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According to the Deadline report, Disney’s offer for a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, which might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe, wasn’t even met by a counter from Sony, suggesting that the latter isn’t currently interesting in even entertaining a renegotiation of the current agreement.
Clearly, as Sony begins building its own Spider-Man expanded universe, with box office hits in “Venom” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (both with sequels on the way), the studio just simply does not want to share profits from its most important franchise. It also has a Morbius film with Jared Leto, as well as Kraven the Hunter, and another spinoff with the characters Silver Sable and Black Cat.
This news comes after “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” which is being re-released in a few weeks, became Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time. And with two more Spider-Man films in development with both director Jon Watts and star Tom Holland attached, it means that Marvel chief Kevin Feige will not be involved as lead creative producer, unless some kind of deal is reached. But with neither studio seemingly willing to budge, it appears unlikely to happen.
Although, in response to a request for comment from Sony, the studio, reticent about speaking in detail on the matter, told IndieWire simply: “Kevin [Feige] always had a hand in the movies he didn’t have a producer credit on – ‘Venom,’ etc. This comes down to producer credit only and our understanding is negotiations are ongoing.”
But should an MCU that now includes the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool franchises, indeed continue forward minus Spider-Man, that scenario would certainly be disappointing for fans of the MCU. Especially if, even if it was just for a short while, all of Marvel’s heroes were under the same roof.
Post Fox deal, Feige certainly has his hands full with existing properties, especially as Disney+ launches in the fall, but gaining control of one of the most popular superhero characters of all time, would have been a coup.
Sony clearly believes it doesn’t need Marvel, but time will certainly tell.
Additional reporting by Christian Blauvelt.
Editor’s Note: Since the following story was published, IndieWire received the following comment from Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson Todd Kaplan: “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.”