STORY UPDATED WITH SONY’S STATEMENT:
Alas, it’s official now: The Sony and Marvel deal is over, meaning Spider-Man is out of the MCU.
Sony has released the following statement:
“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.”
Original story below:
Some troubling news for Spider-Man: The Marvel and Sony relationship appears to have to an end.
According to a number of reports that are breaking out, first by Deadline and backed up by THR and Variety, there’s been a major breakdown between Marvel and Sony regarding the Spider-Man brand. It’s a development that also removes Kevin Feige from his producing role with Spider-Man, in which he helped shepherd the character’s MCU journey that kicked off with Captain America: Civil War and most recently gave us Spider-Man: Far from Home.
While the are a few elements to this reported break-up, it’s mostly coming down to – of course – money. Marvel parent Disney has asked for more of the revenue on future Spider-Man films. As per Variety:
The dispute stems from Disney’s demand that future Spider-Man films would be financed on a 50/50 basis with Feige remaining in a consulting producer capacity. Sony is believed to have proposed keeping the arrangement under the current terms, which stipulate that Marvel receives about 5% of first-dollar gross and all merchandising revenues.
Sony did not want to share its biggest franchise. Sure Disney would be putting up half the funding, but the risk is in how much you are going to make back in profit.
So, looks like Disney wanted to pay half the costs to earn substantially more from the films, and Sony wanted to leaves the deal as is. Sony film studio chief Tom Rothman and Feige couldn’t come to an agreement.
It’s a bizarre moment for this major breakdown between the companies to occur, considering the huge success they’ve seen together. This year’s Spider-Man: Far from Home has become the highest-grossing Spidey film of all time (unadjusted figures), topping $US1.1 billion in box office receipts. That number also makes the film the ninth highest-grossing film in the MCU’s 23 chapters.
This also means that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has been dusted from the MCU – although this time permanently. No deal between the two companies means this iteration of Spidey can no longer continue in the Marvel universe, so we’ll have a big hole in whatever comes next; Far from Home set up some major developments, too. Sony has plans for two more Spider-Man films with Holland, although just what the plans are for those are an even bigger mystery now.
Sony is obviously confident they can continue with the Spider-Man brand on their own again. Spidey has been given a renewed life with the films under this Marvel deal, and while Venom wasn’t met with mixed reviews, it gave Sony confidence with a big hit in the tune of $US856 million worldwide. Animated film Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse was also did well, with $US365 million and an Oscar for Best Animated Film.
Sony has around 900 characters that come under their Spidey umbrella, so there’s certainly no shortage of stories to tell – assuming they can do so well. They currently have a Venom sequel in the works with Tom Hardy back and Andy Serkis directing, and a Morbius movie on the way with Jared Leto on board as the titular vampire.