A lack of partnership might keep the friendly neighborhood hero from swinging through any more joint flicks.
Disney announced today that talks have stopped between Marvel and Sony regarding the future of Spider-Man. Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man solo films and has distributed films starring the web-slinging teen since 2002 with Sam Raimi’s trilogy staring Tobey Maquire.
Fans may feel attacked now, however, since their partnership with Marvel is vital to the continuing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland has portrayed the superhero from his cameo in Captain America: Civil War to his first solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, through the MCU until it’s most recent film Spider-Man: Far From Home. This collaboration with the established MCU, and Spidey’s cinematic affiliation with the Avengers, is now in jeopardy if Sony and Marvel do not come to some agreement. Holland’s Spidey is, possibly, the most popular iteration of the character in recent years.
Marvel, bought and managed by Disney since 2009, has retained merchandising rights for the hero, but film rights belong to Sony. Disney asked for a 50/50 co-financing agreement, and Sony turned that down. Unless a deal can be made, the web-slingers could be retired.
Fans shouldn’t worry too much. Holland and Director John Watts are already signed-on for two more films. So fan-favorite Spider-Man will continue, the MCU crossovers however, may not.
Far From Home broke records for Sony this week earning over $1 billion worldwide, and became the studio’s highest grossing film of all time. The studio may hope to keep sole control of the character’s cinematic exploits, but Marvel fans may cry for more collaboration.
This comes less than a year after the death of Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, who often stated that Spider-Man is the character with which he most relates and was one of his favorites from all the Marvel heroes. This could be yet another reason that fans want to see the web-slinger treated well.