UPDATE: Io9 reached out to a Sony representative who stated it was “their belief this dispute is simply over a producer credit and negotiations are ongoing.” Other sources, however, told them that the Deadline story is accurate. So is this just damage control on Sony’s part due to the loud outcry on the internet from fans? We’ll just have to wait and see. The original story as follows:
Sorry Spidey, but you’re out of the Avengers and you can thank your masters Sony for that. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has been booted from producing any further ‘Spider-Man’ solo flicks for Sony after a dispute between Sony and Marvel Studios’ parent company Disney. It was under Feige’s guidance that Tom Holland‘s Peter Parker was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in ‘Captain America: Civil War’. Spidey was further woven into Marvel’s web in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’, with Feige also producing ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’. There have been indicators that this split might be coming for a while, but this is still devastating news to fans of Holland’s Parker and his place within the MCU.
Reportedly, this stemmed from discussions of where to take the franchises from here. Disney wanted a 50/50 split which would have also led to them co-financing the ‘Spider-Man’ flicks with Sony. Under the current deal, Disney doesn’t finance them and only gets a 5% cut of gross. (Meaning, regardless of how much Sony spent on the movies, Disney got their cut off of actual ticket sales, so it made its money before the films turned a profit.)
Disney/Marvel/Feige were also seeking to become greater involved with Sony’s entire Spidey-centered franchise, which likely would have meant that stand-alone properties like ‘Venom’ and the upcoming ‘Morbius’ could have been worked into the MCU and would have allowed for them to involve Spider-Man. As we saw last year, Sony’s ‘Venom’ did not contain any references to the Wall-Crawler. Now, Sony will most likely use Spider-Man in these various spin-offs, but none of them will connect to the MCU.
According to insiders, not only did Sony refuse this 50/50 deal outright, they didn’t even counter it, choosing to simply cut ties. Reports are that Disney owns all of the merchandising for Spider-Man, so Sony didn’t see why they deserved half the money taken in from movies.
Under Feige, the MCU has become the most powerful force at the box office. ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is now the highest-grossing movie of all time. Both it and ‘Captain Marvel’ have crossed the $1 billion mark this year. Last year, ‘Black Panther’ became the first superhero movie nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Meanwhile, the animated ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ has also made over $1 billion and this weekend, became the highest-grossing Sony movie ever, worldwide. In fact, the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise, going back to Sam Raimi’s entries, is Sony’s biggest franchise. So it may be understandable that they didn’t want to share that with an outside studio.
It was previously reported that Holland was only signed on for one more solo movie and had fulfilled his contractual obligations to appear in Marvel Studios films (‘Civil War’, ‘Infinity War’, and ‘Endgame’), but it is now being reported that Holland and director Jon Watts are actually planning to make two more.
This news is still unfolding so check back for updates as they emerge.