Movies & TV / Columns

Is Spider-Man Really No More at Marvel?

August 24, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

What a wild week for Spider-Man fans. Sony, which holds the licensing rights to Spider-Man, sent shockwaves after saying that it would no longer partner with Disney and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige on future movies.

This comes after releasing the successful Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home under the partnership banner and letting the web-slinger appear in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.

All that’s for naught unless Sony and Disney can come to some sort of agreement.

Fortunately, some out there are hopeful that they’ll find a workable resolution. Which is often the case when it comes to money.

Director Jon Favreau is “optimistic” they’ll find a way. “You never know what’s going to happen. I’m holding out hope and being optimistic that this isn’t the final chapter of the story between those characters,” Favreau told Variety‘s Angelique Jackson at Disney’s biennial D23 Expo.

For their part, Sony released this 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.”

Sony’s statement muddy’s the water a bit but make no mistake, this is about money, not Feige’s time, and each side is using whatever they can to get an advantage at the negotiations table. But will it end up with both sides losing?

Fans have accepted Spider-Man overwhelmingly in the Marvel cinematic universe. He’s quickly become one of the most popular Avengers, thanks to Tom Holland’s charm and wit. Not to mention the massive box office and critical success his two solo movies have enjoyed.

We don’t have specifics but word is Marvel and Disney want a 50-50 co-financing split and Sony is pushing for a smaller percentage for Marvel when it comes to gross revenue. With all the money that’s there to be made, you’d think they’d find a middle ground .

Sony seems to have false confidence in itself, thanks to the surprise performance of Venom. They might believe they have a handle on superheroes, we have far too many examples that prove otherwise.

This might even be a case of people at Sony feel like they have a firm grip on Marvel’s playbook and don’t need them anymore. An assumption that will most likely lead to a mess of a movie.

I can’t fathom both sides not budging. Spider-Man belongs in the MCU and is a better, more profitable character, when he is. They’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible and as Dr. Otto Octavius, played by the great Alfred Molina, said, “The true crime would be to not finish what we started.”