Days after Sony and Disney failed to strike a new deal that would keep the beloved web-slinger in the MCU, the Spider-Man: Far From Home star told ET on the Disney Legends Awards red carpet at D23 that he's "cautiously optimistic" that the two studios would resolve their disagreement. But Favreau, of course, took the opportunity to half-jokingly lament over how the possible absence of Peter Parker and Aunt May could affect his character Happy's romantic life.
"After all that time, it took 10 years for him to get to a good relationship!" Favreau exclaimed to ET's Ash Crossan in Anaheim, California, on Friday before seriously addressing the current Spider-Man drama. "It's still early days. As a fan, [I'm] cautiously hopeful that something will come together, because I think all the fans wanna see those characters together. I don't mean Happy and May, I mean Spidey with the MCU."
"So, still early days. Things don't always -- what you read isn't always indicative of where things are now, so hopefully I'll find out more while I'm here," he continued. "But as a fan, I'm hopeful that... you know, cautiously optimistic. Holding out hope that this isn't the final chapter of that story."
Sony Pictures has owned the movie rights to Spider-Man since before Marvel Studios became its own studio. Following The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony and Marvel Studios' parent company, Disney, struck an unprecedented deal that allowed the two companies to share Spidey.
Through the original deal, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige became a lead producer on Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequel, Far From Home, which starred Tom Holland as the eponymous superhero. The character was also allowed to appear in three MCU crossover films: Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and this year's Avengers: Endgame.
Deadline first reported earlier this week that talks to extend the deal between Sony and Disney fell apart when the latter pushed for a larger cut of the Spider-Man profits, a point on which Sony has reportedly been unwilling to budge. As a result, Feige would no longer be a producer on future Spider-Man films.
"Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise," Sony said in a statement on Tuesday. "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."
Favreau was part of a select group of A-list names receiving the distinguished honor of being named a Disney Legend this year at D23, joining the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Christina Aguilera and Ming-Na Wen.
"It's fun to be here at D23 at all. And then to be on stage with people like Robert Downey Jr., who I came up with in the Marvel world, is really quite... I'm grateful for it. It's really nice to be not just with the people on stage today but all the pioneers of animation and storytelling and all of the innovators and technology, theme parks," he reflected to ET. "It's a tremendous impact -- if you look at what Disney started and how it's influenced all other studios and theme parks and animation, it's quite an honor to be alongside people who were the pioneers of that craft."
Favreau not only directed the very first Iron Man, paving the way for the MCU, he also directed The Jungle Book and The Lion King for Disney.
"Thank you to my family, my Disney family, my Marvel family, my Star Wars family," the actor-director said onstage later while accepting his Disney Legend award. "Instead of talking about me, let's take this opportunity to talk about Walt Disney, because that's why we're all here… Walt Disney was the master of bringing the old myths and the magic of technology together to create indelible memories and create a culture that we all grew up in that passed a set of values from one generation to the next."
John Boone contributed to this story.
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