Spider-Man Is Exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Sony 'Disappointed' Over Drama With Disney
By Zach Seemayer
Courtesy of Sony Pictures
Spider-Man's time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be coming to an end -- and it seems Sony, the studio behind Spidey's solo films, is as "disappointed" as everyone else about the news.
"Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about [Marvel Studios president] Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise," the studio 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."
Sony Pictures has owned the movie rights to everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man since before Marvel Studios was its own studio. Following the less-than-stellar performance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony and Marvel Studios' parent company, Disney, struck an unprecedented deal that would essentially allow them to share Spidey.
As such, Feige became a plead roducer on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home -- both starring Tom Holland as the eponymous superhero -- and Holland's Peter Parker was allowed to appear in three MCU films, including Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and this year's Avengers: Endgame.
Deadline first reported 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.
However, their statement paints something of a different picture -- chalking the issue up to time constraints -- and includes a caveat that will no doubt give fans hope that perhaps the two studios will come to an agreement sooner rather than later.
"We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given [Feige] -- including all their newly added Marvel properties -- do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own," Sony's statement continued, presumably referring to Disney's recent acquisition of Fox, which will allow Marvel to bring X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the MCU.
"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 concluded.
Regarding the "path" Feige and Marvel Studios' involvement put Sony on, it's worth noting that Spider-Man: Far From Home recently became Sony's highest grossing film of all time, raking in a worldwide total of $1.1 billion.
What this means for a third Spider-Man film is currently unclear. Sony has been busy building their own Spider-Man-less Marvel-verse with Venom (starring Tom Hardy) and the upcoming Morbius (with Jared Leto), so it's not a stretch to imagine Holland could be going toe-to-toe with one of them. As for the MCU, while Spider-Man wasn't part of the Phase 4 slate, the other Avengers will eventually -- somehow -- have to account for his absence.
The news had devastated many fans, though it wasn't just movie-goers who expressed their ire online. Hawkeye himself, Avengers star Jeremy Renner, took to Twitter to address Sony directly.