The Marvel Cinematic Universe was shaken to its core when Spider-Man (Tom Holland) was finally allowed to join his fellow Marvel heroes in Captain America: Civil War. Prior to that, Sony kept the character firmly gripped through The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which followed several years after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man series), until Marvel eventually managed to convince Sony's Amy Pascal that it was in the best interest of the character for him to join the MCU. That said, it wasn't an easy case for Kevin Feige to make at first, as new details about the initial pitch to bring Spidey into the MCU suggest that things were pretty feisty between Feige and Pascal.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Kevin Feige met with Amy Pascal on a mission to get Peter Parker brought back into the Marvel fold. The intention here was to unravel a deal made years earlier in which Sony had acquired the Web-Head, leaving Marvel without arguably its most iconic character. When Feige presented Pascal with the possibility of handing producing duties for the next Spider-Man movie to Marvel, that's where things initially soured. In fact, as the story goes, Amy Pascal was reportedly offended enough to throw a sandwich at Feige and "half-jokingly" command that he "get the f--- out!"
In the end, however, Kevin Feige was able to convince Amy Pascal to let Marvel Studios have Spider-Man. The way Feige pulled that off was by presenting Sony with a landmark deal in which Sony would retain its ownership of the character; Marvel Studios would merely make the movies that Spider-Man would appear in and incorporate him into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now Sony gets the box office money, while Marvel Studios claims merchandise profits.
As previously mentioned, this Spider-Man deal represents a significant step towards undoing an agreement made years earlier that kept Peter Parker out of Marvel Studios' hands in Phases One and Two. When Sony initially acquired Spider-Man from Marvel, it denied the chance to buy other characters on the proposed grounds that "Nobody gives a shit about any of the other Marvel characters." As we would clearly learn over the course of the next few years, that rationale turned out to be incredibly wrong and misguided.
Although the deal did eventually go through, it has also created a somewhat muddled situation regarding which characters can show up in certain movies. Sony has let Marvel Studios use Spider-Man, but it also has its line of Spider-Man-themed films on the horizon as well, such as Venom and Silver and Black. We're still not entirely sure if Tom Holland's Spider-Man will appear in these movies, so it's a matter of waiting to see how this world keeps evolving.
Now that Spider-Man has finally been allowed to thrive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's almost hard to think of a time in which he wasn't there. The character's tenure in the MCU will continue later this year when Avengers: Infinity War debuts in theaters on May 4. Before then, however, make sure to catch Black Panther when Ryan Coogler's long-awaited solo movie hits theaters this weekend on February 16.