Seismic waves ripped through the Marvel universe yesterday when news broke that Sony and Disney no longer could figure out how to cooperate on a proper deal to share Spider-Man, meaning that the Tom Holland iteration of the character would be leaving the MCU and only appearing in Sony films from here on out. In a nutshell, it was Sony taking its ball and going home after Disney reportedly asked for a new revenue-share model that was more of a 50/50 split – giving Sony far less than they were getting in the previous agreement.
Since the initial report, new statements have been floated to various outlets suggesting that the report of a complete break are premature, but Sony did officially weigh in on its own social media account, explaining:
But they definitely lay the blame at the feet of Disney for making a decision not to allow Feige to continue overseeing the Spider-Man properties, and suggest that Feige might be too busy to manage all of the titles he’s now managing, thanks to Marvel’s own development of franchises like Eternals and Shang-Chi, and the acquisition of the Fox properties.
That’s nonsense, though. Kevin Feige is not sacrificing the ability to make more Spider-Man movies with Sony (and keep Peter Parker in the MCU) because he has too much on his plate. This man fought tooth and nail to get all of Marvel’s characters back under the same umbrella. He’s going to let Spidey walk back to Sony now, and diminish the overall strength of the MCU, right at a point when it was at its strongest?
No, this is about profit sharing, and Sony believing that after Marvel helped them get Spider-Man back on his feet, they can take the baton and keep running with it… and not run it into a wall, like they did with the Andrew Garfield films. The question becomes, do you trust their ability to do that? Several people weighing in on social media suggest that it’s ludicrous to think that the studio who delivered Venom and a handful of disappointing Spider-Man movies can successfully continue the web-head’s legacy. But this appears to be their plan.
There’s still room for negotiation. Disney can lower its asking price. Sony can listen to the outrage from die-hard Spider-Man fans and realize that they shouldn’t remove the hero from the MCU. Cooler heads can still prevail. We’ll continue to track this story, as it feels like significant developments are still to come.