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While many fans are looking forward to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many of those same fans are sad, as it appears that future will no longer include Spider-Man. Yesterday Sony's CEO clarified the state of things by saying "The door is closed" on a Marvel/Sony partnership, at least for the moment. This is sure to disappoint many, but two people who aren't too upset, or shocked, by it are Joe and Anthony Russo.
The Russo Brothers' directed Tom Holland's Spider-Man in all three of his MCU appearances, so they're closely connected to the character, and yet, Anthony Russo says that he and his brother were not surprised to hear that Marvel and Sony have failed to reach an agreement, because making the deal the first time around was far from easy. According to Anthony Russo...
I think that’s why Joe and I are not so devastated or surprised that there’s been a falling-out, because it was so hard to make it happen in the first place.
The news that Sony and Marvel had made a deal that would bring Marvel's most popular character into its incredibly successful movie franchise was the shot heard 'round the world five years ago when the deal was made. It was the last thing that anybody was expecting. It blew our minds. It was the sort of thing that fans dreamed about, but never actually thought would happen.
Of course, the whole thing was such a long shot that it's not hard to imagine just how difficult it was to actually make it thing happen. The Russo Brothers tell The Daily Beast that they were the ones that were pushing Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige to put the deal together, and they say the whole thing was so much work that Feige actually would have been just as happy if the deal didn't need to be made. According to Joe Russo...
It wasn’t easy. Kevin [Feige] went through a lot. There were a lot of ups and downs, and he kept walking into our office and we’d go, ‘Look, we’ve got to do it with [Sony],’ and he’d go, ‘OK, I’ll figure it out,’ and walk back into his. He was looking for the way out. He wanted to open that door and have us go, ‘We figured it out! We don’t need Spider-Man!’ because it’s a lot of work to get two major corporations to play nice with each other, and the fact that it happened at all, we should all be dancing and celebrating that we got that little bit of time.
Joe Russo is probably right. In the end, Spider-Man's time in the MCU, however brief, was put to good use and it was great to have him. The story is complete where it was left, so there's no need to have the character back.
Based on where Marvel's Phase 4 is going, it's not clear what place Spider-Man would have had anyway, so maybe now was as good a time as any for the two sides to part ways. And while the door may be closed for now, the possibility of it opening again down the road is always there.