Yes, Disney And Sony's Spider-Man Compromise Was Due To The Fans

Spider-Man flying to the ground in Far From Home

For approximately a month, Spider-Man fans were left wonder what the Web-Slinger’s live action cinematic future would look like after Disney and Sony decided to part ways, meaning Spidey would not participate in the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore. But then in late September, the two studios reconciled, so Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will be sticking around this franchise for a little longer.

Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studio’s co-chairman and chief creative officer, and Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony’s Motion Picture Group, were recently asked about “the one thing above all else” that led to Disney and Sony resolving its Spider-Man standoff. Here’s how Horn responded:

The fan base, which is important to all of us, seemed to really respond to what Tom and his folks have done before with our people. They like the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Kevin Feige were involved [in the two Spider-Man films]. We heard feedback out there that suggested that joining forces once again was probably really a good idea.

Remember, the main reason for why Disney and Sony decided to initially go their separate ways on the Spider-Man front was due to disagreements over money, which is hardly an uncommon thing in Hollywood. But as Alan Horn lays out, once the Disney and Sony bigwigs realized how the Marvel fans felt about this separation, they decided it was worth exploring a reconciliation so that Spidey could continue operating in the MCU.

Of course, let’s not forget that Tom Holland played an integral role in making that happen. Following the D23 convention in late August, the Spider-Man actor requested that Tom Rothman “re-engage” with Disney, and also called up Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger asking for the same thing. When Holland brought the two sides together and laid out how he’d seen a lot of fans wishing Spidey could stick around the MCU, that was the catalyst for Disney and Sony ultimately coming to a new deal.

After Alan Horn gave the response shown earlier, The Hollywood Reporter followed up by asking if this Spider-Man partnership will continue after the Wall-Crawler’s third MCU-set movie is released, and then pointed out how Sony proved it could make a successful Spidey movie without Marvel Studios’ help with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Tom Rothman answered:

Yes, we have. But I agree with my distinguished colleague. This was a classic win-win-win. A win for Sony, a win for Disney, a win for the fans. The only thing I would say is that news cycles and the rhythm of negotiations do not necessarily overlap. And this is, in the words of Shakespeare, a consummation devoutly to be wished. We would have gotten there, and the news got ahead of some things.

Those weeks of uncertainty when we weren’t sure what would happen to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man were quite a time, but now we know what’s in store for his immediate future. Along with leading another standalone movie, the character will also appear in a separate MCU-set movie, though it’s anyone guess what that is right now.

At the time the new Disney/Sony deal was announced, Kevin Feige mentioned that Spider-Man was the only superhero with “the superpower to cross cinematic universes,” indicating that Sony might be looking to also include this version of Spider-Man in its own live-action Marvel universe, which Venom launched last year. Judging from Tom Rothman’s comment, hopefully that means even after Spider-Man’s next two MCU appearances, Disney and Sony are open to keeping this arrangement going even longer.

Tom Holland’s next Spider-Man movie will spin its web in theaters on July 16, 2021, and be sure to look through our Marvel movies guide to learn what else is coming in Phase 4 and beyond.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.