A breakdown in the relationship between Disney and Sony leaves Spidey on the brink of MCU expulsion
The deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU represented a monumental breakthrough between two giants of the media industry. On one side we had Sony, a studio desperate to right the ship following the abysmal response to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and on the other, we had Disney, a studio that pretty much redefined the comic book superhero genre.
Against all the odds, the deal was struck, and Spider-Man made his long-awaited debut in the MCU during the events of Captain America: Civil War. The deal saw Spidey appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and most recently Spider-Man: Far From Home, a movie which went on to gross over $1 Billion at the global box office. However, our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man’s time in the MCU could be on the brink of coming to end thanks to a breakdown in the relationship between Sony and Disney.
Deadline is reporting that both studios are currently locked in a bitter dispute over the terms for the MCU’s continued use of the character. Sadly, it all comes down to the almighty dollar. Forget the wishes of the paying customers, money talks in Hollywood and that is all the matters. The report states that Disney approached Sony with the suggestion that all future collaborations should be co-financed. Sony rejected the suggestion out of hand reluctant to share any more of the franchise than it has to. The disagreement has essentially led to Marvel’s Kevin Feige losing creative control over Spider-Man and his future involvement in the MCU.
What’s worse is the news that Sony was keen on keeping the current agreement in place ensuring Spidey’s long-term future which would see Disney receiving roughly 5% of the first dollar through the box office. Disney apparently rejected the deal. Under the current agreement, Disney receives 100% of the merchandising revenue for Spider-Man, so Disney demanding more of the profits is perhaps a step too far for Sony. Deadline’s sources continued by saying that there are two more Spider-Man movies in development with director Jon Watts and Tom Holland expected to return, but with tensions between Disney and Sony reaching boiling point, Kevin Feige will play no part in the future of the web-slinger.
One would think the deal between the two studios would be a win/win, but with Disney demanding a bigger share of the spoils, Sony is refusing to budge. With Disney taking the lead on the Spider-Man franchise, the wall-crawler is currently enjoying his best run at the box office ever. In fact, he has only just been installed as the MCU’s new Tony Stark and the face of the next phase in the franchise, but with the character now firmly established Sony may well take their ball and go home.
In my opinion, this is a disaster. Spider-Man’s involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was one of the major success stories of the last decade and the idea of him being exiled from the biggest Marvel adventures is a bitter pill to swallow. Sadly, in a world where the almighty dollar outweighs the satisfaction of the paying customers, Sony and Disney have the overall say in Spider-Man’s future. We can only hope that common sense prevails, and a deal can be struck to ensure Spider-Man’s long-term future before Sony ruins what has been his best run at the box office EVER.
Come on boys, time to put your toys back in the pram and put the fans before your profits.
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.
Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager and Editor of Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter @philthecool where he uses the force frequently!