BREAKING: Standoff Between Sony and Disney Threatens Spider-Man’s Future in the MCU

author img
BY September 3, 2019

Standoff Between Sony and Disney VS Spider-Man’s Future in the MCU

For months, fans and insiders alike awaited the news that Sony and Marvel Studios extended their unprecedented deal to share the Spider-Man character. However, news broke on Tuesday that a standoff between Sony and Disney may effectively end Spider-Man’s participation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This comes as a shock, with at least one more movie rumored to be a part of the original deal. It was contingent on Spider-Man: Far From Home earning a billion dollars, which it did.

The largest result of the standoff between Sony and Disney is that Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige will no longer produce the Spider-Man films, according to Deadline. The trade reports that director Jon Watts and star Tom Holland are signed on for two more Spidey films. Fans took to social media to express their sadness, with Sony taking most of their ire. Also, Sony’s stock dipped right when they expected it to go up with their purchase of Insomniac games, the studio behind the popular Spider-Man game for PS4. Let’s break down what we know.

The Original Deal For Spider-Man

Standoff Between Sony and Disney 1 Image via Insomniac

 

When Sony and Disney struck their deal to share the character, Spider-Man’s future in general remained in doubt. The last film in the original series disappointed as did the reboot starring Andrew Garfield. Sony originally intended for a shared Marvel universe of their own, but it fell apart with the failure of Amazing Spider-Man 2. So, Marvel Studios proposed a deal unlike any ever struck between two competing studios.

Marvel Studios would get to use Spider-Man in the Avengers films, and they would keep all the money. Sony, however, would finance the solo films and keep almost all of those profits, while Marvel Studios creatives would help shape and direct the story for five percent of the gross. Also, it should be noted, that Disney owns all of the merchandising rights for Spider-Man. Any merch based on Sony movies goes to the company, but it’s not like there is a single deposit account for all things Spider-Man.

Yet, since this deal happened, Sony turned things around. They released the Tom Hardy-vehicle Venom, which surprised everyone by earning about as much as Spider-Man: Homecoming did. (On half the budget, no less.) They also put out the animated hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, introducing the Miles Morales character to film for the first time and creating a shared universe of spider-characters. So, they may feel that they no longer need the larger MCU to help support Spider-Man, especially since casual moviegoers will not realize the change by the time a third Spidey film hits theaters. (And Sony just announced a re-release of Far From Home with new footage.)

What Caused the Standoff Between Sony and Disney?

As everyone’s grandmother once told them, money is the root of all evil. The standoff between Sony and Disney is one over profits. Specifically, Disney asking to split financing of the Spider-Man solo films. They wanted a 50/50 arrangement, whereby Sony would only reap half the profits from the solo films, while still not earning profits on Spider-Man’s guest appearances in other MCU films. Deadline reports that Sony proposed a counteroffer that Disney declined. Outraged fans made Spider-Man-related phrases the top five trending topics on Twitter in the US. Most of them, it seems, blame Sony when it appears that Disney is the one who’s being intransigent about the financial arrangement. Of course, the source for Deadline’s report may want to frame the story that way, so we won’t know for sure until we hear something more official.

Still, this puts Sony’s next Spider-Man film in a tough place, since Far From Home both set Spider-Man up as Tony Stark’s spiritual successor and revealed his identity to the world. The MCU doesn’t really do secret identities, and that development came from them, according to Watts. Yet, Sony likely reasons that the next film will do just as well at least the first Spider-Man did because Watts and Holland “set the tone” of these movies just fine without Feige. The also would allow the Holland version of the character to cross over with Venom and the other Sony Marvel films. They were reportedly in talks to bring those characters into the MCU as well, yet Sony and Disney executives could never really agree on that point. However, io9 reports this is simply about “a producer credit,” and nothing more. It appears Sony may be already backpedaling.

Is This the End of Spider-Man in the MCU?

Standoff Between Sony and Disney 1 Image via Sony

If the standoff between Sony and Disney continues, Spider-Man will likely be done in the MCU. However, these high-level, rights discussions can take a long, long time. The negotiations are still ongoing, according to Entertainment Weekly. Any Spider-Man sequel is only just in the development phase, which gives the other executives time for cooler heads to prevail. Before this deal happened, entertainment professionals and insiders scoffed at the idea that Spider-Man would ever end up in the MCU. So, the possibility remains that these two mega-entertainment groups can work things out before its too late. Ultimately, if this happens, it will happen because of pressure from the market. Either the fans, Sony’s investors, or both will send a loud enough signal to Sony that without Feige and the rest of the MCU, they are less interested in spider-films.

Still, even if this is the end of Spider-Man in the MCU, fans can be thankful for what we got. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is one of the most comics-accurate portrayals of the character. His roles in Captain America: Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame were wonderful, and fans delighted at seeing Spidey swing in to fight Thanos with the rest of the Avengers crew. As Marvel prepares to take their shared universe in a new direction without Iron Man, Cap, and many other original Avengers, they can perhaps use another character to fill Spider-Man’s role in those plans.

Spider-Fans Speak Out!

Many people took to Twitter to express their outrage at the breakdown of negotiations. While some blame Disney, most blame Sony.

What do you think of the standoff between Sony and Disney? Who do you think is at fault? Share your thoughts in the comments below or by sharing the article on social media.

MarvelMovies

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment

Related

MoviesPop Culture
Madness in the Method Review: A Love Letter To and Desire to Escape From Jay and Silent Bob

In comic books, the sidekick often ends up overshadowed by the hero. They are beloved, but forever merely a part of a whole that doesn’t always need them. Madness in the Method, the directorial debut from Jason Mewes, addresses this problem in a way one might only expect in a one-shot from DC’s defunct Vertigo […]

BY Joshua M. Patton August 11, 2019
Movies
Upcoming MCU Marvel Movies are Coming Out in 2019 and 2020?

Avengers: Endgame is finally here, and the world is ready. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a titan of the movie industry, and Thanos is set to continue his reign of terror. With so much buzz around the Avengers finale, many are wondering: what Marvel movies are coming out in 2019 and 2020? The answer is […]

BY Taylor Bauer May 1, 2019
Movies
Jamie Foxx to Be Pixar’s First Black Lead in ‘Soul’

Director Pete Docter announced the voice cast for his next film, Pixar’s feature Soul, at D23 last weekend. As Pixar movies don’t exactly have a track record of being terrible, every new film is cause for excitement. But this film has some special details. Here’s everything we know. What It’s About Jamie Foxx voices middle […]

BY Salomé Gonstad August 27, 2019
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition is Jam Packed with Content

There’s nothing like a good redemption story. We see it all the time in comic books. A villain suddenly sees the error of their ways, turns good, and we love them for it. We don’t see it as much with video games, and no, I don’t mean characters. If a game is cast aside as […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 4, 2019
Super Mario Maker 2 Update – What’s New?

When it comes to popular Nintendo Switch games, Super Mario Maker 2 has been huge. The game is still seeing a ton of players daily, months after its release. The developers at Nintendo working on the game are ready to send more content to the game as well. In an update coming on December 5th, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 2, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure Shortage in Japan Sparks Apology from Nintendo

It seemed a little like a joke at first, but Ring Fit Adventure is a hit. The Nintendo published fitness game for the Switch is huge all over the world. Of course, Japan took to the game quite fondly. Even here in the United States, people are really into this game. Essentially, you track movements and […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 1, 2019
RuneScape Glitch Almost Destroyed the In-Game Economy

RuneScape is a historic MMORPG with a fervent player base to this very day. For nearly 18 years, the game has brought 200 million accounts into its fantasy world. For a lot of people, a few hours on RuneScape is a part of the normal daily routine. There is a new version of the game, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 27, 2019

Trending

Crisis On Infinite Earths Hour 2 Review: Paragons, Supermen, and an Anti-Monitor

Monday night’s installment of the CW crossover, technically an episode of Batwoman, slowed things down a bit. This is typical for a middle installment of the crossover, which moves the pieces around from the many included shows. In Crisis On Infinite Earths hour 2, the assembled team gets a search mission. Meanwhile, Oliver’s closest friends […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019
Rene Auberjonois Has Died at 79: Beloved Character Actor Played Hundreds of Roles

Rene Auberjonois, a character actor who appeared in so many things I couldn’t sum them up in one headline, has died at the age of 79. Whether you knew him from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, his voice work, or works even older than that, there’s a good chance that he has touched your life. […]

BY Salomé Gonstad December 9, 2019
Kevin Feige Shows Eternals Footage at CCXP and Says the Film Will Redefine the MCU

The Brazilian comic-con, known as CCXP, is one that rivals the San Diego Comic-Con in terms of scope and fan passion. So, when Marvel announced its presence there, fans knew they were in for something special. What they got was Kevin Feige and some footage from Eternals exclusive to CCXP. We don’t have a clip […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019
Watchmen on HBO Dedicated Penultimate Episode to Dr. Manhattan to Tell It’s Most LOST-Like Story Yet

One of the key hallmarks of Damon Lindelof’s breakout show LOST was the non-linear narrative featured in many of the episodes. Divided into “present-day” stories and “flashbacks,” these disparate narratives combined to tell a story that couldn’t be told without them both. In the first episode of Watchmen on HBO to feature Dr. Manhattan, the […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019