Spider-Man Back In the MCU as Sony and Disney Reach New Deal to Share Character

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BY September 28, 2019

After what seemed like an irreconcilable standoff between Disney and Sony, Spider-Man is back in the MCU after the two companies reached a deal. About a month ago, news broke that talks to extend the unprecedented partnership between two rival studios broke down. Sony blamed Disney for the impasse, and the studio said they planned to move ahead with a new, non-MCU Spider-Man film starring Tom Holland. However, a limited extension of the original deal will see Spider-Man back in the MCU for at least two more films. The third Spider-Man movie will debut on July 16, 2021, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will appear in at least one Marvel Studios film. However, a statement from Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige suggests we may be seeing more of Spider-Man outside of the MCU than we thought.

From Feige’s statement via Deadline:

“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” said Feige in a statement.  “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

From this statement it seems like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might just appear in some of Sony’s other Marvel-related projects, specifically the new Venom film.

Former Sony studios executive and shepherd of the Spider-Man franchise Amy Pascal said she’s “overjoyed” the partnership continues. “This is terrific. Peter Parker’s story took a dramatic turn in Far From Home and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes,” she said in a separate statement. Both Feige and Pascal will produce the third film, as they have with the previous two solo Spidey outings.

What Changed to Bring Spider-Man Back Into the MCU?

Spider-Man Back in the MCU Sony Disney Image via Sony Pictures

The sticking point in the negotiations came via a change to how these films get financed and who keeps the profits. Currently, Sony bears none of the cost for Marvel Studios films featuring Spider-Man. But they also make none of the profits. For Spider-Man’s solo films, Sony finances them and keeps all the money. Disney reportedly wanted to share both the costs and the profits. They suggested either a 50/50 split or a 70/30 split between Sony and themselves. Spider-Man: Far From Home is Sony’s highest grossing film of all time, so they were reticent to share the profits. So, other than Kevin Feige branching out to the Star Wars universe, what changed?

Well a recent report suggests that Apple is in the market for a studio of their own, and the tech giant looks to acquire Sony Pictures. If they did that, without a new deal in place, Spider-Man rights would likely revert back to Marvel Entertainment. So, if the new deal prevents that from happening, it was fully in Sony’s interest to sign in order to keep their most valuable franchise. Sony plans a series of Spider-Man-related films, from Venom 2 to Jared Leto’s Morbius to other Spider-adjacent characters like Madame Web. Disney will put about about 25 percent of financing costs and reap the same amount of the profits, according to Variety. They will also maintain merchandising rights.

So, for now, Spider-Man is back in the MCU. Does this news make you happy? We want to hear what you think, either in the comments below or on our Facebook or Twitter timelines!

Featured image via Marvel Studios

Updated to include reporting from Variety.

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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.

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