Spider-Man is out of the Marvel Comic Universe after a beef between Disney & Sony

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I only learned the studio-history of the Spider-Man property quite recently. Spider-Man was always a Marvel comic, and part of the Marvel universe, but in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Marvel was struggling as a company. During that time, Marvel sold off franchises to other studios, and Spider-Man was sold to Sony. Sony turned Spider-Man into a lucrative franchise with Tobey Maguire, and then Sony tried (and largely failed) to reboot the franchise with Andrew Garfield. Then Marvel worked out a deal to bring Spidey home, but there was a catch – the Tom Holland/Spider-Man universe was a co-production between Sony and Marvel, and Marvel was allowed to “borrow” Spider-Man for other Marvel movies. All in all, the collaboration was a lucrative one and those Tom Holland Spider-Man movies made big money. But now there’s a catch – apparently, the patched-together deal between Sony and Marvel/Disney has fallen through.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won’t produce any further Spider-Man films because of an inability by Disney and Sony Pictures to reach new terms that would have given the former a co-financing stake going forward. A dispute that has taken place over the past few months at the top of Disney and Sony has essentially nixed Feige, and the future involvement of Marvel from the Spider-Man universe, sources said. This comes at a moment when the last two films Kevin Feige produced broke all-time records — Disney’s Avengers: Endgame became the highest grossing film of all time, and Spider-Man: Far From Home this week surpassed the James Bond film Skyfall to become the all time highest grossing film for Sony Pictures.

Sources said there are two more Spider-Man films in the works that are meant to have director Jon Watts and Tom Holland front and center, though Watts doesn’t have a deal for the next picture. Unless something dramatic happens, Feige won’t be the lead creative producer of those pictures.

There is a lot of webbing here, but it all comes down to money, and it’s easy to understand why both sides refused to give ground. Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, and there were discussions that this might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe. Sony turned that offer down flat, and I don’t believe they even came back to the table to figure out a compromise. Led by Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, Sony just simply didn’t want to share its biggest franchise. Sony proposed keeping the arrangement going under the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first dollar gross, sources said. Disney refused. [UPDATE: Sony insiders counter that Rothman did offer compromises but Disney declined.]

Now, it’s easy to say that Feige has enough on his plate, especially after taking control of the X-Men universe in the Fox acquisition, including the Deadpool franchise, along with architecting the next phase of the Marvel superhero universe and building movies and shows for Disney +. But I’m told Feige loves Spider-Man, arguably the biggest superhero character in the Marvel canon. He would have continued if Disney and Sony could have reached new deal terms.

[From Deadline]

Deadline goes on to say that Sony wants to just do Spider-Man films without any involvement from Kevin Feige, and that’s a mistake because Feige has masterminded giant hit after giant hit. Disney wanted to continue with the arrangement, and Feige was looking for any way to stay involved, but Sony’s brass didn’t want him. There’s also the argument being made that Sony wants to mark its territory and establish that they not only own Spider-Man, but all of the secondary Spider-Man characters too – Sony is already producing the Venom sequel, Morbius with Jared Leto and a half-dozen other spinoffs in development.

So, from what I understand, Tom Holland will continue to play Spider-Man for at least two more films, but those films are solely under the Sony banner. And Holland will not be lent out for any future MCU movies, I think, and other Marvel characters will not be lent to Sony. Which… is a big deal to the die-hard stans, I get that. But isn’t Marvel already in their next phase, and won’t that phase be much less Avenger-dependent?

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20 Responses to “Spider-Man is out of the Marvel Comic Universe after a beef between Disney & Sony”

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  1. Darla says:

    I think we’re in some sort of in-between phase right now. I am not sure how deep I’m willing to go into phase two, but don’t forget, we still have Black Panther 2 coming out, Thor, love and thunder, and another Captain Marvel. And those I will see. I loved the OG Avengers and I truly loved how they finally (once they got rid of Perlmutter, who I like to just call “mutt”) diversified with Black Panther and Carol Danvers. But to go now into The Eternals and whatever the rest of it is going to be, with no Ironman, no Cap, and eventually, no Black Panther? I will probably check out fairly early on. As soon as Black Panther, Thor, and Captain Marvel are wrapped up. So yeah, coming now, this Spiderman news gets kind of a shrug from me.

    • Prettykrazee says:

      Disney made their announcement at SDCC last month on the next Phase. Phase 4 didn’t include Captain Marvel 2 or Black Panther 2. We have to wait until Phase 5 to see them. He’s introducing a lot c list heroes from the comics in Phase 4. But if Feige can make a talking raccoon and a grunting tree work, then I think he will do something fun with these more obscure heroes.

      Rothman is an ass. Rothman is really feeling himself that SM:FFH made all that money. He’s not taking into account the fact its Endgame proximity allowed it to make that extra money. He’s the one that kept Deadpool from being made for years bc he doesn’t get comics. This article is very pro Sony so I know it was them who leaked it. They are very transparent. Trying to get the Fandom to come for Disney and make them sign on to a deal they don’t want.

  2. Anne says:

    That’s a bummer. I really wanted to see more of Spider-Man with other heroes 🙁

    • Erinn says:

      I’ve read that negotiations are still ongoing and there’s supposed to be two more movies in the works, but who knows at this point.

      These are in my top tier of marvel movies. I liked all of Holland’s Spiderman more than even the Thor movies. Capt. Marvel and Black Panther are right up there too.

      But I love this kid. He – to me – is the PERFECT spiderman. And the movies are just FUN. And with the cliff hanger kind of ending of the last one, I’m super bummed that things aren’t looking good.

      I’m hoping this was Disney trying to force Sony’s hand by using fan outrage to get them on board with their deal.

      • oliphant says:

        totally agree with you both! i also really wanted to see spiderman interact with captain marvel, booooooooo.

  3. Snazzy says:

    I thought that Spiderman was supposed to be a kind of anchor – keeping this new phase somehow tied to the new one. I could be wrong though.

    If Sony does more stand alone Spiderman movies it means we’ll end up seeing Uncle Ben die for the 8000th time 🙄

  4. Alexandria says:

    I’m having superhero fatigue but I think this would not be a good decision for Sony.

  5. Steph says:

    Meh. Disney is destroying spiderman by making him a mini version of iron man. I don’t care either way.

  6. Arizona says:

    This is fairly disappointing, if only because it’s clear they set stuff up to go hand in hand with Marvel’s universe, and because I haven’t liked any of the Spider-Man stuff that Sony came up with on their own except for Into the Spiderverse (IMO all previous Spider-Man movies are trash with mostly bad casting, the only good thing about Amazing Spider-Man was Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone being in love).

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    The REAL tea is that Disney got greedy. The original deal was that Disney got 5% of box office gross and 100% of the merchandising profits. Disney then decided they wanted 50% of the box office. So Sony walked. I dont believe this was about Feige AT ALL. Sony would have been dumb to bot want him involved. This was about Disney being greedy and getting called on their bluff. They screwed themselves and they screwed over the MCU.

  8. ElleBee says:


    I love Tom Holland but the truth is Kevin Fiege is Marvel Midas. Spider Man just won’t do as well if he isn’t at the helm.

    • moco says:

      Agreed. It seems so stupid of Sony to look at Feige and what he has done to steer the MCU and produce billions of dollars of movies and not be willing to pay for Marvel’s involvement. I love the Tom Holland Spiderman movies… they better figure this out!

  9. Craptastic says:

    Count down to Disney purchasing Sony…

  10. Emilia says:

    Tinfoil hat time! I think this leak was a negotiating tactic and eventually they’ll iron out a deal. In my non-expert opinion this helps Sony because it makes Disney look greedy and they can force Disney to lower their terms. Also Sony strategically leaking this right before D23 because they know Disney won’t want bad press right before their big convention is a great way to force their hand.

    • Lightpurple says:

      You may very well be right. Now the story is that nothing has been decided and talks are still happening

  11. Gil says:

    Sure Sony is gonna do a great job producing the next films. Nah, it’s gonna be a big effing mess and they are gonna screw up such a good version of Spider-Man. I’m sorry for Tom Holland thou.

  12. Anya says:

    Oh crap. They set Spiderman up to be play a large role in the next phase of Marvel movies. I bet many Marvel writers and producers are busy rethinking what to do next. As a Marvel and Spiderman fan, I am very sad. I don’t like what Sony did to Venom. I am worried they will ruin this one.