The end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
The arrangement between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to collaborate on Spider-Man movies is reportedly over, with Sony opting to not renew a deal that would have seen Marvel/Disney take 50% of any future Spider-Man movie profits in exchange for the creative guidance of producer and MCU boss Kevin Feige.
That means Spider-Man is effectively out of the MCU and back into his own solo movie universe overseen solely by Sony.
The Sony-Marvel deal has always been a head-scratcher for fans, right up until last month’s San Diego Comic-Con when fans were left wondering why Marvel didn’t announce a new Spidey film along with the rest of their Phase 4 slate. Given that talks between Marvel and Sony were deteriorating at that time, we now know why Spidey was a no-show at SDCC.
But it was never Marvel’s place to announce the next Spider-Man film. Sony holds the screen rights to Spider-Man and is the distributor of all the solo Spidey films, going back to the first Sam Raimi one.
Since 2015, Sony and Marvel Studios/Disney have had a deal to share Spider-Man, although the future of that agreement remains murky at present. Former Sony boss and ongoing Spider-Man producer Amy Pascal caused a stir in 2017 when she said, “One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don’t have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact it may never happen again, after we do the sequel [to Spider-Man: Homecoming].”
The Ankler also recently claimed: “The original Sony/Marvel/Spidey deal to co-produce these movies stipulated that if (Far From Home) cleared a billion, Marvel would get to oversee a third. If it hadn’t, full control would have reverted back to Sony.”
Well, Spider-Man: Far From Home has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide so far, and has become Sony’s biggest hit of all time.
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For his part, Tom Holland has just one more Sony-released Spidey solo film left in his contract (although it should be noted that contracts can be renegotiated, as Robert Downey Jr.did.).
It will certainly be curious to see if Feige or Disney address the Spidey reports at this weekend’s D23 Expo. In the meantime, the ball appears to be in Sony’s court about when an official announcement of a third Spider-Man film — one that will deal with all the fallout of the developments in Far From Home’s shocking mid-credits scene — will be made.
In any case, it will be one made by Sony Pictures, who is staying in the Spidey movie business for the long run whether Marvel Studios is partnered with them or not.
For more on Spider-Man, check out ways how Far from Home’s big twist could be undone in the next movie, the director’s answers to all your Far From Home spoiler questions, and Sony’s plans to re-release the film with additional footage.