Tag: Sony

The Door Is Closed on the Spider-Man Deal, OR IS IT?

“For the moment the door is closed,” Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said during Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit Thursday, so that’s that on Spider-Man returning to the MCU.

OR IS IT?

According to Comic Book Movie writer and reviewer Mikey Sutton, Sony is making these kinds of announcements to put pressure on Disney so that the company settles with a lesser agreement.

 

 

Despite previous reports that Disney wanted to go from 5% of the first dollar box office gross of all Spider-Man movies to a 50% of the first dollar box office gross (in addition to keeping 100% of the merchandising rights), they actually wanted to jump from 5% to 25%. This new deal would apply to new Spider-Man-related characters that would be folded in the MCU, such as Venom and Morbius.

Sony instead wanted to keep the original deal.

 

Spider-Man: What the f---!

Image Via Hindustan Times

 

Talks fell through, the news broke, and now  Sony Pictures chairman is saying “the deal is closed”. But he didn’t actually say that, did he? No, he said “[f]or the moment the door is closed”, for the moment being a key phrase here.

 

Disney buys Fox

Image Via Variety

 

According to Mikey Sutton this is a mere tactic called “The Takeaway,” a move commonly practiced in the business sector. Remember how after reports came flooding in that Disney was buying Fox, the deal was apparently called off? Then, a few weeks later, the deal has been signed.

Previously, Sony blamed Disney purchasing of Fox on the deal going through, putting down a statement that claimed that “the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him [Feige] – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own”.

 

Iron Boy

Image VIa Youtube

 

That statement stunk of lies, after all Spider is the crown jewel of Marvel and the MCU has put plenty of stock into him leading the MCU a la Tony Stark/Iron Man.

This new tactic, ideally, is to make Disney desperate in this effort to get Spider-Man back into the MCU. It also serves as a PR stunt in case the deal does not go through, effectively saving them from looking like the bad guys.

 

 

The problem is that this tactic seems to have backfired.

 

 

 

 

If the door is truly now permanently closed, Sony seems to have shot themselves in the foot. While Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse enthralled moviegoers everywhere, their previous efforts without Marvel have done, well, not great. Spider-Man 3 and the two Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2 films proved that Sony was struggling with the character.

That means they are 3-3 with pleasing audiences with this character.

Can they earn back audience trust? For now, I’ll leave you with the words of senior media analyst at Comscore, Paul Dergarabedian

 

“The emotions are running very high, particularly with the fans, and words matter very much”

 

 

 

Featured image Via ScreenGeeker

A History of the Sony/Marvel ‘Spider-Man’ Movie Deal

So Spider-Man is dead, again. He was dusted in Infinity War, he was brought back in Endgame, and stuff happened in Far From Home (you should check out that movie), but now it seems he’s been dusted from the MCU.

But honestly, it was a miracle that the movie rights deal between Disney and Sony even became a reality in the first place.

 

Spider-Man, Civil War

Hello There/Image Via The Verge

 

Let’s go back in time.

 

 

Back in the 90s Marvel was having money troubles. The guys in charge of marketing comics were put in charge of the creative team and made a series of terrible decisions. The most infamous was expanding the Spider-Man: Clone Saga to the point that the original team had all quit by the time it had finished.

That, and with a host of other problems, Marvel needed money or they would go bankrupt.

 

Avi Arad

Image Via IMDB

 

Step in Avi Arad. He came up with a plan: Marvel would sell the movie rights to many of their iconic characters. The details of these deals remain murky, but the general formula is this…

StudioX would get the movie rights to CharacterX. If they they didn’t make a movie in X amount of years, then Marvel gets the CharacterX back.

In the case of Spider-Man and his related characters (villains and friends), Sony bought the character under the agreement that they would make a movie featuring the character every five years, otherwise the rights would go back to Marvel.

 

 

That’s why Spider-Man was rebooted so soon after Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 was cancelled; if they waited any longer, Sony wouldn’t be able to make a new Spider-Man movie. This is why Marvel started their cinematic universe using ‘B-characters’ such as Iron Man and Captain America.

 

Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Ego

Image Via Gizmodo

 

Because of these deals, some strange, confusing, and amazing things have happened. For instance, the character of Ego first appeared in a Fantastic Four comic and thus was owned by 20th Century Fox. James Gunn, believing Marvel still owned the character, completed the script for Guardians Vol 2 with the character. Thus, Marvel was forced to buy back Ego, which they got fairly easily since 20th Century Fox was making Deadpool. See Deadpool features a character called Negasonic Teenage Warhead who is very different from her comic book counterpart.

 

Negasonic Teenage Warhead

Image Via Aminoapps

 

In the comics, Negasonic Teenage Warhead has the power to foresee terrible events. That’s it. The super-creative writers of Deadpool wanted to make her into a living warhead.

 

 

But here’s a problem: If 20th Century Fox wants to make drastic changes to a comicbook character, they needed Marvel’s approval. And the last time Marvel signed off on 20th Century Fox making drastic changes to a comicbook character, we got this:

 

We don't talk about this

Sorry for reminding you about this pos/Image Via ScienceFiction.com

 

20th Century Fox was nervous, but so was Marvel. So they struck a deal! 20th Century Fox got Marvel’s approval to change Negasonic and Marvel got the rights to use a planet with a face.

Back to Sony.

 

Amazing Spider-Man 2

Image Via Syfy

 

Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t do so hot. It made money, but has a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.81/10. Plus, fans weren’t too pleased with the Sinister Six tie-ins, the fact that Harry Osborne believed he was going to die any moment because he has the ‘Osborn curse’ even though his Dad lived to be in his sixties and he’s only in his twenties.

 

Kaz Hirai

Image Via Variety

 

Plus, Andrew Garfield ticked off Sony chief Kaz Hirai by snubbing in Rio de Janeiro at a big Sony gala celebrating the end of the World Cup where they were supposed to announced Amazing Spider-Man 3 because he was too sick to show up.

That, and Sony ticked off North Korea by making a certain James Franco/Seth Rogan movie and suddenly, with North Korea adamantly saying they had nothing to do with it, had all their emails leaked.

The emails are crazy. They wanted to make an Aunt May prequel movie and for their Sinister Six movie (which they wanted to make into a trilogy) they were considering anyone from Tom Hardy to Seth Rogen to play Sandman.

Sony was backed into a corner: everyone knew their Sinister Six movie was probably going to suck and they needed something.

 

Kevin Feige

Image Via Variety

 

Well, turns out Kevin Feige was emailing Sony about Amazing Spider-Man 2 before it came out, giving his take and advice on how to improve the movie. Those emails are… weird… to say the least. He basically said everything every critic and fan said after they saw the movie, and Sony ignored him.

What was Sony to do? Remake Spider-Man again? Go ahead with their Sinister Six movie? Make the Aunt May prequel movie?

Luckily, Marvel has always been clamored to get all their characters back and, since this was a time before the Disney/Fox deal was made, they were still thirsty as hell.

They were so eager that Kevin Feige begged Amy Pascal, Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment, to sell him the rights the iconic Marvel character. Wall Street reporter Ben Fritz wrote in his book, The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies, that:

Ms. Pascal was so offended…that she threw her sandwich at him and told him, only half-jokingly, to ‘get the f*** out.’

 

 

Things got better. Instead of everything going to high hell, Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige respectively, struck a deal: Spider-Man would be swapped between the two studios in a total of five movies. He would appear in three movies made by Marvel, and two movies made by Sony.

Thus, Spider-Man made an appearance in three MCU movies: Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame and made his appearance in two Sony movies: Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

 

Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal

Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal/Image Via Bleeding Cool

 

To call this deal historic would be an understatement. For reference, Universal Studios owns the rights to a solo-Hulk movie. That’s why Ed Norton’s Incredible Hulk is a Universal movie set in the MCU.

That deal went so well that Marvel and Universal have never worked again. To keep that story short, Universal really wanted Ed Norton and got him under the condition he had script approval. He then changed the Incredible Hulk script once he was cast, and Marvel was scared that if he was cast in an Avengers movie he’d want to change that script too.

Think about that: they cast one guy which made two movies studios hate each other with a passion.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Image Via Twitter

 

This Marvel/Sony deal was a match made in heaven.

But there was one condition: Marvel Studios only got 5% of the first dollar box office gross from Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home. In exchange for this low number, they got the merchandising rights to Spider-Man. Heroes are made into toys, and toys bring in most of the money.

 

Sony v Marvel

Image Via The Wrap

 

So now we’re in the present day. Spider-Man: Far From Home was a smash hit, Marvel and Sony had to renegotiate. But the times had changed. Amy Pascal left Sony, and Marvel’s parent company, Disney, had bought Fox and gave Marvel back the X-Men and Fantastic Four, and thus wanted a bigger slice of the pie: 50/50 to be exact.

They also wanted to be in charge of the Venom sequels, Morbius, and all other live-action Spider-Man media.

But Sony wanted to keep the deal they had. After all, Marvel would keep the merchandising rights and Disney has become so big they can do anything they want. Sony needs the money, not Disney.

Disney dared Sony to step back. Why would they? Far From Home ends with Spider-Man basically needing the rest of the MCU, so how could they move forward?

But Sony stepped back.

 

 

The question now is will any of the studios cave? With headlines like “Sony pulls out of MCU over profit sharing dispute,” it would seem that Sony would be likely to cave. But Sony is right, does Disney/Marvel really need the money? After all, they put a lot of their stock in Spider-Man being the next Iron Man. Granted, Marvel seems to be focusing on more character-centric movies as opposed to overarching-story based movies a la “The Infinity Saga.”

Disney has said that they hope the situation “might change in the future.”

Sony released this:

Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film. We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him—including all their newly added Marvel properties—do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.

…and this:

 

The studios might cave, they might not, but for now Tom Holland and director Jon Watts are signed for a third movie, but as for now, well…

 

 

It was nice while it lasted.

 

 

Featured Image Via Collider

Spider-Man Leaving the MCU!?!

Peter Parker has spent two whole movies (plus two features in Avengers movies and one Captain America: Civil War) proving himself to be worthy to be a part of the team. He gained the trust and stole the heart of their ringleader (rip) all to be left out once again because two multi billion dollar companies could not reach an agreement.

 

Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige (Left)/Image via Deadline

 

 

Sony and Marvel originally had a peace deal where they would co-produce Spider-Man films because Sony has the rights to the character and its counterparts. Marvel’s Kevin Feige has taken the lead on directing Spider-Man’s two introductory movies, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, which established Peter’s relationship with the Avengers. Now that Sony will produce the next two Spider-Man films, Peter can longer speak of or interact with any characters in the MCU. This means no more mourning of “Mr. Stark,” no more parallels between the young hero and his mentor and no more hilarious instances where Peter grows to learn more and more about each member of the MCU.

 

Spider-Man and MJ

Image via The Verge

 

 

The good news is we still get to see Tom Holland shine in the role he was born to play. The bad news is we won’t get to see him guest star in any other Marvel movies or hear him speak about his past fighting as a member of the Avengers. Hopefully, this means more screen time for MJ and Peter’s budding romance and another Jake Gyllenhaal cameo.

 

Featured Image via Entertainment Weekly 

Is ‘Spider-Man 4’ Coming to the World of Comics?

It looks like Marvel might be doing what DC should have done: making a comic based on an un-produced movie.

For those unaware, DC comics infamously turned down a pitch by Joe Quinones and Kate Leth, who had the idea of a comic book version of Time Burton’s Batman 3, the nearly-made sequel where Robin Williams might have been the Riddler and Billy Dee Williams would certainly have been Two-Face.

 

Time Burton's Batman 3

Image Via Den of Geek

 

In case you don’t know, Billy Dee Williams only signed on to play Harvey Dent in an extended cameo in Tim Burton’s Batman because he was suppose to later play Two-Face. One of the many early drafts of Batman Returns had Harvey Dent helping out the Penguin before Selina Kyle’s Catman electrocuted him, giving him his scars, but Harvey Dent was written out and replaced by Christopher Walken’s Max Shreck, who instead died after Selina Kyle jammed a taser in his mouth while pulling on electrical wires.

 

Dead Shreck

Image Via Legends Revealed

 

The pitch was rejected and many fans (such as myself) were upset. However, Marvel recently tweeted THIS on Sunday morning with the hashtag “#MarvelComics.” No other information has been made available.

 

 

Could this mean we’re getting a comic book version of Sam Riami’s Spider-Man 4?

In case you don’t know, Riami wanted to have Sandman and Harry Osborne’s Green Goblin as the villains in Spider-Man 3, but Sony wanted him to add Venom. He did, the film came out and, well…

 

In a podcast, Riami had this to say about the film:

Raimi: [But] directors don’t like to talk about their bad films.

Hardwick: I don’t think that “bad” is the right word.

Raimi: Awful!

 

As a result, Raimi “wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all“.

While no plot synopsis or script was ever revealed, stuff has floated around the internet. Notably, in 2016, concept artist Jeffrey Henderson shared some pretty awesome storyboard art  and in a followup interview revealed that the idea for Spider-Man 4’s opening was to show Tobey Maguire’s Spidey going up against not only a Bruce Campbell-portrayed Mysterio, but C and D-list villains like Shocker, The Prowler and Rhino. He elaborated:

We had kicked around the idea of beginning the film with a montage of C and D- list villains that we knew would never be used as main antagonists. Mysterio, The Shocker, The Prowler, the old school- onsie- wearing version of The Rhino, etc. We thought it would be a lot of fun.

So the opening was going to have Spider-Man catching C and D-list villains like Shocker, The Prowler and Rhino before capping it off with this?

 

 

Spider-Man bringing Mysterio into a police station

Mysterio's helmet popping off

Bruce Campbell as Mysterio

Image Via Planet Henderson

 

Bruce Campbell as Mysterio! Not the announcer, bouncer, and snooty waiter from the previous films! As a side note, would they ever acknowledged that Mysterio gave Spider-Man his name?

 

Bruce campbell as in Spiderman

Image Via Imgur

 

Without this, we would be watching the Human-Spider series!

The main villain would have been Vulture! Raimi was eyeing John Malkovich “Malkovich Malkovich” for the role, who looks scary as heck:

 

John Malkovich as Vulture

Image Via Planet Henderson

 

Felicia Hardy was also set to make an appearance and would have put on a costume, but she wouldn’t have adopted her infamous Black Cat persona from the comics. Instead, she would have become… The Vultress!

I don’t know what to think of that, but to be fair, I don’t even know how any of this would have panned out. It sounds like the passion was there though, so what happened?

Sony wanted to have Dylan Baker as Curt Connors, a minor character in the previous films, to finally become The Lizard!

To be brief, Raimi was getting Spider-Man “three villains proved too many” 3 and told Sony:

I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.’ And [then Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio’s money, and I appreciate your candor.’ So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.

Sony did reboot the franchise, calling it The Amazing Spider-Man and having the The Lizard be the main villain in a plot where he wanted to turn everyone in New York into a lizard.

Recently, Micheal “I’m-Batman-not-John-Malkovich” Keaton appeared as the Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming, proving that a white guy in a bird suit could be scary.

 

 

Michael Keaton as The Vulture

Image Via BUSINESS Insider

 

Chills!

But maybe we’re overthinking this. Maybe this Tweet is about a Spider-Man/Fantastic-Four crossover. But for now I have my hopes and dreams that one day we’ll see some of the early plot lines for this movie…

 

Featured Image Via 1428elm.com