Similarly to how we thought Spider-Man met his untimely fate in Infinity War only to reappear in Endgame, so too will we see Spider-Man reincarnate in the MCU after tentative talks between Disney and Sony. Well, allegedly. It hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but there are some pretty strong rumors out there that the two major companies are closing in on a deal to bring us seven new MCU Spider-Man films.
image via ebaum’s world
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were sent into hysterics this past week after Disney and Sony failed to agree on licensing rights for Spider-Man. A staple to the MCU and a fan-favorite, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was on thin ice, or should I say webs? No, I shouldn’t. Anyway, people were peeved, to say the least. A slew of memes were made attacking Disney and Sony, and Stan Lee’s daughter even chimed in saying, “Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy. Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view.”
Perhaps the most hopeful piece off evidence comes from Tom Holland’s Instagram account where he posted a photo of himself and Robert Downey Jr. with the caption, “We did it Mr. Stark!” (Funny enough, he had previously unfollowed Sony’s Instagram account in subtle protest). Holland, already notorious for accidental spoilers might have just given his fans a huge sigh of relief. Only time will tell!
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.
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.
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.
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 2with 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.
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:
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.
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.
Sony was backed into a corner: everyone knew their Sinister Six movie was probably going to suck and they needed something.
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.
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.
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.
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 Venomsequels, 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.”
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.
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. (1/3)
Peter Parker has spent two whole movies (plus two features in Avengersmovies 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 (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.
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.
Our (current) friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland, is not the first member of his family to dream about being in the limelight. His dad, Dominic Holland, is an award-winning English comedian with his own BBC radio show. Despite Dominic’s success, nothing can compete to scoring billions at the box office and playing one of the most iconic characters in comic book history.
Image Via The Metro
It’s hard to beat Marvel fame standards, so when the Twitter-sphere gained knowledge of Mr. Holland’s 2017 novel about his son’s success, critics were quick to think he envied and even resented his son’s quick rise to fame.
Image Via Twitter
Eclipsed: Turns out Spider-Man Does Have a Dad is one of Holland’s three published novels. It pokes fun at the common dream to make it big in Hollywood. Specifically, it “attacks” his son for being able to achieve fame so much quicker and wider than his own. Most parents want their children to reach for their goals and achieve greatness, but not if it means overtaking them in their own field.
It’s safe to say, Dominic never expected his son to be the next Spider-Man, even after he achieved early success dancing on London’s West End.
Yet despite rumors and the above summary, Holland’s book remains comedic and light, adhering to his career in comedy. It’s a satire.
When all is said and done, Dominic Holland is unbelievably proud of his son…even if he does wish sometimes it was his face on those movie posters and lunch boxes.
Image Via The Times
Tom even wrote the forward for the book, dispelling any thoughts of bad blood between the two. In the end, how could you not be proud of your web-slinger son who has somehow swung his way into millions and millions of our hearts?
The 2018 comic book film Venom offered a unique take on a familiar Spider-Man film. Though it wasn’t a big hit with critics, it did make over $800 million dollars worldwide. A sequel is underway, and has just found its director.
Though Serkis is known for his motion capture work in films and video games, he has recently dabbled in directing. He made his directorial debut with the 2017 film Breatheand recently directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle for Netflix.
Serkis later confirmed his directing job on Instagram: