It looks as if the deal between Sony and Marvel Studios that saw the two sharing the character of Spider-Man is indeed coming to an end.
Deadline is reporting that Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige will not be a producer on any more of Sony’s Spider-Man films. Reportedly, the two studios have been unable to come to an agreement for a way to extend the deal that saw the popular Marvel Comics character whose film rights reside at Sony to interact with the rest of his cinematic cohorts in films produced by Marvel Studios. Likewise, Marvel Studios characters have been able to crossover and interact with Spider-Man and his cast of characters in his own films.
Reportedly, the dispute between the studios has been growing for months. Marvel/Disney had asked that future Spider-Man films move to a 50-50 co-financing arrangement, with the possibility of extending that to other Spider-Man spinoff films that Sony may be contemplating making. Under the agreement just ending, Sony fully finances their Spider-Man films while Marvel Studios retains creative control. It was an offer that Sony flatly turned down, and from that point on, no effort to come to an middle ground was made.
Currently, Marvel was only getting somewhere in the vicinity of 5% of the Spider-Man films’ first dollar gross as well as all revenue from any merchandising. Entering into a co-financing agreement would entitle them to much more than that and Sony is apparently unwilling to give that up. Spider-Man: Far From Home just clinched the title of the biggest grossing film in Sony’s history, pulling in over a billion dollars at the box office.
Deadline’s sources are saying that Sony, especially studio chief Tom Rothman, feel that now that they have Spider-Man on stable creative ground, they no longer need the assist from Marvel’s Kevin Feige. This is worrisome as while he was chairman over at Twentieth Century Fox, Rothman severely meddled with the X-Man franchise leading to X3: The Final Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine being two of the series’s worst entries.
While this news may come as a surprise to many, it does possibly explain why there was no mention of a new Spider-Man film during Marvel’s presentation at San Diego Comic-Con where they laid out their plans through 2021.
Spider-Man’s departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe does potentially put a severe kink into their overall storytelling plans for the MCU going forward. Far From Home certainly seemed to be positioning Peter Parker/Spider-Man as one of the leaders of the superhero community, someone who will not replace Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, but will lead following his example.
Deadline also reports from sources that Sony has at least two more Spider-Man films lined up, with star Tom Holland and director Jon Watts lined up to continue their work on the franchise. We also know that Sony has a number of Spider-Man film rights spinoffs in various stages. While the studio is actively developing a sequel to last year’s Venom, it also has Morbius The Living Vampire in post-production and ongoing development for projects featuring villain Kraven The Hunter and anti-heroes Black Cat And Silver Sable.