In the summer of 2018, a friend convinced me to watch every Marvel movie in order. Having never seen them before and being the movie-lover I am, I watched all 22 movies (at the time) from "Iron Man" to "Avengers: Infinity War." By August, I was in love with the franchise and one of my favorite characters was Spider-Man.
After "Avengers: Endgame" and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" were released this summer, my admiration for the character grew. With the tragic death of (spoiler alert) Tony Stark, Black Widow and the four other original Avengers moving on, I couldn’t see a reason to continue watching the new movies. Spider-Man poised to be the new Iron Man, was part of what kept me invested, but now it’s all about to change.
Everyone should have heard about the rift between Sony and Disney by now. Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man as intellectual property. Disney owns Marvel Studios. The two companies agreed to work together on a few films so that Spider-Man could make appearances in certain Marvel movies, like "Captain America: Civil War," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." Along with that, Marvel characters such as Iron Man and Nick Fury made appearances in Sony’s Spider-Man films. Sony and Disney were considered partners.
Unfortunately, their partnership may be terminated as a result of financing debates for a third Spider-Man movie. Negotiations are still ongoing, but if they do not come to a solution in the near future, the Marvel franchise will have many challenges to face. Tom Holland may still star in a following Spider-Man movie and Jon Watts may still direct it, but the film will have no connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or any of its characters. With that, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, will not be a co-producer like he was for the first two films.
The reason for the disagreement is evidently a money issue. The exact details are not clear. Originally, Sony handled all the financing while Feige was allowed creative input, leading Disney to receive only a small percentage of box office revenue. According to Screen Daily, Disney asked to co-finance future Spider-Man movies 50/50, meaning they would receive half the profits. Other sources claim they only asked for 25%-30%.
It is a large shift from what has been working for Sony, but it's not an unfair suggestion. Disney is offering to help pay for production in order to receive the benefits. Sony simply doesn’t want to turn over the power, which is understandable. "Spider-Man: Far From Home" was extremely successful in the box office and Sony doesn’t want to give up that profit.
However, part of the reason it was so successful is because it was the first movie following "Avengers: Endgame". Fans knew that this Spider-Man film would be the one to discuss Stark’s death and what is to come next in the MCU. The clout Marvel and Feige have amassed over the past 11 years has essentially made Spider-Man films popular and profitable again. Five percent is not enough compensation Marvel for their efforts.
Part of me knows that business is arduous and people have to fight for what they want, but part of me just wants them to think of the fans. Spider-Man’s exit from the MCU would have drastic effects on the storyline for following films. Someone can make a sacrifice. It's not like they’re completely selling or buying the rights to Spider-Man. Besides, Disney and Sony are two of the most successful businesses. Disney owns everything ranging from Lucas Films and Pixar to ABC. Sony owns Columbia Pictures, Playstation, CBS Records and so much more.
On the other hand, if negotiations continue to fail, I know the directors and screenwriters at Marvel are talented enough to make the franchise just as entertaining without Spider-Man. They will be able to fix the new Iron Man issue. Plus, the division of the two companies might lead to a crossover between Spider-Man and Venom, which is also owned by Sony.
Spider-Man has already left an indelible mark on the MCU, an unfortunate business decision won't negate that. We have past films to reminisce and at least we still have the amazing Tom Holland to act the part no matter where the rights end up.