Marvel Studios is actively courting the filmmaker for an upcoming MCU-set project and it sounds like there’s some hurt feeling over the narrative Sony Pictures has been trying to create this week.
The trade notes that Kevin Feige was NOT too busy to continue working on Spider-Man movies as he loves the character. Disney, meanwhile, reportedly asked for a 25% stake which would have seen them finance that much of the movie and them receive the same share of profits.
This was only going to be for movies that actively involved Marvel Studios and Feige.
The 25% offer was on the table for six months but Sony refused so Disney played hardball by asking for 50% after Spider-Man: Far From Home‘s success and then decided to walk away from the table.
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Spider-Man Vs. Venom/Kraven’s Last Hunt
We know that Sony is desperate to have Spider-Man and Venom meet, and we also know that the Kraven the Hunter movie they’re developing includes the wall-crawler and adapts “Kraven’s Last Hunt.” As a result, it’s highly likely that they now take things in one or both of those directions.
A Spider-Man/Venom crossover is inevitable and was seemingly going to happen even if Spidey had remained part of the MCU.
As for Kraven, there’s a strong desire among fans to see that character on the big screen, and combining their Spider-Man 3 plans with that spinoff could result in a movie that helps people get over the fact that Spider-Man can no longer assemble with the rest of The Avengers.
Fewer Spider-Man Comics And Less Merchandise
With the X-Men and Fantastic Four firmly in Fox’s grasp, Marvel decided to stop making merchandise featuring the characters, and in the comic books, they tried and failed to have the Inhumans replace mutants and later got rid of the heroic foursome altogether.
That was done to hurt the movies and to stop creating new characters and stories they would then be able to profit from, all while Disney got nothing in return. Right now, Spider-Man is the star of countless ongoing and limited series’ and with this partnership at an end, it’s highly likely that Marvel Comics will scale things back and give the hero considerably less of the spotlight in future.
He won’t disappear and they’ll continue making merchandise they profit 100% from, but this news might not bode well for the hero’s future, especially as it doesn’t sound like the split has been an amicable one. Disney has no reason to help Sony, and while these discussions probably haven’t taken place yet, don’t be shocked if some of those comics soon start getting cancelled.
Miles Morales Meets Another Peter Parker
While Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the chances of him making a cameo appearance as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse were slim. After all, how could he be dragged into another dimension and then not mention that during a movie like Avengers: Infinity War? As cool as it would have been, it simply would not have made sense.
Live-action Spider-Man movies starring the actor are bound to remain a priority for the studio, but there’s now absolutely no reason why Miles Morales couldn’t cross paths with this Peter Parker.
It goes without saying that Miles should remain the focus of his animated franchise and if Holland’s Peter does appear, it should only be briefly. However, it would be silly of Sony not to take advantage of the fact they’re now free to do whatever they like with Spidey.
Spider-Man Swings Into Those Spinoffs
Sony owns the rights to hundreds of characters from Spider-Man’s world, and given the popularity of cinematic universes these days, no one can blame them for wanting to develop spinoffs.
That’s a problem for many fans, though, as Spidey is integral to most of their origin stories, and watching an adventure revolving around characters like Black Cat or Venom just isn’t as satisfying when they don’t have Spider-Man to bounce off. Now, that’s no longer an issue, and while it’s probably too late for a cameo in Morbius, these worlds colliding is bound to happen down the line.
Whether that’s a good or bad thing ultimately hinges on the quality of these planned spinoff movies.
Sony Pictures has said in a statement that they intend on continuing the story Marvel Studios started, but they once scheduled The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 for release before scrapping those plans and teaming up with Kevin Feige and company.
It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that Sony will reboot the franchise with a new Spider-Man who can more neatly fit into franchises like Venom and Morbius.
That could be an older version of the wall-crawler who doesn’t need an origin story because he’s been a hero for years. That would be horrible for fans, as it obvioulsy means the current Spidey’s story would end on a major cliffhanger, and it’s hard to believe Sony would be that stupid…then again, it was the plan for Aunt May to get her own spinoff movie once upon a time!
Spider-Man On The Small Screen
It was recently revealed that Sony has teamed with Phil Lord and Chris Miller to bring Spider-Man’s world to television. We have no idea whether those plans include the web-slinger or just characters from his world, but it’s certainly feasible that Holland could be signed to a big money contract which would see him play Peter Parker across the big and small screens.
There’s no way that Spidey would make a permanent leap to TV given the success of Spider-Man: Far From Home, but it would be pretty cool to see Holland at the centre of his own shared world.
In the past, we’ve heard that a studio like Sony would need permission to use a character like this on the small screen as well as the big, and that could be an issue for them given what’s happened.
A New Director…And Lead Star?
It’s been confirmed that Jon Watts has yet to sign up to direct the next Spider-Man movie and we don’t know what the deal with Tom Holland’s contract is right now. He may be locked in for more movies, or free to refuse to continue playing the webbed warrior without Marvel’s involvement.
A new director being found is definitely possible if Watts decides he doesn’t want to face the challenges that come with making a Spider-Man movie set outside of the MCU, and, well, Sony could always go ahead and recast Holland if it comes down to that.
That may sound a lot like the reboot we mentioned before, but if Marvel Studios can recast The Hulk and continue his story, then Sony can do the same with Spidey. Of course, that’s not something anyone really wants to see from the character’s future.
Miles Morales Makes His Live-Action Debut
Should Sony decide to take things in a completely different direction, we could finally see Miles Morales swing into a live-action setting. The animated version can continue to thrive, but Miles’ debut would be something that generates a lot of positive buzz and could help angry fans come to terms with Spidey’s new status quo.
Whether he should replace Peter is debatable, but benching that version of Spidey for a while might not be the worst idea, and Miles’ movie could allude to him having gone on the run.
A “Spider-Men” team-up would be a guaranteed box office hit (especially now moviegoers have been introduced to Miles thanks to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and this is bound to be something Sony has been mulling over for a while now. Time will tell whether it becomes a reality.
Things Get Worse For Spidey…
A worst case scenario for the web-slinger is that Avi Arad takes control of the Spider-Man franchise and runs it into the ground by throwing Venom and a host of other characters into the next movie to fulfil his own terrible fantasies.
Bear in mind that he promised an “Untold Story” with The Amazing Spider-Man movies which ended up being a convoluted mess, and his plans for the Sinister Six would have involved Norman Osborn’s severed head and Harry Osborn recruiting a bunch of random people to wear Doctor Octopus’ arms and The Vulture’s wings rather than giving them proper origin stories.
So, yeah, with no more involvement from Feige, Spider-Man may very well be doomed…
Spider-Man can survive without the MCU, and while Venom may have been panned by critics and many hardcore comic book fans, it was a box office hit and a real crowd-pleaser. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, meanwhile, is widely considered the best Spider-Man movie to date!
With that in mind, there’s no reason to think Sony hasn’t learned from past mistakes and they may very well be capable of continuing the story of this Spider-Man in some exciting ways.
Sure, it’s going to be awkward ignoring the MCU and everything Peter Parker went through, but a strong script can work around that and Sony may still do the hero justice.
Continue reading below to check out everything
we know so far about the Sony/Disney split!
Two More Spider-Man Movies Are In The Works
As of right now, director Jon Watts reportedly does NOT have a deal to return, while Tom Holland’s status is somewhat up in the air. Chances are the actor is locked in, though, and we can probably assume that the other key cast members have multi-picture deals that will also require them to come back for at least one more film, regardless of how they feel about this news.
Sony has made it clear in statements released since this story broke that they plan to continue on the path Marvel Studios put them on, so at least that FFH cliffhanger won’t be left unresolved.
However, it was Kevin Feige who decided to out Spider-Man’s secret identity to his aunt (and probably the world as well), and with the wall-crawler no longer lined up to be the MCU’s new Tony Stark, Sony Pictures has some serious explaining to do when it comes to where his story goes next.
Disney Is Just As Much To Blame As Sony
If you take a look at social media and the “#SpiderMan” hashtag, Sony Pictures is taking an absolute pounding from fans. That would explain why they’ve released multiple statements pointing to Disney being to blame for what’s happened, and, as hard as it may be to admit given Sony’s frustrating track record, they make a valid point.
Disney has gone from receiving 5% of first dollar gross to wanting 50%, and that’s a big ask for Sony Pictures, especially when Spider-Man is their most successful franchise and this new deal would have likely extended to all those live-action spinoffs as well.
While Disney should be compensated for Marvel Studios’ role in the Spider-Man movies (they do everything from providing the concept art to hiring talent, and come up with everything we see in terms of the creative), half of the profits is a lot – especially when they already own the character’s merchandising rights.
The Talks Have Been Taking Place For Months
This isn’t a sudden decision on anyone’s part. Talks between Sony and Disney have been taking place for months now, but the two sides simply can’t agree. While Sony offered Disney the same deal they have now, they weren’t willing to budge, and despite Sony claiming that “negotiations are ongoing,” multiple outlets confirm that no talks are happening right now.
Now, there’s no reason to suspect that they won’t pick up again at some point, but Sony’s latest statement makes it sound pretty definitive and it feels like they’re leaving the ball in Disney’s court.
Ultimately, both sides need to stop and think about whether it’s worth compromising. Sony is said to be confident that they can manage without Marvel’s help (especially after the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom), but just how much will the MCU suffer without Spidey?
Is Kevin Feige Being Spread Too Thin?
One report states that Disney is concerned that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is doing too much. As well as the Marvel movies, he now has an entire slate of Disney+ TV shows to oversee, and they’re understandably unwilling for those to suffer in terms of quality so he can help another studio’s franchise that they receive only a very small amount of money from.
Sony alluded to this in a statement when they essentially blamed the arrival of the X-Men and Fantastic Four in the MCU on Feige simply not having time to be named a producer on future Spider-Man films. Feige is definitely a busy man, but this feels like spin on Sony’s part and a way of shifting the blame for them not wanting to pay Disney what they want to keep him around.
What Those Sony Statements Actually Reveal…
Sony issued a number of statements last night, and there’s a surprising amount to unpack in them.
The first claimed that the “dispute is simply over a producer credit and negotiations are ongoing” before adding that Feige has worked on a number of Sony’s Marvel movies without receiving that credit. In other words, they were trying to downplay the situation and make it sound like he could still be involved in some capacity moving forward (don’t bank on that).
The second followed multiple reports that this split is happening, and very much pinned the blame on Disney while also confirming that the franchise will continue.
Disney got greedy, but Sony got stupid, and it’s hard to escape the feeling that much of what we’re seeing is a public negotiating tactic which will force one, or both, sides to reconsider their stance.
Kevin Feige’s Role In Sony’s Spider-Verse
According to both Sony and a number of reliable sources, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has been helping the studio with their Marvel properties for quite some time now. This isn’t exactly breaking news because we know Sony asked for his input/advice on The Amazing Spider-Man movies; the Sony/Disney deal meant he was given full creative control and not ignored, though.
One report reveals that Feige even consulted on Venom, but it was Sony Pictures boss Tom Rothman who was ultimately sitting in the editing room figuring out the final cut of the critically panned release. He was in charge of Fox for “Barakapool” and the Fantastic Four reboot so he’s clearly no Feige, but, to his credit, he reportedly did offer Disney a number of options which they later refused.
Don’t bank on Disney allowing Feige to offer any sort of input in the future, though, because just as Fantastic Four comics vanished from shelves when Fox had plans for the characters, Marvel and Disney no longer have a reason to help them. Sony appears to be aware of that, too, as they’ve said, “we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on.”
Tom Rothman, Amy Pascal, And Sony’s Future Spider-Man Plans
What comes next is hard to say, and is something we’ll be exploring a little later today. However, what we do know is that the current Spider-Man franchise is expected to continue and that Amy Pascal, who has produced the wall-crawler’s last two adventures alongside Kevin Feige, will remain in that role. There’s been no mention of Avi Arad, but he’s bound to want to get involved.
We may or may not get some updates over the coming days, but Sony’s statement was pretty definitive and Marvel Studios/Disney has yet to comment on the situation. For now, though, don’t be shocked if we’re left in the dark as talks (hopefully) begin to place again behind the scenes.
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