Bad news for Spider-Man fans: Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures will no longer be producing his movies together.
In other words: he’s been kicked out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The news arrived just a few days after Spider-Man: Far From Home became Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing movie of all time, with global earnings of US$1.109 billion (S$1.53 bil).
In 2015, the Disney-owned Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, who own the Spider-Man movie rights, inked a deal which allowed the Wall Crawler to appear in Marvel Studios movies, starting with Captain America: Civil War, and two solo adventures, Spider-Man: Homecoming and the current Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The pact boils down to this: Sony retains the rights, but Marvel calls the creative shots in exchange for — according to Deadline — “a modest five per cent of first-dollar gross, as well as all merchandising revenue”. (In Hollywood-speak, first-dollar gross deals meant Marvel received a cut of the box-office takings, regardless of the movie’s performance.)
When it came time for renegotiation, Marvel reportedly wanted a bigger share of the earnings but Sony preferred to extend the existing agreement.
The Sony-Marvel Studios dispute means Spider-Man, as played by Tom Holland, will no longer be part of the MCU, hence barring him from playing in the same sandbox with Nick Fury, Doctor Strange, and Shang-Chi.
It also leaves us wondering how they’re going to explain Spider-Man’s absence in future MCU instalments, especially when he’s set up to be Tony Stark/Iron Man’s successor in Far From Home. And what will become of the two Spider-Man movies Holland is contractually bound to make?
Meanwhile, fans didn’t take the news of Spidey's exit too well, voicing their dissatisfaction on social media.
Every MCU fan hearing the news of Sony taking back Spider-Man pic.twitter.com/VtBvTjse9L— Tomatron the One (@OTomatron) August 20, 2019