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.