The beloved Spider-Man is leaving Marvel studios, and will now be completely in the hands of Sony. After three different renditions of the character, it looks like there will be another. Back in the 80’s, Marvel sold their film rights for Spider-Man when superhero films were not the box-office-breaking movies that they are today, and they resorted to licensing many popular characters to other film studios in order to stay afloat. In 1999, Sony snatched the rights of Spider-Man and started the classic Spider-Man trilogy that was first released in 2002, starring Toby Maguire. Back in 2012, the series rebooted with Andrew Garfeild as the new Spider-Man. While the re-boot received generally mixed reviews, an agreement in 2015 allowed Marvel to share the character with Sony. Sony would function as the financier of the films, and Marvel would serve as the creative producer. Along with the deal, Marvel got the merchandising rights, collecting 5% of box office revenue on the first day of release, while Sony cashed in on the rest of the film’s profit. Notably, Marvel also had the rights to integrate the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which led Tom Holland to debut in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. He then appeared in four more Marvel movies, including two Avengers movies and two stand alone films.
The split reportedly stems from a deal that Marvel’s parent company, Disney, sparked with Sony. Supposedly, Disney wanted to co-finance the Spider-Man films in order to get a larger share of the profits. They offered to strike up a 50-50 deal with Sony, meaning both companies would split the financing and profits for the movies equally. It’s said that Sony refused the deal, which means a different future for Spider-Man, and he won’t be taking Iron Man’s role like Marvel intended. Sony confirmed the rumors of the split when they went to Twitter to release the news that Marvel’s Kevin Fiege will not be producing the future Spider-Man movies, stating, “We [at Sony] are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him [Kevin Fiege] continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film.” Fiege is a Marvel film producer and has been the president of Marvel Studios since 2007. His major role in producing the two recent Spider-Man films causes fans to question what Sony plans to do with Tom Holland’s character, without Feige.
It looks like both studios are holding on to their decisions, which in turn welcomes a new reality, where Peter Parker is not going to carry the legacy of Tony Stark. Though the future of Spider-Man looks bleak, actor Tom Holland is hopeful in saying, “The future for Spider-Man will be different…but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”