One of Marvel’s most popular superheroes, Spider-Man, is out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This news came in August after Sony and Disney could not reach an agreement about the rights to the web-slinger.
Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man, and has since 1999. They have made many movies about Spider-Man, including Sam Raimi’s trilogy starring Toby McGuire, Mark Webb’s reboot with Andrew Garfield, and most recently the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which one the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
The original deal made by Sony and Disney made back in 2015 allowed Marvel Studios to include Spider-Man in MCU films. Sony financed the films and kept 95% of the box office gross, while Marvel got the other 5% as well as merchandise sales.
Disney wanted a new deal, and offered Sony to split financing and revenue 50% each. Sony declined this offer, taking the film rights for Spider-Man away from Disney, and kicking him out of the MCU for the foreseeable future.
Many people have been asking since this decision: What does this do to the future of live action Spider-Man movies? The completely honest answer is no one really knows. Tom Holland is signed for two more movies, but it will be hard for Sony to do those right, because of how central that version of Peter Parker is to the MCU after the events of recent movies. “I wouldn’t be surprised if both of the studios suffered from this,” one Centennial Senior said. “ The deal that they had before was perfect for everyone to benefit.”
On the upside for Sony however, having the sole rights to Spider-Man may help them be able to explore different and new ideas. Having been criticized by fans and critics for how Sony has used Spider-Man in live action projects before, this may be the perfect opportunity to stray away from the traditional superhero movie and look toward things more like Into the Spider-Verse, which was adored by critics along with fans.
It will also be interesting to see what Marvel Studios does now that the character that was seemingly the centerpiece of the next several years of MCU movies is gone.