Is Spider-Man out of the Marvel Universe?
The dream of many Spider-Man fans seems to have come to an end.
After 5 movies and millions of dollars raised at the box office, everything indicates that the arachnid hero will no longer be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In MFC Editorial we tell you all about the drama between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios and, also, the future of Spider-Man.
Spider-Man comes back home
In a time when superhero movies weren’t as massive as today, the appearance of the first Spider-Man movie was an exciting event.
Sony Pictures, the owner of the cinematographic rights of Marvel‘s most profitable superhero, introduced the character in Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007), films directed by Sam Raimi and starred by Tobey Maguire. The movie brings a version of an older Peter Parker, whose private life was constantly affected by his adventures as a masked hero. Though it turned out to be an interesting way to explore Peter‘s facet, Maguire‘s Spider-Man failed to capture the cleverness and youth that characterized the hero in the comics.
Sony made a new attempt with The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro (2014), directed by Marc Webb and starred by Andrew Garfield. Although Garfield‘s Spider-Man managed to capture the essence of the character much better, this time it was the Peter Parker interpretation that seemed inadequate, leaving fans longing for a perfectly balanced Spider-Man.
When Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios reached an agreement that allowed Spider-Man to appear in the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the hero’s fans celebrated the homecoming of one of the most iconic characters in comics. Captain America: Civil War (2016) introduced the best possible version of the character, with a younger and socially awkward Peter Parker, and a talkative and witty Spider-Man.
After the director Jon Watts and the actor Tom Holland finished defining the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Spider-Man became one of the most important characters in the MCU and played an essential role in the events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) was the last film which the character actively participated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leaving an open ending and a possibility to continue expanding the project’s limits. Nevertheless, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios couldn’t reach a new agreement to continue sharing the character, so it’s not certain if the arachnid hero will be joining Phase 4 of the MCU.
The first deal between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios was that Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and mastermind behind the MCU, would be in charge of producing the new Spider-Man movies. Marvel Studios would receive 5% of the box office on the day of the premiere, as well as the total earnings of toys and all kinds of derived merchandise.
Thanks to the resounding success that Spider-Man films turned out to be within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney, who is the owner of Marvel Studios, considered that the distribution of earnings was not proportional to the work done.
Therefore Disney proposed that both companies invested and profited 50% each, to which Sony refused, preferring to leave the deal as it was in the beginning. Given this response, it seems that neither Disney nor Sony are willing to continue working together, at least until reaching a new agreement in which both companies feel comfortable.
Sony Pictures official response states that, beyond financial matters, Disney‘s decision that Kevin Feige would not continue to participate in the production of the upcoming Spider-Man films was the real reason behind the disagreement.
On the other hand, without denying or confirming Sony‘s statements, Kevin Feige has said that Spider-Man‘s participation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe wasn’t supposed to last forever and that they have managed to tell the story they wanted.
We can never really know the reasons behind the separation of Spider-Man and the cinematic universe that made it shine during the last three years, and everything will remain in rumors and speculation. What is certain is that, in the hands of Disney and Marvel Studios, Spider-Man has not only become one of the most acclaimed characters among fans but also has made of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) the highest-grossing film in the entire catalog of Sony Pictures.
Spider-Man in the future
If Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios don’t reach a new agreement, it is important to keep in mind that Tom Holland is still under contract to play Spider-Man at least one more movie.
Right after the production of The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Sony Pictures was planning in the development of a series of films focused on Spider-Man’s villains. One of the possibilities would be a film about a group of villains known as the Sinister Six, which was abandoned with the reboot of the Spider-Man saga for the Marvel Universe.
The premiere of Venom (2018), directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy, set a new direction for the Spider-Man villains in movies. It’s not unreasonable to think that Sony was already considering bringing the star hero back if we analyze Sony‘s last projects. Among which, there is the launch of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and the announcement of Venom 2, that will be directed by Andy Serkis and will feature the character Carnage, played by Woody Harrelson,
Although the fate of the arachnid hero is still uncertain, the fact is that there is still a lot to see from the amazing Spider-Man.