Disputes between Disney and Sony on the rights to Spider-Man led to the tragic exclusion of the beloved superhero from future films.
How am I supposed to look forward to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with no Iron Man or Spider-Man? I have basically been crying since they announced that Spider-Man would no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man interacting with all of the other beloved characters in the MCU was magical.
What happened? How did the fruitful partnership between Disney and Sony just end?
Many years ago, before Disney acquired Marvel, Sony secured the rights to Spider- Man for the foreseeable future. Before Tom Holland was Spider-Man, there was Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Little could most people imagine that Spider-Man would someday be part of a much bigger universe.
However, in 2015 Sony and Marvel struck a deal that the famous webbed hero would be part of the global phenomenon that is the MCU. Fans rejoiced and soon Holland as Spider-Man came swinging on the scene, slinging webs and witty quips at breakneck speed. He became ingrained in the MCU.
The latest installment of the superhero, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” grossed over one billion dollars at the box office. It certainly seemed like Spider-Man was a pivotal and secure figure in the MCU.
So, when the announcement broke that Sony was taking Spider Man away from Marvel, fans were understandably upset. Everybody was quick to blame Sony, but it’s a little more complicated than that.
Disney and Sony’s deal from 2015 was expiring. Their former agreement was that Disney gave creative direction in exchange for a small cut, five percent of the box office proceeds. Sony shouldered all the production costs, and Disney received all the proceeds for the toy sales.
In the negotiations, Disney asked for a bigger box office cut, 50 percent to be exact, in exchange for paying some production costs. Sony refused, and just like that, Spider-Man was no longer part of the Marvel Universe.
Since then, Marvel and Spider-Man fans have been in an uproar. The hashtag #savespidey has swept across Twitter as fans critique Sony for cruelly taking Spider-Man away.
However, what fans are forgetting is that Sony does not need Disney to make Spider- Man a success. Long before the MCU was a pop culture phenomenon, Sony managed to produce two hugely popular Spider Man franchises.
In addition, while Spider-Man has been swinging around space, Sony developed “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse,” a critical and box office success. So, although the MCU relaunched the Spider-Man franchise, now that Sony has other Spider-Man related movies and TV shows in development, it does not need Disney.
Placing all the blame on Sony is not completely fair, after all Disney asked for a huge cut of box office proceeds. Disney cannot be totally blamed either, after all, they did make Spider-Man a success again. The tangled web to the rights of Spider-Man is the real issue here.
Although I do not like that Spider-Man will no longer be part of the MCU, I understand Sony’s decision and will grudgingly accept that Spider-Man will not be hanging out with Thor anymore.