Marvel’s involvement in ‘Spider-Man’ movies may be in doubt
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With great success comes great re-negotiation. In the wake of the announcement that “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is now the highest-grossing film ever in Sony Pictures’ history, reports surfaced that Marvel Studios may be stepping away from the cross-studio partnership.
The Hollywood trade Deadline reported Tuesday that there was a disagreement over the profit-sharing structure.
According to a person close to the deal who was unauthorized to speak publicly, negotiations are not yet final. But the suggestion that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige may not produce future live-action “Spider-Man” movies and that the character itself might not appear in any more Marvel Cinematic Universe films quickly turned into a trending topic.
Sony has held the rights to the Marvel character since 1985, but in 2015, announced a partnership with Disney and Marvel that would allow Spider-Man to be used in MCU films like “Avengers: Endgame.” It also allowed for Feige to serve as a producer on stand-alone “Spider-Man” movies like “Far From Home.”
The crossovers have been well-received by audiences and critics. And the teenage web-slinger has been made into a central component in the MCU with a close relationship to Tony Stark that drove the story lines in both “Endgame” and “Far From Home.” But as Marvel enters its “Phase 4,” Spider-Man also has no official MCU appearances planned.
Two standalone “Spider-Man” movies are, however, reportedly in the works from Sony which would bring back director Jon Watts and star Tom Holland. Sony has also created its own web of Spider-Man spinoffs, including the Oscar-winning animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “Venom.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter “Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” says a Sony spokesperson. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film.”
The studio then says Feige, who shepherds the robust Marvel Cinematic Universe for Disney-owned Marvel, may just have too much on his plate, given that Disney recently acquired additional Marvel characters via its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
“We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own,” says the statement. “Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”