Good god, it’s only been a month since Sony and Marvel announced that they were breaking up, and what a tumultuous month it has been. It’s amazing to see the Spider-Man fandom (including myself) collectively go through the five stages of grief in such a short amount of time. Thankfully, like most deaths in mainstream comics, the impending separation was only temporary with Marvel and Sony striking a deal for one more film and a guest appearance in an MCU film.
According to the MCU’s grand orchestrator, Kevin Feige:
I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it. Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.
Now, while Fiege’s mostly spitting marketing spiel to hype up the MCU and Spidey’s continued presence for the next few years, his comments on the deal, as well as the reports and details of the deal itself, are telling. There is a lot to unpack from this about what Spidey’s future looks like in cinema. So, let’s just breakdown everything we know, a few musings, and the truth of the matter.
Altering the Deal, Pray That They Don’t Alter It Any Further
The terms of Marvel and Sony’s original deal when Spider-Man joined the MCU included several guest appearances and had Marvel earning 5 percent of the first-dollar gross from the character’s solo outings. Marvel also maintains complete merchandising rights. This deal effectively ended once Far From Home dropped, which meant it was time for renegotiations.
The deal put on the table last month, which lead to the original separation, supposedly had Marvel asking for a lot more. They wanted to finance 50 percent of any new solo outings while producing and also earning 50 percent of the box office revenue. A deal Sony kindly rejected.
Sony and Marvel have reached a brand new agreement that sees Marvel earning 25 percent of the profits and producing the next Spider-Man film, along with using the character for another guest appearance in an MCU film. A deal that’s far more acceptable to Sony and the reason fans were able to rejoice when the two corporations reached this mutual agreement.
Read the Fine Print, Sony’s Universe of Marvel Character
There is one part of Fiege’s comments that everyone seems to be overlooking. Specifically, the part where he states “He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes.” It’s pretty much known at this point that Marvel and the MCU wanted Holland’s Spider-Man to have no part in whatever other bonkers spin-offs Sony had planned. Some reports even suggest that they even had Holland’s cameo in Venom cut from the film.
If MCU fans were hoping Spider-Man would be limited to only the MCU, I’ve got some bad news. Now that a new arrangement has been set, Tom Holland is going to be a busy boy. Sony and Fiege pretty much confirmed that Spider-Man will possibly appear in future Sony films like Venom 2, Morbius, and dear Bast so help me, Madame Web. There is no telling if these Spider-Man spin-offs will be any good. What we do know is that the two studios will have to come up with an explanation as to whether or not both the Sony and Marvel films take place in different universes. Perhaps a live-action Spider-Verse film is on the horizon.
Limited Time Offer
I’m one of the few people that actually sided with Sony’s decision to part with Marvel. Before you pick up your pitchforks, it’s not what you think. I like Holland’s Spider-man. His take is a perfect mix of classic Spider-Man with the Stark relationship adding an interesting twist to the character. However, the Disney money-making machine got greedy. The truth of the matter is that Sony owns Spider-Man’s film rights. In fact, it’s their strongest property.
No matter how terrible a film it could be if they had decided to part ways with Marvel, the Spider-men franchise would survive. Asking for half of the profits is an alarming increase, and especially insulting when Marvel is basically raking in billions with merchandising and toys. Yes, Sony owes a lot to Marvel for revitalizing the character but no matter how you look at it, Marvel does not own the character on the big screen and has to live with that.
It’s clear now that the two studios are working on a case-by-case basis. In all the excitement, fans seem to have missed the part where this deal is only for one more solo film and one more guest appearance in an MCU film. After this new deal has reached its conclusion, I can’t imagine Marvel wanting less money or Sony wanting to continue this arrangement. This could suggest that the clock is winding down on Spider-Man’s time in the MCU and a grand exit might be on its way.
Phase 4 and Beyond, Spidey’s Grand Swan Song
Marvel has a lot banking on Phase 4. The MCU has reached a point where it’s concluded its biggest arc and has to re-establish itself, essentially proving that there are more stories to tell beyond the Infinity Arc. The same can’t be said for the old webhead. Far From Home’s cliffhanger ending left plenty of lingering plot threads to be wrapped up and hardly feels like a conclusion to his story in the MCU. Marvel knows their time is limited and at some point, Sony will want to start making the movies by themselves again. With only two more (and possibly his last) film appearances, I wouldn’t put it past Marvel and Sony to give Spider-Man’s time in the MCU a definitive ending.
It would be wise for Marvel to make the most of whatever MCU film they decide to put Spider-Man in, which is why I don’t think the character will appear in Phase 4 outside of the third Spider-Man movie. Frankly, a cameo or part in a Phase 4 movie would be a wasted opportunity, especially with the lineup of films announced. Instead, they should wait for Phase 5, where they are more likely to introduce the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man has close ties to both groups and seeing them on the big screen together would be a dream come true for fans.
There you have it. Spider-Man is back in the MCU for a few more years. Furthermore, it looks like Peter Parker is going to be interacting with more than just his MCU pals and might be giving Eddie Brock a shoutout in the near future. We don’t know much else about what his future looks like. Let us know what you think is on the horizon for Spider-man.