Disney-Sony Dispute Spells Trouble for Spiderman

HEIDI SWANSON | ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

If you haven’t heard the news yet, after Disney and Sony failed to reach a deal, Spiderman will no longer be a part of the MCU. Also, future Sony movies involving Spiderman can’t mention anything about the Avengers or Tony Stark. That puts him in a very sticky situation (get it?). Think about this: “Spiderman: Far From Home” dealt with Peter Parker’s grief over Tony Stark’s death and the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” If Spiderman can’t be associated with the Avengers in any way, how will the third movie continue? 

Essentially, the contract between Sony, who owns the character of Spiderman, and Disney ended; they only had a deal for five movies, which had been fulfilled with “Captain America: Civil War,” “Spiderman: Homecoming,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Spiderman: Far From Home.” The previous deal was as follows:

1) In Spiderman led films, Disney received five percent of first dollar gross, while Sony financed all of the movie;

2) Disney owned all Spiderman merchandise, thus receiving all of the profit.

The new deal, according to many sources, was:

1) Disney would retain ownership of merchandise;

2) However, now Disney would receive 50 percent of the profits from Spiderman led films (Later, sources did say Disney asked for 25 percent after Sony said no). Disney was also looking to be involved in other Spiderman-adjacent ventures, like the “Venom” movies.

Sony refused this proposal, which makes sense given that Spiderman is one of its biggest franchises. In fact, “Spiderman: Far From Home” was its highest grossing film of all time. Because no agreement was reached, Disney and Kevin Feige, who has produced all of the Marvel movies, will no longer be involved in production.

Neither Sony nor Disney have released any statements focused on the deal; however, Sony did release a statement detailing Feige’s departure from Spiderman films, basically saying he is no longer involved because he is too busy. A spokesman from Sony said, “Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. 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. 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. 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.”

At Disney’s D23 convention, Tom Holland broke his silence on the split, saying, “basically, we’ve made five great movies. It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? But all I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It’s going to be so fun, however we choose to do it. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.” 

To me, this dispute between Disney and Sony is simply another instance in which two power and money hungry companies fight it out for even more power and money. However, I don’t think the split will last very long; Spiderman was set to be one of the new faces of the Avengers franchise, and he is one of Sony’s biggest characters. 

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