Marvel fans have been reeling since the events of Avengers: Endgame, but now there’s a new character to mourn: Peter Parker. In what might be the most shocking, maddening superhero news ever, Parker, along with his superhero alias Spider-Man, will be swinging out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For good.
In a nutshell, it’s all about money. According to reports, Marvel Studios has decided to end its unique partnership with Sony Pictures, which allowed Sony-owned Spider-Man to appear in Captain America: Civil War and the last two Avengers movies, and it all boiled down to a disagreement over co-financing. In 2017, the two companies came together to put out Spider-Man: Homecoming, collaborating again this summer on Spider-Man: Far From Home, and both were super-successful. Prior to that, Sony put out their own Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Those franchises did well — but not Tom Holland well, and a big part of that recent success is arguably tied to Marvel. Alas, no more. Holland’s character is back solely in Sony’s hands.
Both sides had been in discussions to extend the deal for future Holland-led Spider-Man movies, which would see Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stay on as a producer of the Sony films. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, those talks recently collapsed. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have [Feige] continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film,” a Sony spokesperson told THR. “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.”
Deadline, which first broke the news, reported that Disney wanted to share co-financing on future Spider-Man films 50-50, while Sony wanted to maintain the arrangement they’ve had on the first two flicks.
Now, what does this mean for fans? For Marvel, it poses a problem: Spider-Man has grown to be a vital member of the Avengers, so much so that Peter’s “death” was the catalyst that prompted Tony’s actions in Endgame. Also, Far From Home introduced us to a new post-Endgame world and teased a major multi-movie storyline for Marvel, so Spider-Man is integral to the current MCU. And now, SNAP. He will no longer be there.
Granted, this won’t be an urgent problem for Marvel to solve. With the recently announced Phase 4 coming down the pipe, featuring a slew of new superhero movies over the next several years, the studio has enough on its plate.
As far as Sony goes, they’ll be OK. This past weekend, Far From Home passed Skyfall to become the studio’s highest-grossing movie ever, making the Spider-Man franchise its most prized possession. And there are still two movies in the works that will feature Holland as the webslinger, so that’s comforting. THR pointed out that the possibility of Spider-Man meeting Tom Hardy’s Venom or Jared Leto’s Morbius has “significantly increased,” so that’s another bonus.
But some fans are hoping to see a Spider-Man and Deadpool collaboration. And Ryan Reynolds doesn’t disagree. Our hearts.
You can. But you can only see it in my heart.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 20, 2019