SONY Pictures executives have pulled superhero Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) over a dispute with Disney bosses.
In 2015, bosses at Sony, who acquired the film rights to Spider-Man in 1999, made a deal with Marvel Studios and its parent company Disney in which they would share the rights to the web-slinging superhero and integrate him within the MCU.
This led to Tom Holland playing the character in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, while MCU characters such as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Jon Favreau’s ‘Happy Hogan’ made appearances in Spider-Man: Homecoming and this year’s Far From Home.
However, reports claim that Sony and Disney executives had reached a stand-off as they couldn’t agree on co-financing and profit-sharing terms, so Marvel and its boss Kevin Feige will no longer be involved in Spider-Man films.
The dispute stems from Disney’s demand that future “Spider-Man” films would be financed on a 50/50 basis, with Feige remaining in a consulting producer capacity. Sony is believed to have proposed keeping the arrangement under the current terms,
which stipulate that Marvel receives about 5% of first-dollar gross and all merchandising revenues. However, Disney allegedly expressed concerns that Feige was spread too thin due to other Marvel projects plus original projects for Disney Plus.
The news of the webslinger’s potential exit from the MCU has frustrated fans even more because the reports of a breakdown in negotiations between Sony and Disney come after it was announced that Far From Home, the second film in the recent Spider-Man series starring Tom Holland as the lead,
was Sony’s highest grossing film of all time. The action-packed movie made a staggering $1.109 billion (£912 million) globally in just six weeks – beating James Bond movie Skyfall which has held the previous box office record for Sony since 2012.
Sony is widely believed to be developing two more “Spider-Man” movies, with Holland reprising his role as the webslinger, but has not officially announced those titles.