Spider-Man: I’m NOT Leaving!

Yes, that’s right folks, Tom Holland’s Spidey isn’t leaving the MCU just yet!  Spider-Man is slated to return for another solo movie in July 2021 and an unnamed Marvel film.  AND Tom Holland supposedly had a role in keeping the character in the universe by appealing to the CEO of Sony.  I hardly believe that Tom Holland actually had any sway, but I love that he is getting the credit. It just shows how popular his portrayal of the character is and the incredible fan base he has garnered for the franchise.  The deal is said to be a 75/25 split in the profits between Sony and Disney respectively and other details have yet to be officially announced. Unfortunately, that means negotiations will have to reopen promptly after to re-evaluate where Spider-Man will land.  What does this mean for the upcoming Venom 2? Are we going to see Spider-Man randomly appear with no explanation? Or better, are we going to see some of the Spider-Verse play a role in explaining the inevitable crossover. We won’t know anytime soon, and there’ll probably be plenty of drama along the way until that officially happens.  Let’s face it, all of the past incarnations of Spider-Man have had their troubles, but here’s hope that this one will break the cycle.

Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and recently Tom Holland all experienced studio drama and cancellation rumors for their roles in film adaptations of Stan Lee’s Spider-Man.  Tobey Maguire was meant to reprise the iconic role in the cancelled Spiderman 4 (and possibly a Spiderman 5) until the director Sam Raimi, bailed on the project due to “creative differences” with Sony. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but still a punch in the gut for those SELECT FEW fans holding out for Topher Grace to return as Venom.  Before the Amazing Spider-Man 3 production, Andrew Garfield upset Sony producers at a promotional dinner for the 3rd installment and single handedly derailed the series for himself.  Then came the rise of Tom Holland, our current high school Spiderman, who has already made five appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and while also spoiling most, if not all, of those movies in the process.  The major difference between Holland’s adaptation and his predecessors is that Disney studios is involved in producing through Marvel rather than Sony by themselves. Marvel’s involvement was momentarily over and Sony decided to takeover again, which begged the question:  Was Holland’s Spider-Man journey coming to an end too?

Obviously not anymore, but before the announcement was made that wall-crawler is staying in the MCU, some Mines students definitely had their opinions regarding the studio drama and the potential loss of Spider-Man once again.   Anonymous Mines student one claimed they “would be outraged if Sony starts to make Spider-Man movies again without Marvel.” The two films, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home have grossed a combined two billion dollars. Fans have rallied behind Holland’s portrayal of the beloved character and will continue to watch at least the next film whether or not it’s only Sony’s production or a joint effort.   The whole controversy boiled down to money (like most problems in the movie industry). Disney originally made a small percentage of the profits from the Spider-Man solo movies, for the privilege of including Tom Holland’s adaptation in the MCU.  Disney likely agreed to these terms before because of their plans for the Avengers, but since that phase is over, Disney decided they wanted a larger piece of the pie. Disney proposed a 50/50 split of all expenses and profits. It is no secret that the Magical Kingdom has been expanding and acquiring literally everyone, with their most recent purchase being Fox. Walt Disney Studios owns the aforementioned Fox in addition to Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and several others, all the while, funding their own streaming service Disney+ (set to launch this November).  Later, Sony was rumored to give up Spider-Man completely to Disney for $10 billion dollars, which was not a number Disney was willing to part with. So it was still unclear what the fate of Spider-Man will be, but there’s still hope for Spider-Man yet. 

Supposedly, there is a clause or loophole in the rights for Spider-Man, that if Sony is bought out by another company, the rights to Spider-Man will become Marvel’s completely.  Apple is rumored to purchase a large entertainment company, and Sony is definitely a contender. Once again, another giant of a company, throwing around their money attempting to disrupt the market and attempting to launch their own streaming service (which is a discussion for another time). The buyout rumors were said to be the reason that the Disney-Sony negotiations have come to a halt, but clearly the negotiations came to a halt because both Sony and Disney were finalizing their latest deal which put Spidey back in the safe zone again! (Barely)  

I thought there was hope for Spider-Man either way. Based on Sony’s slam dunk Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony clearly upped their game in-terms of writing and demonstrated their ability to put out a solid film.  My only concern was that the current adaptation would lose continuity without Disney’s contribution to the production of the film. The Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, is one of the creative geniuses behind the success of Spider-Man among other Marvel producers.  Without the influence of Marvel, Sony risks major plot holes between films and also risks public outrage at any major changes that could’ve been implemented during the switch from Disney production to Sony production. I won’t spoil the movie for those of you unlucky enough not to see the film in theaters, (buy it ASAP) but I cannot express how upset I would’ve been if I didn’t get closure and anonymous Mines student two agreed, and “want[ed] Spider-Man to stay put for once, especially after such a big cliffhanger”  I also believe it would’ve been a grave mistake (at this stage) if Sony retained complete creative control over Spider-Man and how much more of a mistake it would’ve been to take him out of the MCU. So much of Peter/Spidey’s identity lies in characters that crossover between films. The only reason fans were siding with Disney was because of the possibility of more crossovers and seeing beloved characters live on in a post-Endgame world. Luckily, Tom Holland and his portrayal of Spider-Man are safe in the MCU for the time being.  Will Tom Holland be able to appeal to Sony once again to remain in the MCU? Let’s not worry about that now, but in a few years… let’s just say that, “I don’t feel so good…”

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