Spider-Man Will Stay In The Marvel Cinematic Universe As Disney And Sony Announce New Deal

It's been one month since the disappointing news surfaced that Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures could not come to a new agreement on sharing the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. After negotiations for a new deal went stale, the two studios reached an impasse and Spider-Man was going to leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe and continue the franchise without any help from Marvel Studios and their president and producer Kevin Feige. Thankfully, that all changed today.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Studios have reached a new agreement that will have Kevin Feige producing a third film in the new Spider-Man franchise, and it has been set for release on July 16, 2021 with Tom Holland back as the webslinger. Furthermore, Spider-Man will appear in a future Marvel Studios film. Whew! That was a close one.

In a press release announcing the great news, Kevin Feige said:

"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."

That sounds like a tease for a potential Venom crossover, which Feige has teased before. And producer Amy Pascal is just as thrilled that this new deal was struck:

"This is terrific. Peter Parker's story took a dramatic turn in Far From Home and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes. This has been a winning partnership for the studios, the franchise and the fans and I'm overjoyed it will continue."

According to Variety, the deal was struck late last night with Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman, Kevin Feige, and Disney Studios head Alan Horn all in attendance. Marvel and Disney will receive around 25% of the profits of the third movie, and Disney will still retain all merchandising rights. That's 20% more than what Marvel was getting before, and it was said that they originally wanted to split the profits 50/50, which is what led to the disagreement to begin with.

However, this does feel like a short term solution. After all, this isn't an extensive new deal that keeps Spider-Man around for the foreseeable future. This deal is very specifically for a third film in Spider-Man franchise, and, as the press release notes "a future Marvel Studios film." That's a single Marvel movie. So what movie would that be?

Spider-Man was introduced in Captain America: Civil War as Tony Stark recruited Peter Parker to help him try to stop Captain America and the rest of The Avengers who didn't want to sign the Sokovia Accords from creating more chaos than there needed to be. This resulted in Spider-Man wanting to become an Avengers, then pulling out when he was offered a role, and then figuring out what it really meant to be a superhero, with a little help from Robert Downey Jr. in the process. Then he was an integral part of the one-two punch of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, giving us one of the most heartrending and then touching moments in the MCU when Peter Parker was dusted and then brought back to life.

If there's a future Marvel movie that will see the appearance of Spider-Man, maybe it will be a way for him to exit the MCU and go have his own franchise without needing to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There have been theories about how Doctor Strange could help get Peter Parker out of the MCU, especially now that his identity was revealed in the mid-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But we still don't know what the events of a third movie for Spider-Man will hold, so this is all just blind speculation.

What we also don't know is whether or not franchise director Jon Watts will be brought back. His deal for a third film was not finalized at the time of the Spider-Man debacle, and Marvel Studios was said to possibly want him for another project away from Spider-Man. Now that this new deal has come about, he'll likely return to Spidey, but we don't know for sure yet.

UPDATE: It has now been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter that Jon Watts will indeed be returning as director for the currently untitled third installment of the Marvel Studios Spider-Man franchise.

For now, we're just happy that Sony and Disney worked out this deal so we can keep Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a little bit longer. Stay tuned to see what the future holds for Spider-Man and Marvel Studios.