Tom Holland Sets The Record Straight On Marvel & Sony's New Spider-Man Deal

It might feel like Tom Holland only just joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the latest actor to take up the mask as Spider-Man, but five years have passed since his very first appearance in "Captain America: Civil War" and Holland has gone on to make five more appearances (including this month's "Spider-Man: No Way Home") as Peter Parker throughout the MCU and further reinforce his hold on the highly coveted role. That tenure hasn't been entirely without drama, give or take one brush with rights-sharing negotiations between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios breaking down before they reached common ground again. But given how much both studios like to keep things under wraps, fans and journalists alike have had to navigate some murky waters regarding Holland's exact contract status, which has only become more complicated with Sony moving forward with their maybe, kind of, sort of, not-so-standalone films "Venom" and "Morbius."

Could Holland's Spidey one day end up crossing over with those rogues? How would that affect Holland's place in the MCU? What is his current contract status in the first place? Thankfully, Holland is finally answering at least some of those questions in a new interview.

The notoriously motor-mouthed Tom Holland may not be the most trustworthy person to keep state secrets, but he's certainly the best source for information about how his complicated deal between Sony and Marvel is supposed to work. Hollywood is tricky enough to work in without the full might of two studios fighting over every inch of space for such a beloved character, so it's not terribly surprising that their claims to Spider-Man would somewhat resemble bitterly divorced parents squabbling over custody rights for their children.

Clearing the Air

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Holland to talk about how the idea of the multiverse in "No Way Home" first came to be, figuring out what comes next for the spider-powered hero, and clarifying some misconceptions about how his future appearances as Spider-Man will shake out. When posed a question about the specific contract provision that would allow him to appear in a "future Marvel Studios film," independent of Sony's involvement (along the lines of "Infinity War" and "Endgame," for example, and unlike this "Spider-Man" trilogy, which Sony has been involved with throughout), Holland offered up this surprising rebuttal:

"Yeah, that's not accurate at all. The new deal that was struck up was this understanding between the two studios that should Marvel want me to appear in one of their movies, then it would be an open conversation. I don't think it's as black and white as, 'I have a three-picture deal with Marvel and a three-picture deal with Sony.' It's just this open conversation and open dialogue between Mr. [Bob] Iger and Mr. [Tom] Rothman."

In all honesty, it's a little strange to hear that this deal would be left as open-ended as Holland describes here. The natural assumption is that it would be an iron-clad, black-and-white situation with absolutely no room for interpretation ... which is ironically what Holland himself indicated previously when it appeared that "No Way Home" was his last scheduled film. This new information paints a very different picture, however, as it now seems that Holland will be able to stay in the MCU — both in the 'standalone' "Spider-Man" movies and in whatever crossover event films Marvel may want down the road, whether it be "Doctor Strange" or another "Avengers" sequel — for as long as the two studios behave nicely with each other.

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" will be released on December 17, 2021.