spider-man divorce

The fight over the cinematic version of Spider-Man continues, and while a new report indicates that Spider-Man: Far From Home writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers are coming back to write the next Spider-Man film for Sony, it looks like director Jon Watts may be suspended between Sony and Marvel Studios/Disney like a fly caught in a spider’s web.

A new report says he’s currently being “courted” by Marvel Studios, but it’s unclear what the studio wants him to direct if Kevin Feige and his team no longer have access to the cinematic version of the webslinger. Here’s what we know.

Watts, the indie filmmaker who made the leap to blockbusters by directing Spider-Man: Homecoming and then Spider-Man: Far From Home (the latter of which has become Sony’s highest-grossing movie ever), is being “courted” by Marvel Studios. That’s according to Deadline, the outlet which initially reported that Watts and star Tom Holland were committed to two more Spider-Man films, before changing its story and saying Watts is actually a free agent. (Holland still has two movies left on his contract.)

So, what could Watts be directing? Most of Marvel Studios’ announced projects already have directors attached. Watt doesn’t really seem like a great fit for Mahershala Ali’s Blade, and as of this writing, WandaVision and Hawkeye don’t have directors attached yet. Yesterday, we speculated that Matt Shakman may end up in the Hawkeye director’s chair, but I could see that gig going to Watts as well. Though there’s always the chance that Watts could end up directing a movie that hasn’t been announced yet.

Deadline also provided some more updates about the behind the scenes struggles for Spidey. While Sony’s official statement partially blamed Kevin Feige’s heavy workload for the split, Deadline’s sources tell them that line of reasoning doesn’t hold water, implying that Feige would have done whatever was necessary to work on future Spider-Man movies.

As for the financial details, Deadline originally reported that Disney requested a 50/50 co-financing deal with Sony, but now they’ve updated their story on that front as well:

I continue to hear that Disney asked for a 25% stake where it would finance that much of the movie and receive that much of the equity upside. This arrangement would only have been for any pictures that involved Marvel & Feige…Still, it was a big ask of Sony, which had been getting a relative bargain at 5% of first dollar gross. That 25% offer sat for a half year, and finally the conversation was the 50% co-fi stake, before Disney called the whole thing off.

When I spoke with Holland on the set of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the actor made it clear that he and Watts were a team, talking about how important it was for them to make these movies side by side:

No one understands this character and these films better than he does. For me, it’s so much easier the second time around, especially because he’s here, because we both know what we need to do. We’ve done it before. In the first film, we were in the same boat because we hadn’t done it before, so we could stick together. In this film, we’re in the same boat, we know how the industry works, so we can stick together and help each other in ways we never knew we could on the first one. It’s just made the whole process a lot easier, because I know going into a scene what Jon wants. So I don’t need to wait for the first five takes for him to figure it out, I just know from doing it so often. It’s just made it a lot smoother process. Where in the first film we’d do twenty takes, now we just do ten because we’re on the same page.

Holland may not have much of a choice in the matter if Watts is replaced by someone else for a third (and fourth) Spider-Man film; remember, Paul Rudd initially signed on to Ant-Man when he thought Edgar Wright was directing. But from hearing him talk about his working relationship with Watts, he’s probably not thrilled about this week’s series of events.

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