Sony Marvel Spider-Man Deal Ending

Update: io9 spoke with Sony about this situation, and a representative told them “it’s their belief this dispute is simply over a producer credit and negotiations are ongoing,” and confirmed that “Feige has contributed to other Spider-centric movies that he did not receive a producer credit on.” Our original story follows.

Update #2: A new twist in the story has arrived regarding Jon Watts’ involvement in the future of the Spider-Man franchise. We’ve included the new information in our full story below.

Update #3: A new story at The Hollywood Reporter says that Disney was seeking a 30% stake when when the deal fell through.

It was just a few years ago that Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios struck a surprising deal to share the character of Spider-Man, all so the superhero could swing into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, it appears that deal was short-lived, because a dispute between Sony and Disney has resulted in a failure to reach new terms to continue the lucrative partnership that allowed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to produce the Spider-Man movies. Find out more about the Sony Marvel Spider-Man deal ending below.

Deadline has the unfortunate news on the Sony Marvel Spider-Man deal, which means that two more developing Spider-Man films in the works at Sony Pictures won’t have Kevin Feige involved as the lead creative producer. Director Jon Watts and star Tom Holland remain on board for the future films, but unless there’s a drastic change behind the scenes, where a dispute has been going on for months, then Marvel Studios won’t have a hand in the future of Spider-Man anymore.

Update #2: Deadline has updated their original story with word that Jon Watts is not actually signed on for a third or fourth Spider-Man movie, so it remains to be seen if he’ll be brought back for another installment. Apparently Watts is fielding multiple offers for other movies, and it’s not clear if a third Spider-Man movie would be something he wants to tackle if Kevin Feige is no longer a producer of the franchise.

The dispute comes from the fact that Disney wanted to take a co-financing stake in future Spider-Man movies going forward that would have resulted in a 50/50 partnership between the House of Mouse and Sony Pictures. There were even discussions that might extend the deal into other films in the Spider-Man universe. But Sony simply doesn’t want to share any more money than they have to. Apparently, Sony proposed keeping the arrangement going under the current terms where Marvel Studios gets somewhere around 5% of the first dollar gross, but Disney wasn’t interested.

This is an astronomically stupid move by Sony Pictures. The success of the Spider-Man movies isn’t because of what executives Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra have been doing behind the scenes. It’s because Kevin Feige brought Spider-Man into the phenomenally successful Marvel Cinematic Universe and made him a key part of The Avengers franchise. That’s why Spider-Man: Far From Home just became the highest grossing movie that Sony Pictures has ever seen. Feige’s reputation speaks for itself, and cutting him out of the franchise is like throwing Iron Man off a cliff just before the final battle with Thanos.

So Sony Pictures thinks they can steer Spider-Man on their own without Kevin Feige’s input. It’s not yet clear whether this means Spider-Man will no longer appear in any of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, but with Feige no longer guiding the creative side of the webslinger, it would be hard to reconcile any plans Sony might have for Spidey if they don’t jibe with the future of the MCU. But maybe there will still be discussions between Sony and Marvel in that regard, despite that fact that Kevin Feige won’t be producing.

All of this comes after Spider-Man: Far From Home was announced to get a re-release with deleted scenes towards the end of the month in order to help boost the box office even more. But now, who cares?

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