Spider-Man contract

The specifics of major Hollywood contracts are notoriously difficult to ascertain, and the occasional insights we do receive often come from actors revealing how many movies they have left in a particular franchise. But a new report has uncovered a Spider-Man contract stipulation which would allow Sony to wriggle out of its deal with Marvel Studios and once again give Spidey’s original studio home full autonomy over the character’s cinematic adventures. Good thing that won’t happen.

In a recent edition of journalist Richard Rushfield’s entertainment industry newsletter The Ankler, Rushfield peels back the secretive curtain of the deal that was signed between Sony and Marvel Studios back in 2015 to share the character. “The original Sony/Marvel/Spidey deal to co-produce these movies stipulated that if this Spidey cleared a billion, Marvel would get to oversee a third. If it hadn’t, full control would have reverted back to Sony,” he writes.

To be clear, Far From Home has not yet crossed the billion dollar mark at the worldwide box office, but the fact that it’s already made over $600 million in its first week is practically a guarantee that it will cross the coveted billion dollar threshold before it leaves theaters. So the Sony/Marvel Studios deal will still hold – at least for one more solo Spider-Man movie, because actor Tom Holland revealed back in 2016 that he was on board for three solo Spider-Man films and three appearances in other MCU movies. We’ve already seen him in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and now Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Rushfield is a reliable industry insider who’s been reporting on Hollywood for years, and he says his source on this story is “someone very important and knowledgable.”

The initial press release announcing the deal said that “Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films,” and I don’t want to completely downplay the involvement of longtime Spidey-producer Amy Pascal, but the quality of the projects in which Tom Holland‘s version of the wall-crawler have appeared so far indicates that Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios’ influence has been significant. Just look at the failed Amazing Spider-Man franchise for a reminder of what Sony would do with this character when left to its own devices. The fact that Marvel Studios will stick around to shepherd this character through at least one more film (and maybe even more, if a new deal is struck) lets us breathe a sigh of relief…for now.

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