tragic mistake

As the directors who introduced Tom Holland‘s version of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Anthony and Joe Russo know how hard Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had to work to reach an agreement with Sony Pictures to share that character on the big screen.

When word came out that that delicate deal fell apart earlier last month and Spider-Man would no longer be a part of the MCU, the Russos seemed resigned to it. But their outlook seems to have evolved a bit, because in a more recent interview, Joe Russo calls the decision a “tragic mistake” on Sony’s part. Read the full quotes below.

Speaking with the Toronto Sun (via Indiewire), Anthony Russo explained why the brothers weren’t shocked to see the deal fall apart. “It was so difficult to get him into Civil War,” he said. “It was an extremely long and hard process. But we were driven to help make it happen. But Kevin Feige pulled it off, somehow…the fact that the marriage fell apart isn’t really that surprising to me and Joe.”

But Joe’s comments weren’t quite as diplomatic:

“It was a tenuous, fraught union throughout the whole process. But, I will say, stepping back and trying to be objective as possible, that I think it’s a tragic mistake on Sony’s part to think that they can replicate Kevin’s penchant for telling incredible stories and the amazing success he has had over the years. I think it’s a big mistake.”

Tony Vinciquerra, the CEO of Sony Pictures, isn’t interested in backing down. In fact, he’s been consistently trying to downplay Feige’s role in helping to popularize the Spider-Man character on film after Sony basically bungled the character in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise before the MCU deal came about. “Spider-Man was fine before the event movies, did better with the event movies, and now that we have our own universe, he will play off the other characters as well,” he said recently. “I think we’re pretty capable of doing what we have to do here.”

In other words, even the opinions of the directors of the highest-grossing film of all time don’t appear to matter much in this area. Sony is convinced that they know how to handle Spider-Man now, but outside of the animation realm, it’s going to be impossible to see Holland step into this role again and not wonder why he isn’t mentioning or interacting with any of familiar characters he’s come to know and love from his time in the MCU. Is this version of Spider-Man tainted for good, or will Sony somehow surprise us with his next cinematic adventure?

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