For anyone who is a big Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fan such like myself, you were probably excited during the Captain America: Civil War trailer when it was revealed that almost 14 years after first appearing in theaters, Spider-Man was finally joining the MCU, and who wouldn’t have been? Unfortunately, our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, may be making a departure from the MCU due to negotiation problems between Disney, who owns Marvel Studios, and Sony, who has owned the rights to Spider-Man in movies since 1999.
In an article found on theverge.com, the previous deal between Disney and Sony was that both Disney and Marvel would receive 5 percent of gross box-office revenue for the Spider-Man movies. The new deal that caused a rift was that Disney and Marvel would be coproducing future films with Sony 50/50. Disney, with the financial success of both Spider-Man: Far From Home (Sony’s highest grossing Spider-Man film to date) and Avengers: Endgame (the highest grossing film of all-time) feel that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige’s influence on adding Spider-Man to the MCU has what has made Spider-Man a success in recent years and wants more money for what they feel they deserve. Sony, however, stated that Feige’s involvement with the masked web-slinger were “mischaracterized” when statements first broke out about the falling out, meaning that Sony believed it was more Sony than it was Disney. Sony is trying to hold on to a very popular character because they can still be successful with it, they believe.
I feel both parties are at fault and should work better to negotiate. Disney, who essentially has a monopoly in the movie business with Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Fox, and probably other studios and rights that I cannot think of off the top of my head, should not ask for so much for an IP (Intellectual Property) that Marvel willingly gave up 20 years ago. However, Sony is making a very big mistake in breaking this deal. There are only three non-MCU Spider-Man movies that are worth watching: Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 featuring Tobey Maguire, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, one of my favorite animated movies of all time. The rest are not good at all, especially Venom. It didn’t know what it wanted to be; it was trying to be dark and gritty but also funny and sarcastic, which did not work at all.
They also both need each other for the future of Spider-Man. Not only did Far from Home essentially end on a cliffhanger that demanded a third entry to the franchise, but it also made it appear that Spider-Man was going to take the helm as one of the leaders for the next generation of the MCU. Sony needs them because as I mentioned, they do not make many good Spider-Man movies. Yes, they made one of my favorite animated movies of all time, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the majority of movies haven’t been good. If Sony lets Marvel give some input for Spider-Man, they will make a lot more money off the franchise.
There is, however, a beacon of hope. There are rumors and I read some articles stating that there is a new negotiation is possibly getting done. Keep in mind these are simply rumors and not set in stone, but the rumors say that Disney would receive 30 percent coproduction, so long as they incorporate Venom into the MCU. I see this as a win for both sides; Marvel and Disney would get more money for the franchise, and Sony would have a new part of their IP put into the MCU. I know I just said Venom was not a good movie nor character, but with the MCU touch, Venom might get the redemption he deserves. Fingers crossed this is true.