Sony Pictures and Disney announced in a joint statement that a deal has been reached to bring Spider-Man back to the MCU for at least 2 more films. In the Press release sent out Friday, Sony and Disney agreed to terms to work together on the next Spider-Man sequel. Also, Kevin Feige will be returning as a producer. The as-of-now untitled movie releases on July 16, 2021.
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) September 27, 2019
“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all off us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” Feige said in the press release. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences across the globe.” Feige also teased at the possibilty of Spidey crossing over into Sony’s other projects (Venom sequel, maybe?) “He also happens to be the only superhero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes. So as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse, you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
How the deal got done
According to a Variety article, the deal was signed late Thursday night. It was a meeting of top executives from both Sony and Disney. In the deal, Marvel and Disney get 25% of the movie profits. Disney gets to keep the merchandising rights and will provide 25% of production costs. The deal also calls for Spider-Man to appear in one additional MCU film. Disney had leverage in negotiations with the success of their Spidey reboot, but Sony holds all the licensing cards. Eventually, Sony made small concessions to keep the record profits from the franchise coming in.
After the critical and commercial failure of Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony needed a plan. In comes Disney, and in 2015 they inked a deal to bring Spidey into the MCU. Spider-Man’s first appearance for Disney was in Captain America: Civil War. After that, he became an integral part of the Avengers team in Infinity War and Endgame. The partnership would spawn two wildly successful Spider-Man films, Homecoming and Far From Home. Tom Holland’s performance as the friendly neighborhood hero, and Kevin Feige’s leadership, are credited for saving the franchise. Far From Home went on to become the highest-grossing film in the history of Sony Pictures.
Spider-Man is back in the cradling arms of the MCU. All the frightened fans can breathe a sigh of relief, and sleep easy. For now. There is no guarantee that Spidey will have a longer run with the MCU than the two films agreed to. Blame it on bad business by Marvel. Blame it on greed, or whatever you want. Fact is, Sony holds the cards. They can pick up their ball and go home whenever they want, and there’s no amount of social media backlash that will change that.