Well, this is not good. Just a day after Sony Pictures confirmed that Spider-Man: Far From Home is now their highest-grossing film ever comes the news that Marvel Studios is pulling out of future Spidey movies. According to a report at Deadline, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won’t produce any further Spider-Man films because Disney and Sony Pictures could not reach new terms that would have given the former a co-financing stake going forward.
“A dispute that has taken place over the past few months at the top of Disney and Sony has essentially nixed Feige, and the future involvement of Marvel from the Spider-Man universe,” says the site, which adds that two more Spider-Man movies are in the works at Sony with director Jon Watts and Tom Holland returning. Though now Feige won’t be the lead creative producer of those movies as he has been before.
The site continues: “Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, and there were discussions that this might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe. Sony turned that offer down flat. Sources said that Sony, led by Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, came back with other configurations, but Disney didn’t want to do that. But Sony did not want to share its biggest franchise. Sure Disney would be putting up half the funding, but the risk is in how much you are going to make back in profit. Disney wasn’t at all interested in continuing the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first dollar gross, sources said.”
Marvel Studios has quite a big slate for its Phase 4, though Spider-Man is no part of that. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was introduced in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and has since appeared in two Avengers films. He got his own film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, in 2017 and then Spider-Man: Far From Home opened in theaters this summer.
The site says that Sony thinks they are fine without Feige, with more Spidey films to go and also other films with Marvel characters such as the Venom sequel, Morbius, Kraven the Hunter, and Silver Sable and Black Cat.
One thing that isn’t mentioned, however? Whether Tom Holland’s Spider-Man can still appear in movies like the Avengers films now that this deal is off. We’ll have to wait and see how that will work out.
Sony Pictures announced earlier this week that on Thursday, August 29, ahead of the holiday weekend, a Spider-Man: Far From Home extended cut featuring approximately four additional minutes of a never-before-seen action sequence will be released in theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The film will also be available in IMAX and large formats in select locations. You can also pre-order Far From Home on Digital and Blu-ray/DVD.
UPDATE: While there are a lot of reports out there saying that talks are still ongoing between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios, Sony has now released an official statement (and it still doesn’t sound good for the future of Spidey in the MCU):
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film. We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
UPDATE #2: Kevin Feige and Tom Holland have now both commented on the deal between Disney and Sony Pictures ending. Talking to EW, Feige said:
“I’m feeling about Spider-Man gratitude and joy. We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers. It was a dream that I never thought would happen. It was never meant to last forever. We knew there was a finite amount of time that we’d be able to do this, and we told the story we wanted to tell, and I’ll always be thankful for that.”
Holland added: “Basically, we’ve made five great movies. It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? But all I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It’s going to be so fun, however we choose to do it. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”