Earlier this summer it was being reported that Spider-Man: Far From Home had to cross $1 billion worldwide in order for Marvel to stay involved in the Spider-Man movie franchise. Not only did the movie make more than $1 billion, it has now become Sony’s highest grossing movie of all time, so all’s well that ends well… right? Alas, the relationship between Sony and Marvel seems to have soured in the meantime and after trying to renegotiate the terms of their deal, the two sides have now come to an impasse. Deadline originally reported that Disney / Marvel wanted a 50/50 split of the profits which Sony would not agree to, causing Disney to back out (and potentially putting an end to Spider-Man’s appearances in any future Marvel movies). Sony has since released the following statement:
“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.”
Of course, many have interpreted this merely as spin by Sony to redirect the ire of fans back at Marvel, and if that is the case, it doesn’t seem to be working. The original terms of the Sony / Marvel deal had Marvel earning just 5% of the profits from the Spider-Man films that they were producing, but in return Marvel could use Spider-Man in any of their own MCU films. While that may have been worth it at the time, in particular because it helped build excitement for their Phase 3 line-up and Captain America: Civil War, those terms no longer seem quite so favourable (especially now that they have the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters to work with thanks to the Fox acquisition). io9 has reported that negotiations are still on-going and I do find it hard to believe that Sony would be willing to just walk away from the deal, although Venom did prove that they could still generate a pretty big hit on their own. Would you be disappointed to see Spider-Man leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe?