Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman has said “news got ahead” of the negotiating dispute between his studio and Disney over the movie rights to Spider-Man.
Rothman said the eventual compromise, allowing Tom Holland to continue to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Peter Parker, is a “win-win-win” satisfying both studios as well as the fans.
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Disney and Sony came to a very public negotiating impasse over the summer, just after the release of sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home, with news leaking out that Spider-Man would no longer appear in the MCU.
The studios were eventually able to ink a new deal, with star Tom Holland reportedly instrumental in convincing both sides that an agreement was in their best interests.
The exec made the comments as part of an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, involving key figures from all of the major studios, including Disney chief creative officer and co-chairman Alan Horn.
Horn said the reaction of the Marvel fanbase was crucial in bringing the two studios back together.
He said: “The fan base, which is important to all of us, seemed to really respond to what [Rothman] and his folks have done before with our people.
“They like the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Kevin Feige were involved [in the two Spider-Man films].
“We heard feedback out there that suggested that joining forces once again was probably really a good idea.”
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Rothman added that the studios “would have gotten there” eventually, but that the reporting around the dispute “got ahead” of the negotiations.
He said: “This was a classic win-win-win. A win for Sony, a win for Disney, a win for the fans.
“The only thing I would say is that news cycles and the rhythm of negotiations do not necessarily overlap.”
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Spider-Man: Far From Home earned $1.1bn (£874m) at the worldwide box office this year, becoming Sony’s most successful film of all time.
Sony and Disney will now collaborate on a third Spider-Man movie featuring Holland, which will be released in July 2021.
Meanwhile, Sony is pushing ahead with plans to bring the character into its own world of Spidey-adjacent properties en route to an eventual crossover with the Venom franchise.