'Spider-Man' shake-up: Sony and Marvel Studios part ways leaving the wall-crawler's MCU future in doubt

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

UPDATE: In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, a Sony spokesperson stated: “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.”

Meanwhile, various Marvel citizens have taken to social media to express their desire to have Spider-Man back in their universe.

[Original story continues below]

Looks like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is losing its friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. In a seismic piece of breaking news that would make J. Jonah Jameson proud, Deadline reported today that Marvel Studios mastermind, Kevin Feige, will no longer be involved in the wall-crawler’s post-Far From Home future at Sony Pictures. In the wake of that film’s billion-dollar global gross, Marvel reportedly asked Sony to share financing costs 50/50 on future movies, but Sony balked. The studio offered Marvel other arrangements, but ultimately both sides failed to come to new financial terms over the character they’ve shared since 2016’s Captain America: Civil War introduced Tom Holland as the MCU’s resident spider-guy.

Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Photo: Sony/Marvel)

The British actor went on to reprise the role in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming followed by the Avengers double bill of Infinity War and Endgame. And Far From Home teased a big future for Holland’s Peter Parker in the MCU’s next phase, one that involved the return of a beloved Spider-Man hater among other developments. And it’s worth noting that Sony would like Holland, as well as director Jon Watts — who directed both Homecoming and its sequel — to be part of the pair of Spider-Man movies that are still in the development pipeline. (Although Watts isn’t officially contracted for the next movie.) But with Feige no longer involved in the production of those films, Peter will likely have to find another place to get his spider suits besides Stark Industries.

On the other hand, he’s got plenty of new faces to meet thanks to Sony’s burgeoning Spider-verse. Last year, the studio scored a surprise hit with a solo Venom movie that grossed over $800 million worldwide. The film is about to spawn its first sequel, with Andy Serkis directing and Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams returning. Meanwhile, the acclaimed animated movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduced no fewer than eight new versions of the wall-crawler and took home an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Jared Leto is also playing one-time Spider-Man nemesis, Morbius, in a standalone movie scheduled to be released on July 31, 2020 and movies featuring Black Cat, Silver Sable and Kraven the Hunter are in various stages of development.

It’s safe to say that Twitter is largely taking Disney’s side in this dispute.

On the other hand, some are sticking up for Sony.

Of course, there’s still a chance that the two sides could kiss and make up. Buzzfeed reports that Disney and Sony are willing to take another turn at the negotiating table to hash out a way for Holland’s Spider-Man to still visit Avengers HQ. Meanwhile, we’re just over here wondering whether we may finally get to see Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4... now starring Tom Holland.

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