Sony and Disney kiss and make up over 'Spider-Man' — and Tom Holland is the most excited to back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Tom Holland's Peter Parker is sticking around the MCU thanks to a new deal struck by Sony and Disney. (Photo: Columbia Pictures / © Marvel/ Courtesy Everett Collection)

Tom Holland may be a well-established Rihanna fan, but right now he’s gotta be channeling Jennifer Hudson. In a new Instagram post, the actor told the world that he’s not going — not going to stop being the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, that is.

With a well-chosen Wolf of Wall Street clip, the 23-year-old actor confirmed the news that’s had the internet doing spider-flips all day: Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios ironed out their differences and the current version of Spidey will remain part of the MCU in a third solo feature, as well as one more Disney-backed movie. As celebrities like Dwayne Johnson and Taron Egerton left congratulatory messages on Holland’s Instagram post, Twitter was flooded with well-wishes for the once and future wall-crawler.

According to Deadline, the Spider-fracas was resolved when Sony agreed to a new partnership arrangement with Marvel’s owners at the Walt Disney Company. Under the freshly inked terms, the Mouse House would pay 25 percet of the cost of the third Spider-Man movie in return for 25 percent of the profits, plus merchandise earnings. (The original deal between the two studios gave Marvel a 5 percent slice of the first-dollar gross, as well as all of the merch money. Disney had reportedly sought a 50-50 financing split, but Sony rejected that outright.) Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige will be back in a producing capacity on the yet-to-be-titled trilogy capper, which has a tentative release date of July 16, 2021 — months before Phase 4 comes to a head with Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love & Thunder.

"I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” Feige said in a statement. "Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero 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.”

Related Video: Disney, Sony Reach Spider-Man Movie Deal

Per the deal, Spidey will appear in at least one more Marvel team-up movie. Feige’s reference to Sony’s “Spidey-verse” suggests that Holland’s web-slinger will also appear in future films with Tom Hardy’s Venom, as well as the studio’s in-development characters like the vampire Morbius and Madame Web, none of whom is expected to appear in an MCU film in the future.

Not long after news of the the studios’ kiss-and-make-up session broke, Deadline reported that Jon Watts was in the final stage of talks to helm the follow-up to Homecoming and Far From Home, which is currently available to rent or purchase on digital services and hits Blu-ray on Oct. 1. If he signs on the dotted line — and there’s no reason to suspect he wouldn’t now that Marvel and Sony are on speaking terms again — Watts would become the first director to complete an entire trilogy of MCU movies. James Gunn will follow when Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 goes before cameras after the reinstated director wraps his obligation to The Suicide Squad over in the DCEU.

Far From Home certainly leaves the dynamic duo of Watts and Holland with a great place to start a third movie. Having stopped Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) and come to terms with the absence of father figure, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Peter is feeling pretty good about himself for once. At least until a familiar newsman’s face pops up on TV screens all over New York with some breathless breaking news to report: He knows Spider-Man’s secret identity!

Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year, Holland said that acting opposite J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson would be a “dream come true.” And Watts teased that he hopes to have Jameson play a larger role in the third movie, which will pick up from Peter’s unmasking: “I think it will be a cop out if, in the next movie, Peter wakes up and says, ‘Oh, I had a terrible nightmare.’ This movie is about him finally stepping up and accepting his responsibility as a hero on a global stage. But nothing ever goes right for Peter — it’s that old Parker luck. This last act of deception on Mysterio’s part reveals the truth of his identity. There’s something not fair about that, and it opens up a big can of worms.” Better than a big can of spiders, right?

The third Spider-Man film opens in theaters on July 16, 2021. Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently available to purchase on iTunes and Vudu, and will be released on Blu-ray on Oct. 1.

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