You might have heard earlier on Tuesday about an extended cut of Spider-Man: Far From Home hitting theaters. Don’t go to it — it’s just an additional four minutes of footage — but Spidey super-fans might be tempted still. After all, it may be their last chance to see Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a new report from Deadline has cast doubt on the character’s future co-existing with Marvel properties that are owned by Disney. Apparently, Sony has decided to take their ball home, as the Mouse demanded that they receive half of all further grosses from movies made with the character or Kevin Feige wouldn’t produce their movies.
From the Deadline article about why the deal fell apart:
“There is a lot of webbing here, but it all comes down to money, and it’s easy to understand why both sides refused to give ground. 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, and I don’t believe they even came back to the table to figure out a compromise. Led by Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, Sony just simply didn’t want to share its biggest franchise. Sony proposed keeping the arrangement going under the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first dollar gross, sources said. Disney refused.”
According to Deadline, there are still two Spider-Man movies in development with Holland, director Jon Watts and the rest of the cast attached, as well as sequels to Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that are already in pre-production. There’s also that Jared Leto Morbius project, which we hope that if we don’t talk about it much it might go away. But this is upsetting for comic-book fans for a number of reasons: Holland might be the best to ever wear the suit, and Watts’ high school-focused take on the character was a breath of fresh air compared to the All-American Raimi movies and the dour Webb films. It also seemed that Feige and company were positioning Spidey as a centerpiece of their universe, and one can only wonder what plans have been torn apart in the past few months.
Now, it might seem easy to lay the blame on Tom Rothman and Sony here — after all, Rothman did his part in destroying the X-Franchise back in the Aughts — but Disney’s ask was ridiculous, in that they’re trying to make Sony split the margins on what might be their biggest property. Keep in mind: this is the greediest studio on the planet at the moment: they don’t even want you to share your password on platforms like Disney+ when it launches later this Fall, and they might shut off your access if you do. Keep in mind that Disney receives 100 percent of all merchandising proceeds as well, and a picture starts to form of just how brazen and bold the Mouse is now.
As with any anonymously-sourced Deadline story, it’s important to think about who is doing the talking here while reading it. Was this story given to the outlet in order to raise a public outcry and bring Sony back to the table? Or is this Sony broadcasting its confidence in its own handling of the Web-Slinger and his properties? Either way, we won’t know for sure until Sony, Marvel and/or Disney respond to any outlet’s comments, but for now it’s looking pretty grim for your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Only time will tell if this will come to pass.