Filmmaker, podcaster, and Marvel fan Kevin Smith doesn’t think Disney is being greedy over Spider-Man. The only thing on most Marvel fans' minds right now is the news that Disney and Sony have reached an impasse regarding Spider-Man’s role in the MCU. As of now, Peter Parker will no longer be involved in future MCU projects. According to reports, Disney/Marvel offered to help finance 50 percent of future Sony Spider-Man movies, and wanted 50 percent of the profits in return. Up until now, they’ve been getting 5 percent of the profits from his standalone adventures. The earnings get a bit more complicated when he is used as a supporting character in a proper MCU film, like Civil War or Avengers: Infinity War. Up until now, Sony has been financing all of the solo Spider-Man movies, which have not been cheap. Those movies take anywhere from $160-175 million to make.
Sony owns the on-screen rights to Spider-Man and his entire back catalogue of supporting characters. Marvel used to lease their titles out to other studios before they formed their own studio. A similar deal was reached with Fox in the 90s regarding the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. That's why none of those characters ever showed up to help the Avengers. Disney owns a lot of the franchises that make money at the theater already. Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel and now 21st Century Fox's entertainment properties are all owned by Disney. A lot of people think that is enough, and don't want Disney involved in anything else.
A big voice in the geek world is Smith, who has been an outspoken fan of the MCU. There is a narrative online that portrays Disney as being greedy for wanting a 50/50 split of the profits. According to some reports, that deal would extend to other Spider-Man related projects that aren't directly related to the MCU (like Venom). Disney already has full merchandising rights to the character, so the money made off all toys, T-shirts and other memorabilia goes right to Disney. On the latest episode of Fatman Beyond, Smith says he disagrees with the greed angle.
"I loved what they were doing. They had a great thing f***in' going on, and some people are like, 'Disney is being greedy and shit.' I don't see it that way. I see it as, they did all the work, they made those movies earn a fuck-ton of dough, they got 5% and the toys. They're coming back to the table, they're asking for something more."
Smith has a point. While money is definitely a factor on both sides, Marvel isn’t asking for 45 percent more of the profits without doing any extra work. They will take half of the financial burden, so they just wanted a little bit more back in return. With these MCU movies making close to $1 billion with every entry now, Sony is still set to make a ton of dough on them. They could very well be financially successful without the MCU, as proven by Venom and Into The Spider-Verse (in which Tom Holland originally had a cameo). But there are a lot of character arcs that would have to be abandoned now, like his relationship with Happy Hogan.
Smith is the voice of a lot of passionate fans out there, so his opinion is listened to. Sometimes it makes a difference. Like when Chris Hemsworth credited Smith with influencing the approach for Thor: Ragnarok. His "geek cred" also just increased when it was announced he will be the showrunner of a Masters Of The Universe show on Netflix - not to mention he's also working with Marvel TV, writing the upcoming animated Howard the Duck TV show for Hulu. Sony and Marvel could always re-negotiate, but for now, Far From Home was Spider-Man’s endgame in the MCU.
Source: Fatman Beyond
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- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021