In the latest Screen Rant pitch meeting, poor Spider-Man gets caught up in a money fight between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures that may leave him left out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The news broke this week that negotiations for Spider-Man 3 and beyond had broken down, and that Marvel Studios would no longer be producing Spider-Man movies.
Spidey is still currently riding the high of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the globe-trotting sequel starring Jake Gyllenhaal as classic Spider-Man villain Mysterio. Far From Home not only received great reviews, it's also grossed more than $1.1 billion at the box office. But while Marvel might interpret that as proof of the power of the MCU brand, for Sony it could be a sign that Spider-Man can make it on his own.
While that might be true, extricating Spider-Man from the MCU is easier said than done. After all, Tom Holland's Peter Parker was first introduced in Captain America: Civil War, where he was personally recruited by Iron Man and fought Captain America himself. Tony Stark's mentor role continued as a pivotal part of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Spidey's next two movies were the massive MCU ensemble pieces Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Even after the death of Iron Man, Spider-Man: Far From Home continued to build its MCU connections by heavily featuring Nick Fury and Maria Hill - not to mention developing a romance between Aunt May and Happy Hogan.
The current version of Spider-Man practically has the MCU imprinted on his DNA, and fans are unclear how things are going to move forward from here. Will Sony try to reboot the Spider-Man franchise again with a new actor? Will Spider-Man mere into the same universe as Tom Hardy's Venom? Or could Marvel and Sony manage to reach a new deal that allows Spider-Man to remain a part of the MCU?
The split between Marvel and Sony has already caused a similar split among Marvel fans, with some blaming Sony for dragging Spider-Man away from all his friends in the Avengers, and others criticizing Disney for being too greedy and putting an unworkable deal on the table. Disney certainly has a lot of power in Hollywood, particularly following its recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox (and with it Marvel characters like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four). On the other hand, Sony managed to make a standalone Venom movie that grossed more than $800 million at the box office, so perhaps the studio has reasons to be confident about handling Spider-Man alone.