Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says Spider-Man being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was never meant to last forever. Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures entered into an unprecedented deal in 2015 to share the rights to Spider-Man. The deal brought Spider-Man into the MCU, with Marvel Studios consulting on Sony's solo movies for the new version Tom Holland was cast to play. Holland was cast and filming his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War that same year. He since starred in the last two Avengers movies and two solo films, with Spider-Man: Far From Home becoming Sony's biggest hit ever.
However, this is where the partnership between Marvel and Sony could end. It was reported recently that after months of negotiations, Sony and Disney could not come to terms on a new deal that would keep Marvel Studios involved with the Spider-Man franchise. The days since that report has seen finger-pointing by the studios and some public negotiations taking place. But, no new agreement has been found thus far. If one is not made, then Spider-Man will no longer be part of the MCU, and Feige now claims Marvel Studios told exactly the story they wanted and never saw this as a permanent arrangement.
Shortly after publishing Tom Holland's comments on what has recently transpired, EW updated their story to include the first public statement from Feige on the matter. Bringing Spider-Man under the MCU's umbrella is one of Feige's greatest achievements, but he's now (somewhat oddly) saying that he knew it wasn't going to last and that Marvel told the story they wanted to during their time with the character.
I’m feeling about Spider-Man gratitude and joy. We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers. It was a dream that I never thought would happen. It was never meant to last forever. We knew there was a finite amount of time that we’d be able to do this, and we told the story we wanted to tell, and I’ll always be thankful for that.
While the joy that Feige received from working with Spider-Man may be genuine, it is incredibly difficult to believe the rest of his quote. It's true that this may never have been envisioned to last forever, but the deal was already extended once before. Sony and Marvel experienced incredible success during their Spider-Man partnership, and the same would be true if the deal continued. They may not have planned for Spider-Man to always be involved with the MCU, but the split was definitely not planned to happen now. Marvel including Spidey on their D23 banner is a perfect piece of evidence to this.
Furthermore, Spider-Man's last appearance in the MCU saw Spider-Man: Far From Home end with several surprises that teed him up for a brand new future within the MCU. Marvel Studios convinced J.K. Simmons to return as a new version of J. Jonah Jameson, but they also just outed Spider-Man's identity to the public. Spider-Man: Far From Home didn't end Peter Parker's MCU story, but instead set up how it would be moving forward.
At the end of the day, Feige is trying to put the best spin on an unfortunate situation. He's sharing his gratitude that he got to do anything with Spider-Man in the MCU and isn't making any party out to be the bad guy. After all, some reports indicate this went above Feige's paygrade and to top executives at Sony and Disney. If it wasn't his decision, then all he can do is spin the news as positively as possible and hope that the status changes. He had to do this recently with the James Gunn firing and that worked out, so hopefully a new Spider-Man deal will be agreed upon before too long. And if not, it sounds like Feige has made peace with the idea of not having the friendly neighborhood hero in the MCU moving forward.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022