Disney and Marvel Studios now have access to Spider-Man again, but the new deal is even better for Sony. When Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures originally partnered up in 2015, the agreement gave Marvel Studios most of the power. Sony was able to profit off of two successful solo films, but Marvel Studios was able to put Tom Holland's Spider-Man in three Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He became one of their most popular characters, making it all the more shocking when news surfaced that the partnership would no longer continue.
Spider-Man leaving the MCU would be a disaster for Marvel, leaving many to wonder if it would just be a matter of time before a new deal was struck. This deal is now official and will see Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 hit theaters in July 2021. Meanwhile, Holland is confirmed to also appear in another MCU movie. The new arrangement is a big win for everyone involved, but Sony actually came out on top in these negotiations as Spider-Man will be able to appear in both the MCU and Sony's villain universe.
This is a major victory for Sony as they look to build their own shared universe with the 900 Marvel characters they own the rights to. Sharing Spider-Man with Disney and Marvel Studios originally meant that they couldn't do this with their most recognizable character. They could have done so once the MCU deal collapsed, but Sony is now in a position where they will get the best of both worlds. Spider-Man's brand will grow larger with each subsequent MCU film, and Sony will then be able to boost their own Marvel films by putting him in them, without worrying about MCU continuity.
For Sony, this creates immense possibilities when it comes to creating their own cinematic universe. They've already successfully launched it with Tom Hardy's Venom movie, which grossed over $800 million worldwide. Thanks to the new sharing terms of the deal, Sony can now fulfill their dream to put Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Tom Hardy's Venom on the same screen. And if additional reports are to be believed, the legwork for this will be done by Marvel Studios as they plan to write Spider-Man out of the MCU during these two films. The best news for them is that they won't have to worry about making sure this story fits into the MCU or wipe Spidey clean of his MCU history - and they will do so without giving away half of their profits.
The financials were reportedly a big sticking point in early negotiations between Disney and Sony, with reports originally saying Disney called for an even split of financing and profits. Several reports from that point on showed a common ground between the studios of Disney co-financing Spidey's films at 25% and receiving that amount of the profits. According to Variety, this is the agreed-upon terms of the new deal. Once again, Sony managed to get the better end of the deal. They didn't lose Spider-Man's MCU connectivity and didn't fork over half of their biggest franchise to keep him.
At the end of this months-long Spider-Man drama, Sony got everything they could've wanted. They've managed to keep the rights to Spider-Man in a way where he is tied to the MCU but isn't pigeonholed to it. They did have to give Disney a larger cut of the profits on these films, but it was not as significant as a difference as what was originally reported. While fans will think they've won thanks to Spidey sticking with the MCU, it is really Sony who got the best end of the deal.
- 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
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022