Spider-Man Fans Protest Sony/Marvel Split on Disney-Owned ESPN

Marvel Phase 4 Tom Holland as Peter Parker Spider Man

Fans are still bummed about Spider-Man's removal from the MCU, and it drove one to protest on ESPN this weekend. Spider-Man is one of Marvel's most iconic characters, and many actors have taken on the role over the years. These include Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. Maguire led the Sam Raimi trilogy in the early 2000s, with Kirsten Dunst taking on the role of Mary Jane. Garfield's take on the character during The Amazing Spider-Man series was less successful than Maguire's, and only two films were made. Holland then took on the role for 2016's Captain America: Civil War, spawning two stand-alone films.

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A key part of Holland's Spider-Man is that, for the first time ever, he was a part of the MCU. Though Sony owns Spider-Man, the studio struck a deal with Marvel a few years ago to share the character. It stated that Sony would make Spider-Man's solo films and Marvel would be in charge of his appearances in the MCU. However, news broke earlier this month that the studios were having a hard time reaching an agreement to continue the deal. Though Tom Holland will still be Spider-Man, unless a new deal is reached, he'll no longer appear with the Avengers and other MCU characters on-screen.

Related: Tom Holland Is the Best Spider-Man (Yes, Better Than Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield)

To say this news has garnered a strong reaction in fans would be an understatement. According to ComicBook, one took it up a notch this weekend by holding a Spider-Man sign during College Gameday on ESPN. The sign read "SPIDER-MAN DESERVES BETTER" and seemed to target Marvel, as its parent company, Disney, also owns ESPN. Previously, fans rallied to make #SaveSpiderMan trend worldwide, though it was revealed later that bots played a role.

Spider-Man and Avengers 5

In addition to fans, Spider-Man's potential ousting from the MCU has provoked a strong reaction from Marvel actors. First, Hawkeye star Jeremy Renner took to Instagram to ask Sony to give Spider-Man back, suggesting he sided with Marvel in the debate. Soon after, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, who play Falcon and Winter Solider respectively, lent their support to Holland specifically. Finally, Thor: Ragnarok star Jeff Goldblum blew up on Twitter for his hilarious reaction to finding out the news live on the red carpet.

This fan's protest sign is interesting in that it seems to target Disney/Marvel. Many fans initially blamed Sony for the decision, but the tides may be turning. This protest could show that fans are now focusing their attention on Marvel by recognizing that the larger studio may have to give something up to make the deal. Fan protests may ultimately not affect whether Spider-Man remains in the MCU, but it at least shows that they're passionate about the character. 

More: Sony Can Retcon Tom Holland's Spider-Man Into Tom Hardy's Venom Origin

Source: ComicBook

Key Release Dates
  • 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
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