Kevin Feige has been officially confirmed as working on an upcoming Star Wars movie, casting Spider-Man's exit from the MCU in a new light. Unless you've been living under an especially superhero-free rock for the past few months, it would've been impossible to escape the news that Tom Holland's Spider-Man is no longer part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much to the devastation of fans. Sony Pictures provided two explanations for this decision, citing Disney's demand for a larger stake in future joint Spider-Man efforts in return for sharing production costs and Kevin Feige's inability to continue as lead producer due to his already mammoth workload. Sony CEO, Tony Vinciquerra, has since reaffirmed Feige's unavailability, claiming the producer was already spread thin after Disney's acquisition of Fox and the launch of Disney+.
Now, however, Kevin Feige has been announced as a producer for an unspecified forthcoming Star Wars movie. A huge self-confessed Star Wars nut, Feige will be working with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy, and although the nature of his contribution to the galaxy far, far away has yet to be revealed, the statement implied that this was an entirely new film, rather than Feige simply taking a producer's role on the previously-confirmed Rian Johnson or Benioff and Weiss Star Wars projects.
Due to his long association with superhero movies and Marvel, Feige joining Star Wars came as somewhat of a surprise and provides new insight into Spidey's MCU exit. On one hand, it could be said that Feige's upcoming work on Star Wars was part of the reason he couldn't continue with Spider-Man which is, after all, a non-Disney property at present. This would make sense, as rumors of the producer shifting from capes and shields to spaceships and blasters have been circulating for quite some time, and Disney might've already had the move in mind when deciding he didn't have space in the diary for a Spider-Man: Far From Home follow-up.
With that said, Sony's reasoning professed that Feige was actually unavailable due to the MCU's expansion and the return of characters such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four from Fox. If this explanation is taken at face value, then Feige joining Star Wars is a strange development indeed, since the franchise is hardly known for its straightforward, hassle-free productions. How could the MCU's mastermind skip out on the web-slinger, but find time for new friends in outer space?
This turn of events could, therefore, suggest that the Spider-Man issue was always about ownership and percentages. Feige may have more on his plate with the recent additions to the MCU, but evidently he has time to tackle the Disney-owned Star Wars franchise as well. The fact that he was deemed too busy to head-up a third Sony Spider-Man effort, however, would indicate that the Mouse House simply weren't happy having one of their star producers making money for another studio and, from a certain point of view, that's understandable in the cut-throat entertainment business.
It's perhaps now safe to say that any hopes fans had of Feige returning to Spider-Man and fighting to get Holland's wise-cracking superhero back into the MCU fold are dead in the water, at least while Sony holds the rights to the character. Any potential future deal between the two studios will likely be decided purely on numbers and how big each party's slice of the pie is.
There's also a small possibility that Kevin Feige's first step into the Star Wars universe represents his first step out of the Marvel one. The MCU is currently in a phase of transition, as it brings the Infinity Saga to a close and introduces a host of new characters such as Shang-Chi, Blade and the Eternals. If Feige had any intentions of stepping down from the MCU in the near future, now would be the opportune time to do so, with Phase 4 acting as a final farewell to Avengers originals such as Hawkeye and Black Widow. Juggling arguably Disney's two biggest franchises is certainly possible, but it's a tall order nonetheless, especially for a producer who was said to be unavailable for another Spider-Man movie.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- 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