People from across the entertainment industry have responded to Marvel's split with Sony over Spider-Man, but how have Marvel actors and directors taken to the news? Many have expressed sadness now that Tom Holland's Peter Parker will no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which means Marvel Studios won't be involved in future Spider-Man movies. At the beginning, there was a belief Marvel and Sony could still come to an agreement, but Sony insists the "door is closed" on Spider-Man in the MCU.
Marvel fans were ecstatic when it was revealed back in 2015 that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures had reached a deal to finally allow Marvel's most popular superhero to debut in the MCU and receive his own movie. Beginning with 2016's Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland's Spider-Man has already appeared in a total of five Marvel movies. His most recent film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, may also have been his last MCU appearance.
The recent Fox-Disney deal scored Marvel Studios another victory by giving them eventual access to the two most important properties still missing from the MCU: the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Just when it appeared (almost) all of Marvel's properties were finally under one roof, Marvel's partnership with Sony collapsed when it was reported Marvel wasn't satisfied with the terms of the deal, but Sony was unwilling to change them. According to Sony, the problem came about as a result of Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige being busy on all other new IP Disney had acquired from Fox. Regardless of the reason for the breakdown in talks, some feel the Marvel-Sony split was a good thing, whereas actors and directors associated with the MCU have reacted to the news with a mix of great disappointment, surprise, and optimism.
Right after the news dropped, Simu Liu, who will soon star in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as the titular Master of Kung Fu, summed up the immediate reactions of most Marvel fans with a one word tweet that simply read, "Wut". No elaboration was needed to know that Liu was as shocked as anyone else about Spider-Man's sudden exit from the MCU.
Wut— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) August 20, 2019
A video of Goldblum, Thor: Ragnarok's Grandmaster, being asked about Spider-Man made the rounds on Twitter two weeks ago. In the video, Goldblum, who says he's "crest-fallen", expresses (or feigns) shock and disappointment in a comical way when he hears about the breakdown in talks for the first time from an interviewer.
In an interview with Variety, Scarlet Witch actress and WandaVision star Elizabeth Olsen said she was sad about the debacle. Olsen praised Tom Holland as "the best Spider-Man to me" and called the news "a big loss" because of what his acting ability had brought to the movies.
Anthony Mackie & Sebastian Stan
Variety also spoke with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, who play Falcon and Bucky respectively. While Mackie initially joked about the situation possibly being resolved by having Stan's Winter Soldier kill off Spider-Man, both Mackie and Stan expressed support for Holland, with Mackie saying that he will always have "little Tom" in his heart.
One of the first Marvel stars to respond was Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner. Renner, who has played Earth's Mightiest Marksman five times on the big screen, reacted by taking to Instagram and asking Sony Pictures to keep Spider-Man in the MCU. Some have taken this to mean that Renner has sided with Disney on the issue.
The Marvel star whose reactions to the news have been watched the closest is, of course, Tom Holland himself, who didn't immediately comment on the situation. At D23, Holland went on stage to promote his upcoming animated film Onward and only referred to what happened as a "crazy week". It wasn't until later that Holland broke his silence on the matter. Holland told EW that despite what's happened, he will continue playing Spider-Man. While Holland admits that without Marvel, Spider-Man's future will be different to what came before, it will still be "equally as awesome and amazing". This is the first time it's been explicitly stated that Holland will be able to return as Spider-Man.
Jon Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man movies and acted alongside Holland in both Spider-Man films, struck a much more optimistic tone while speaking to ET on the red carpet at D23. Favreau pointed out that the problem is still in its "early days" and that he's "cautiously optimistic" a solution can be reached that will allow for Spider-Man's story in the MCU to continue.
Benedict Wong played Wong in Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. During a Q&A at FanX Salt Lake Comic Con Convention, the actor was asked about his opinion on the Spider-Man situation. Wong compared it to an argument between parents by saying "why are Mom and Dad arguing? They had something beautiful together!" Wong suggested that Marvel and Sony should find a way to work it out "for the good of all of us".
Anthony & Joe Russo
Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors who introduced Spider-Man into the MCU with Captain America: Civil War, were much less surprised than most, and gave a very different take on the ordeal while talking to The Daily Beast. According to the Russos, their familiarity with the Marvel-Sony deal and their own personal experience kept them from being surprised by Spider-Man's exit. The Russos were in contact with Feige when the deal was being worked out years ago, so the two understood better than most the complexities of the situation. Marvel experienced plenty of "ups and downs" as they worked to get Spider-Man into the MCU. As difficult as it was for Marvel to make it happen in the first place, the Russos weren't shocked when it all fell apart.
- 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