Marvel's Kevin Feige On MCU Possibly Losing Spider-Man: "It Was Never Meant To Last Forever"
"We told the story we wanted to tell, and I'll always be thankful for that."
There are big changes coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe if you've been keeping up with the news, as Marvel Studios and Sony have not come to a deal regarding the usage of Spider-Man. While Sony hold the theatrical rights to the web-slinger, Disney/Marvel had a deal that would allow the character to appear in MCU movies, which started with 2016's Captain America: Civil War.
It was reported last week that Disney and Sony spoke about new terms, but the two sides couldn't agree, which meant Marvel boss Kevin Feige would no longer be involved with them (meaning they would likely not be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Now, Feige has spoken publicly about the matter, saying he never expected the deal to run forever and strongly suggesting that Spider-Man is officially gone from the MCU.
"I'm feeling about Spider-Man gratitude and joy," Feige told Entertainment Weekly. "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."
Among the long list of unanswered questions about the dispute between Marvel and Sony is if Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home director Jon Watts will come back for the third new Spider-Man movie starring Tom Holland. According to Deadline, Watts' deal with Sony was only for those two movies, the latter of which made $1.11 billion worldwide, surpassing Skyfall to stand as Sony's highest-grossing movie in its history.
Deadline reports that "it's no certainty" that Watts will return for the third movie, adding that Marvel is looking to hire Watts for a new movie presumably unrelated to Spider-Man.
Holland appeared at the Keystone Comic-Con in Philadelphia this weekend where he confirmed he'll return as Spider-Man again. He also said he and his team pitched Spider-Man 3, which he described as a film that will be "very different" from the others.
"I'm just so grateful that Marvel changed my life and allowed my dreams to come true and Sony allowing me to continue living my dream," he said, as reported by GameSpot sister site ComicBook. "It's a crazy week and it's never been done before so we'll see how it goes and it'll be as amazing and as fun."
In its own statement, Sony said the news about the fallout between it and Disney has been "mischaracterized." One part of the drama involved Feige's involvement as lead producer on Sony's Spider-Man movies, which reportedly will not continue for the next movie.
"We are disappointed, but respect Disney's decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film," Sony said. "We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him--including all their newly added Marvel properties--do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue."
Marvel series producer Jon Favreau said he is hopeful that Sony and Marvel can come to terms, but that might not happen. Deadline's sources said, "It has gotten so bad that some wonder if it would even be possible for them to rethink things and come to terms on Spider-Man."
Even if Disney and Sony can't agree on a new deal, the House of Mouse will continue to benefit from Spider-Man as it currently receives 100% of merchandise sales from Spider-Man.
Whether or not Spider-Man stays in the MCU, Marvel is planning loads more superhero movies. At D23 this past weekend, the company announced even more shows for Disney+, including Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight, and detailed more of the movies to come in Phase 4.