Sony Is "Disappointed" About Spider-Man Dispute With Marvel

"Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help."

75 Comments

Although Spider-Man has had some of his most successful movie outings as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fact remains that the cinematic rights to the character are owned by Sony, rather than Marvel Studios parent company Disney. A dispute between the studios over the financing of future Spidey movies led to reports this week that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will no longer serve as a producer on future Spider-Man films. Now Sony has commented directly on the issue, expressing its disappointment with the situation while acknowledging the contributions of Feige.

In a series of tweets, Sony claimed that many of the reports about the dispute have "mischaracterized" discussions between the studios. The statement focuses on Feige's involvement, but clearly places responsibility for the decision for him not be involved with Disney. It also makes a clear reference to "IP they do not own," emphasizing that, ultimately, Spider-Man is Sony's property as far as movies are concerned. Check the tweets out below:

Sony's tweets follows comments the studio initially made to io9, in which it stated that negotiations between the two sides are still in progress and that the issue at hand was over Feige receiving a producer credit on the films.

The big question remains over the future of Spider-Man and the MCU. Spider-Man: Far From Home was the official end of the MCU's Phase 3, setting the stage for what's to come from the universe of films. With Feige no longer being involved, it's possible that the Spider-Man franchise could instead exist outside of the MCU. Sony has already been building a non-MCU Spider-Man universe thanks to the film adaptation of Venom, as well as the upcoming Morbius movie, in which Jared Leto stars as the titular living vampire. Sources told Deadline that there were already two more planned Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger, with director Jon Watts expected to return.

The situation could always change and the two studios could come to an agreement. Deadline, however, noted it would take something "dramatic" for that to happen. For now, an extended cut of Spider-Man: Far From Home will hit theaters on August 29. Disney's D23 also takes place this weekend and could bring more information on the future of the MCU, though it now seems highly unlikely that Spider-Man will be a part of that conversation at the event.

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BlueFlameBat

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It must be frustrating for such a big company to not have everything go its way. I'm not a fan of Sony by any stretch, but I have to take Sony's side in this.

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ChrisAnetkaC

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Once again it's all about money. And do they care that while they're arguing the world is waiting to be saved? Of course not.

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trust2112

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Disney is the EA of Movies. Makes documentaries with fake shit, ignores the truth... The best Spiderman movies were the originals with Tobey Maguire.

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XenomorphAlien

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Edited By XenomorphAlien

This is all Disney's fault actually, Sony would be the one to supply the entire budget and they own the rights, so therefore it should be on their terms. Despite Disney being the one to make Spider-Man good again, them making 100% off the merchandise which is way more than movies and then asking Sony for 50% from 5% of the movie rights they don't own is pure greed. Despite Sony Pictures making many trash movies, it's sad that they're getting all the blame by fans and media outlets who haven't actually read what's going on. I'm fairly certain this was leaked to the press by Disney so Sony could concede by the backlash they'd get.

Anyway I hope they both just get a deal going, Sony was perfectly fine with continuing until Disney proposed that shitty deal. This would throw a monkey wrench into the entire MCU.

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Stunningham

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@xenomorphalien: Yeah, except that the new deal would also give Sony 50% of the merchandising. Disney is just asking for an even 50/50 split down the middle on everything, and considering they are the reason Spidey was able to make a comeback it seems pretty fair. They are also looking to fund 50% of the movies as well so it's not just profit taking.

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XenomorphAlien

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@stunningham: No, the 50/50 aspect was for box office profits, whether it be first dollar gross or the entirety is still up in the air. I've seen absolutely no article that states Sony gets 50% of the merchandising.

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PrpleTrtleBuBum

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i love having marvel characters under the same house. the problem is that house is disney. a mega house that seems to expand and devour all media

this is necessary. for us to have any hope of having some independent movies in the future. shake disney before it can really dig in

im not too big fan of holland but now i have to support it. yes sony isnt exactly super responsible either but in this contest its like a butterfly against a bear. and thats what makes disney scary. it makes even sony look like a nuisance

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Jako998

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I mean to be fair, Disney did make Spiderman great and having it go over 1 billion in sales but Disney only gets a small portion. I think instead of 95/5 it should be 80/20.

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trust2112

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@jako998: Tobey Maguire as spiderman would have owned Marvel, if he were young enough. Sorry, Tom isn't half as good. It's more like Whinerman.

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Mogan

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Mogan  Moderator

@trust2112: Nah. The first 2 Sam Raimi Spider-man movies were fun, the third one sucked, and none of them were as good as Homecoming or Far From Home.

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Spaced92

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@jako998: They get 100% of the merchandise and they don't even have to fund one cent, it would be stupid for Sony to agree with this.

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Stunningham

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@spaced92: They'd be restructuring everything to be 50/50, including funding and merchandise.

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dynamotnt

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sony may be rigid sometimes, but they're good people and hardly greedy. whereas disney.. rofl they're completely awful. I'm with sony on this. And the way IGN made a huge deal about this anti sony thing, you can tell they're desperate for corporate cash.

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wicked_laugh

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What's the movie rights situation regarding the other spider-people? Miles, Gwen, Mayday, Caine, etc? Even if Peter disappears from the MCU, I'm sure there's a suitable replacement in the wings.

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lebanese_boy

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@wicked_laugh: I'm pretty sure all spiderman-related characters and story lines are owned by Sony for Movies/TV

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wicked_laugh

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@lebanese_boy: probably. But up to what point in time? I would imagine some spider-centric characters that were created after Sony bought the rights can't be included? Unless Marvel was so strapped for cash at the time that they sold away future film rights as well...

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lebanese_boy

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@wicked_laugh: That is a good question, I don't know to what extend Sony can reach. For reference Fox and Disney both used the same character at some point (quick silver) so there has to be some sort of guidelines. Also Marvel was REALLY strapped for cash back then which is why we're in this position today.

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ecs33

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Edited By ecs33

Been turned off of Spiderman since Spiderman 3. They ruined a good Venom story by trying to combine 2 movies into one. It felt like a cluster F.

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Ragnarocking

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Edited By Ragnarocking

@ecs33: It's the sad reality of Avi Arad existing, that ruind the third movie. (aka the guy who has a crush on Venom and probably has a body pillow of him)

He had to shove Venom into the movie, even when Sam Raimi completely disagreed and knew it was a mistake.

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cejay0813

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@ecs33: Unfortunate cause the new Spiderman flicks under MCU have been pretty good.

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ecs33

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Edited By ecs33

@cejay0813: Yea..I don't know what it is but I just stopped caring about the super hero movies a few years ago. I still have to watch infinity wars and end game.

The only recent Marvel movies I've seen were the Deadpool films.

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Izraal

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Edited By Izraal

This is actually a fantastic outcome, from my perspective. Separating Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is great, the MCU is already quite "busy" with established characters and the others slated to premiere. Spider-Man, as a "popular" comic character, has enough lore, villains, and supporting characters to support a franchise on his own. On a similar note, while Disney/Marvel has the rights to the X-men again, they would be unwise to combine those characters and concepts into the existing MCU. It actually worked out quite fortunately for them and for Fox - the X-men, and the notion of "mutants," is more than enough to support a setting on its own, without the addition of the various other tech/magic/radiation/alien based heroes.

Similarly beneficial, Sony is now free to insert the established Holland Spider-Man into their other related "Spider" properties, such as Venom and Morbius. Yes, it may seem a bit odd that there will be no further crossovers with characters like Nick Fury or explicit references to films like Civil War or Avengers, but it's not altogether different from how the Marvel Netflix shows initially made vague reference to "the incident," the New York alien invasion seen in the first Avengers, and later made little reference to any subsequent MCU films, as the Netflix shows went their own direction and focused on their own stories.

Having a bit of background in the MCU now may help "legitimatize" subsequent Spider-Man films, as well as titles like Venom and Morbius, while encouraging the MCU to expand its horizons, reaching towards characters that haven't already received media over saturation, as Spider-Man has.

While comic book settings are essentially a melting pot of genres, and completely "catch all" in tone and content, there's no need for cinema to follow the same structure.

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alcoria

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Edited By alcoria

@izraal: Also, don't forget that Sony already released Into the Spiderverse

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cejay0813

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@izraal: I'd agree except based on the Far From Home, Peter was going to be a pretty integral part of the MCU going forward to replace Tony.

Am I the only one that thought it wasn't a coincidence that the phase ended with Spiderman and the next Dr Strange flick is about the multiverse...?

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@izraal: I agree with you about X-Men, I've been saying the same thing for years. It would work better as a TV series than a movie. There are just too many characters and too many storylines for one movie.

Gotta disagree with you about the MCU, though. Part of the fun with these movies is knowing the other characters can show up at any moment. And it's pretty stupid when the heroes ignore other heroes. You can't acknowledge the rest of the world and then pretend it doesn't exist.

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Izraal

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@Barighm:

@cejay0813

It's true, the films did set up Spider-Man to be a new flagship character for the MCU going forward, and once a character's presence is established in-setting, it can be off putting when they stop being referenced or remembered. Even in the tight knit Netflix Marvel series, while I had no issue with the "global scale" heroes being involved, it was odd when the characters who had worked together in Defenders specifically did not seek the aid of the others in subsequent seasons, although in some cases this was noted as an issue of personal pride.

On the current topic, Spider-Man in the MCU, while the films were setting him up as a new flagship character, that clearly did not alter the negotiation between Disney and Sony, so here we are - and I still think we are better for it. Extremely popular characters become quickly over-saturated. The majority of the X-men films that featured the Wolverine character quickly became "Wolverine movies," and that was in addition to the 3 character specific films (although Logan was fantastic and well worth it).

Spider-Man is another very popular comic book character, and there has been enough Spider-Man media at this point. Removing him from the picture forces the MCU to look elsewhere, possibly to continue to introduce lesser known characters that have never been seen on the big screen, and I feel that's to our benefit.

This outcome leaves Sony free to develop their New York "Holland verse," and tie Holland Spider-Man in with their Venom and Morbius properties (likely subsequently Black Cat and other Spider-Man mainstays) while the MCU films rely on other characters, instead of thrusting the easily recognizable Spider-Man into the forefront.

The worst case scenario was one where the future of the MCU mirrors decades of the comics, with Spider-Man and Wolverine featured everywhere at once, and other characters glossed over. Now that Spider-Man has been silo-ed off by the Sony break, we can still hope they're wise enough to keep the X-men and mutants separate from the MCU, and the MCU will continue to showcase and debut characters that have not already been over-exposed in comics and other media.

From an in-fiction perspective, it's also perfectly rational. Spider-Man is still a kid essentially. He was thrust into some situations that were bigger than he could have, or should have, been involved with. Now he can deal with local threats, be a "friendly neighborhood Spider-Man," in his own self-contained setting, and the MCU can roll out some new faces.

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evilross

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Edited By evilross

Disney asking for way, way too much here if what I have read is true.

MCU needs Spidey more then Spidey needs MCU. I don’t see why the deal needs to be tweaked at all, it seemed to be working well for everyone, fans included.

It would be nice to see some Spider-Man stand alone films at the same level as Homecoming though. Dr Octopus, Venom, Carnage, Green Goblin.

Actually what we NEED is a real villain movie. I want DR DOOM!!! Make it happen!

3 • 
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Barighm

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Doesn't Marvel still own the character, though? Can't they do with Spider Man what they did with the Hulk? I'm not seeing much clarification on that point.

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gamingdevil800

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@Barighm: Apparently they can with Spider Woman provided there is zero connection to Spiderman. So for instance they could introduce Spider Woman as a mutant. It's similar to how King Pin can be used with Daredevil even though Sony can use King Pin with Spider man.

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suprsolider

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@Barighm:

Marvel owns the character itself.

Sony owns the complete film rights. So in order for Spidey to be on a feature film it has to go through Sony.

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Barighm

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Edited By Barighm

@suprsolider: But did Marvel need Universal's permission to use Hulk? See, this is why I'd like some clarification.

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Barighm

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@Barighm: So I looked into it a bit more and it looks like Marvel did regain the movie rights to the Hulk some years ago, but Universal retained distribution rights and the right of first refusal which is why so many people say Universal still own the Hulk rights. It's just that Universal has never exercised their right to refuse a new Hulk appearance...and apparently Disney can just distribute the movie themselves if they really want to...or something. These movie deals can get very complicated.

Honestly, it's probably better Disney moves on from these licensed characters and just introduces new heroes Marvel can fully control. Marvel's movies have been the best anyway.

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Thanatos2k

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Sony pictures is a disgrace. They have been shown by Marvel that they and they alone have been the problem with all their previous movies, and they cannot handle it.

Back to crappy Spiderman movies.

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MARSDUDE

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@Thanatos2k: How is that? Disney and Marvel bigwigs don't necessarily dictate the direction of a movie, certainly not one by Sony Pictures. The director and writer(s) aren't owned by Disney and Marvel bigwigs.

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Thanatos2k

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@marsdude: Have you SEEN the Amazing Spiderman movies??

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alcoria

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@Thanatos2k: Have you seen Into the Spiderverse movie? Yes it is animated, but still a production from Sony and it's great. I still can't argue with you about the movie department, though.

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XenomorphAlien

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@alcoria: Let's be real, Spider-Verse being great was solely on the directors. Sony had little to do with it.

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bat725

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I’m fine with it. Didn’t really care for MCU’s version of the character, anyway.

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Sindred

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Can't Google IGN without "ignorance" showing up in suggestions.

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santinegrete

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Licensing gets in the way again, oh well.

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Krystal69

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GJ Sony, not bending over for Disney.

50/50? LOL, NO!. 5/95% as it was.

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Thelostscribe

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@krystal69: I could see 10/90 and maybe as high as 15/85, but from what I've seen, Disney definitely wanted way too much. Next thing Sony knows, Disney is buying stock in their company and oops, Spider-Man is theirs again.

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Barighm

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@thelostscribe: Nope. Foreign acquirement of shares is very heavily regulated in Japan especially with technology companies. This has been true for the last few years.

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Thelostscribe

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@Barighm: It was a bit of a joke, considering what they did with FOX cinema to get the X-men rights. I think they'll eventually come to an agreement, Spider-Man seems to be important for the MCU.

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alcoria

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@thelostscribe: Spiderman is really important because it was a big surprise during Civil War, then Peter established a deep connection with Tony Stark, which during the end of Endgame their relationship is at their peak. FFH also made Peter growth from being just a good neighborhood hero to a world scale MCU superhero. Maybe because of those reasons, Spiderman current status is kind of rooted in MCU, now.

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Thelostscribe

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@alcoria: That's why I think Disney will eventually pull back on it's demands. They made him an important part of the MCU, not having him would be a large back step for the MCU, although I think both franchises would survive just fine if the deal falls through.

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BDRTFM

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Edited By BDRTFM

Sony movies are always hit or miss, no in between and more misses than hits lately. Lots of 5/10 movies these days. I wouldn't sweat not being able to work with them for one second. It's annoying that they have the Spidey IP in the first place. Work around them, make the final MCU with Spider-Man a good one and move on.

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ConsoleHaven

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@bdrtfm: consumer expectations are too high. Standards are set too high.

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