Spider-Man's Future In The MCU Is In Question, But Sony Disputes Report
Look out, there goes the Spider-Man.
Shortly after Marvel revealed its Phase 4 slate of Marvel Cinematic Universe films and TV shows at San Diego Comic-Con, a major shakeup is being reported that could very well change the future of the MCU. It would also impact the Spider-Man franchise of films Marvel Studios co-produces with Sony.
According to Deadline, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will no longer serve as a producer on Sony's Spider-Man films. The news comes after a new agreement between Sony and Disney was reportedly unable to be reached. As Deadline claims, a dispute between the two companies has been going on for months. [Update: Sony has now issued a new comment in which it says it's "disappointed" in the Spider-Man dispute but expressed its gratitude for Feige's contributions. Meanwhile, Marvel star Jerry Renner has asked Sony to give Spider-Man back to Marvel.]
What this means for the future of Spider-Man and the MCU is unclear. 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.
As sources tell Deadline, there were already two more planned Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger, with director Jon Watts expected to return.
The MCU, meanwhile, is already without characters like Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans), following the events of Avengers: Endgame. However, Marvel Studios has a loaded slate of films that will introduce new characters--like the Eternals, Shang-Chi, and Blade--as well as new installments of the Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thor franchises.
Speaking to io9, a Sony representative clarified the situation a bit, noting they believed the issue at hand was over Feige receiving a producer credit on the films. According to the representative, negotiations between the two sides still in progress. It's also noted that Feige has contributed creatively to other films based on Spider-Man IP without receiving a producer credit from Sony. What the source didn't make mention of is any implications this would have on Spider-Man's future in the MCU.
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.
Updated to include Sony's comment to io9.