Spider-Man will remain in the MCU after all, after Sony and Marvel reconciled their differences and came to a new agreement, Variety reports. The studios jointly announced a third Spider-Man film in the Homecoming series this morning.
This is excellent news. Tom Holland’s incarnation of Peter Parker was clearly being groomed to replace Tony Stark’s Iron Man in this summer’s blockbuster, Spiderman: Far From Home. And fans reacted with anger and dismay when the news broke in August that the two companies had failed to agree on terms for future profit-sharing, effectively booting the webslinger from future Marvel films.
“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” said Marvel president Kevin Feige in a statement. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse, you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
Why did the two studios fall out in the first place? As we wrote in August:
It’s all about money, of course. Under the current arrangement, Disney holds the merchandising rights and gets 5% of first-dollar gross (how much a film makes at the box office on its first day of release), according to Deadline. Sony holds the distribution and screen rights to Spider-Man solo films, starting with Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire. Disney was pushing for a 50/50 co-financing agreement going forward, which Sony turned down flat. Nobody backed down, and so here we are.
That fallout also meant Feige wouldn’t produce the next Spider-Man film, despite playing such a critical role in rebooting the franchise in its current incarnation. So perhaps the best outcome for Marvel fans from today’s news is that Feige will be back on board. Under the new agreement, per Variety, “In exchange for lending Feige’s producing prowess, Marvel and Disney will receive roughly 25% of the profits, according to insiders. Disney will retain its merchandising rights. As part of the arrangement, Spider-Man will also appear in one future Marvel Studios film.”
Feige’s re-entry into the Spiderverse is actually the second deal the producer struck with Disney this week. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn revealed that Feige will also be collaborating with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy on a future Star Wars film.
The next Spiderman film in the Homecoming series is currently scheduled for a July 16, 2021 release, and that project will be co-produced by Amy Pascal, who was a producer on the first two Homecoming movies.
“This is terrific,” Pascal said in a statement. “Peter Parker’s story took a dramatic turn in Far From Home and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes.”
Somewhere, the surviving Avengers are smiling.