Volume Eight, Issue Thirty-Nine!
“Happy Homecoming, Spider-Man”
And just like that, Spidey is back in the MCU.
In a surprising turn of events (okay, not THAT surprising), Sony and Marvel Studios have renegotiated their deal to keep Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the MCU for another two movies, and they’ve even got the third film on the schedule for 2021, a mere two years away. After nearly a month passing with the deal seemingly dying, many (myself included) resigned themselves to the fact that the deal was over and done with, and that we’d have to live with a Spidey in a post-MCU world. But it seems like cooler heads have prevailed (or at least realized how much money was being left on the table), and we’re going to get at least two more adventures with the wall-crawler.
According to reports, the new deal has Disney/Marvel contributing 25% of the budget for the upcoming film, and receiving 25% of the profits. While it’s a far cry from the alleged 50/50 split the company initially wanted, that’s still a hefty amount of money that the House of Mouse will be pocketing, and that’s not even considering the fact that Disney owns the merchandising rights to Spider-Man, so either way, they win. But the most interesting aspect about this announcement is that Sony can now use Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man in their growing list of Spider-Man spinoff films, and that means a lot of things for the studio.
First of all, it helps to legitimize these projects in the eyes of Spidey fans. One of my big issues with Sony’s plan to release Spider-Man spin off films without Spider-Man in them was the fact that a lot of the characters can’t really stand on their own without using Spidey as a jumping off point. Venom is the biggest culprit of this, as the character’s powers, motivation, and overall look are dependent on the symbiote being on Spider-Man before Eddie Brock. Removing that? Well, it’s a lot harder to get the character to make sense, not that that didn’t stop the film from becoming an inexplicable hit. Now that Holland’s Spider-Man can presumably appear against Hardy’s Venom, fans will finally get to see Spidey throw down with one of his best enemies, even though the dynamic between the two of them wont’t be the same (or presumably as good) as it is in the comics.
Secondly, this means that Disney, Marvel, and Kevin Feige will definitely get to have a say in any of the Sony spin-offs that Holland will appear in. While I doubt they’ll have the time to really get involved, and I can’t imagine that Disney will sit back and let Sony churn out a bunch of crap featuring Marvel’s flagship character after going through a bunch of hoops to work out this deal. In the long run, it might get Sony to actually put some legitimate effort into some of these projects.
In the end, the deal between the two companies seemingly worked out for everyone involved. Sony gets to use an established, fan-favorite version of the character in their films, Disney/Marvel get to keep a sure thing in the MCU, and fans of the character will get to see a fully realized conclusion to the stunning cliffhanger from the mid credits scene of Far From Home. Now that this is settled, we can get to the real fun: figuring out who Spidey’s gonna tangle with next (please be Kraven).