Tuesday was a roller coaster of a day for Marvel fans. On Tuesday afternoon, news broke that the deal between Disney-owned Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, who owns the movie rights to Spider-Man and associated characters, was over due to a standoff over the reworking of a co-financing arrangement. As the day wore on, though, various other reports surfaced. Some indicated that the issue was not with the financing, but with producer credits while others indicated that discussions were still ongoing, offering fans hope that things would work out and Spider-Man could stay in the MCU.
However, late Tuesday evening that hope was largely dashed. Sony officially commented on the situation, confirming that the two studios had failed to reach a deal.
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” Sony said in statement sent to ComicBook.com. “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.”
While there may still be a glimmer of hope -- Sony also noted that they hoped "this might change in the future" -- it seems pretty definitive that Spider-Man is out of the MCU with the Sony/Marvel split. With that also comes some seriously heartbreaking realizations about what that means for Spider-Man, the MCU, and fans of both as things move forward. How heartbreaking? Well, you might want to get some tissues and brace yourself because there's a lot here that's not just sad, but frustrating on all fronts.
Read on for the most heartbreaking realizations about the Sony/Marvel split and be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments at the end.
The MCU was already in new territory at the end of Avengers: Endgame. With Captain America having chosen to return to the past and live out a fully, presumably happy life with Peggy Carter after he returned the Time Stones and Tony Stark/Iron Man dead having saved the universe with a fateful snap, two of the biggest and most popular heroes of the franchise were now out of the rotation. It primed Peter Parker/Spider-Man to carry the torch into the future, fitting not just story-wise, but from the perspective that Spider-Man is one of Marvel's most popular characters, period.
But now that Sony and Marvel have split? Spider-Man will be gone, too. Without Sony's involvement, Marvel can't use the character and without Marvel, Sony can't use the Avengers. the MCU just lost arguably the top three most popular heroes -- and this time there's no Time Heist that can easily fix it.
It was one of the most exciting surprises of Spider-Man: Far From Home when, in the mid-credits scene, J. Jonah Jameson made his MCU debut, played by none other than J.K. Simmons, reprising the fan-favorite role after his appearances in Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy of films. The appearance had fans excited about the prospect of Simmons' Jameson getting to interact with the heroes of the MCU. Now, however, that's not going to happen. Jameson is a character that will stay with Sony in this "divorce".
With Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox, beloved properties such as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Deadpool all came under Marvel's control again and are expected to make their way into the MCU. Before Tuesday, the idea of Spider-Man getting to interact with these characters was a thrilling one for fans. Now, it's just not going to happen. No witty banter between Spidey and Deadpool. No cool encounters with the Fantastic Four. Suddenly that eagerly-anticipated "reunion" of major Marvel properties feels kind of lacking without Peter Parker in the mix.
A surprising and sweet part of Spider-Man: Far From Home was the growing romance between Happy (Jon Favreau) and Aunt May (Marissa Tomei). It was something that fans had hoped to see grow more in future Spider-Man and MCU films. Now, though, it appears the romance will simply be the one that got away. The Sony/Marvel split will keep the two would-be romantic partners away from one another. Oh, and it also means that Peter won't have Happy in his life anymore either.
We keep thinking of things in terms of what Spider-Man movies lose without Marvel, but the reality is that the MCU loses quite a bit as well and that especially means Spider-Man villains. Venom, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus -- they're all likely off the table now, as well as many more.
At the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home it was revealed that the Nick Fury who had been working with Peter Parker was really the Skrull Talos acting at the behest of the real Fury who was seen commanding a Skrull ship. Clearly there's going to need to be some explaining about that particular reveal, but when it happens, it won't be in a Spider-Man film. It may still be addressed in the MCU, but it would have been really nice to see where that piece of things went in regard to Spidey.
Spider-Man's Iron Spider suit may be the coolest incarnation of the Spider-Man suit yet, first appearing in Avengers: Infinity War, again in Avengers: Endgame, and again in Spider-Man: Far From Home, this time with Peter wearing it at a charity event to help families displaced by the Blip. However, with the Sony/Marvel split, we probably won't see it again. The suit is too much a call back to Iron Man -- after all, he's the one who gave Peter the suit -- and with Sony likely not being able to even reference Iron Man now, that suit has to go as well.