This has been a tough week for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, who learned that due to Sony and Disney’s inability to reach an agreement over the Spider-Man films, it doesn’t look like Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will be allowed to return to the MCU. The Internet has taken to blaming Sony for the split, with various petitions floating around and hashtags such as #SaveSpiderManFromSony going viral. However, a recent report from The Washington Post suggests it’s Disney that is determined to walk away.
The article points out that the Disney/Sony partnership “made a lot of sense in 2015," but that "a lot has changed since the deal was struck." For example, streaming services such as Netflix and Apple have “entered Hollywood,” meaning “traditional firms have felt they had to get bigger and stronger.” They say this is the reason Disney chief executive, Bob Iger, gave the go-ahead for the Fox purchase and its X-Men license.
“If Disney was to become the behemoth it aspires to be, it needed not only to make the [Spider-Man] movie but to become a full partner in it. If it was to let [Kevin] Feige run the show, it had to make sure it owned the house,” The Washington Post explains. “But Sony wasn’t having that. And thus Disney faced a quandary: Should it let Feige keep guiding the movies despite unfavorable financial terms? Should it keep its subject close, not allowing a studio in a far corner of its empire to go off and do what it would with an important property? Or should it walk away, letting the far-flung corners of its kingdom do as they please and just live off the licensing fee? Disney chose the latter. It opted, uncharacteristically, to give up control, believing the movies weren’t worth their effort for minimal return — and gambling the films may not succeed as much without them anyway.”
The article goes on to say that the studios “aren’t acknowledging that this was about money or strategy.” They point out that Disney has been silent on the Spider-Man news, and Sony said in a statement: "it was simply a matter of Feige’s time."
The Sony statement claims they “understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP [intellectual property] they do not own.”
"Disney, though, seems determined to walk away," The Washington Post adds. "Executives have taken the position they don’t need firsthand control of every last property in their stable. Of course, it’s not clear they are doing this happily — or would do so in the future. After all, there was that previous case of X-Men and Fox. In that instance, Disney let its licensing studio do as it pleased. Then it bought the entire company."
You can read the full article here.
Who do you think is to blame for the Sony/Disney split? Tell us in the comments.