Marvel fans are turning to Avengers star Robert Downey Jr. to "save Spider-Man" in the wake of a public divorce between Disney and Sony Pictures that threatens to pull Tom Holland's wallcrawler from the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When the former Iron Man star tweeted a mysterious tease to be revealed Thursday, Downey ignited a flurry of tweets asking the actor to step in and help preserve the deal that allows Marvel creative control over Sony's Spider-Man franchise. Talks surrounding a renewal of that deal, which sees Marvel act as creative producers on the Sony-distributed Spidey films in exchange for the character's participation in the wider MCU, famously fell through on Tuesday.
Only you have a big enough influence to help Spidey stay where he belongs. I’m asking you, @RobertDowneyJr please take into account the lasting legacy Iron Man has on the entire MCU and how that legacy desperately needs Spider-Man and Tom Holland. Please help #boycottSony— Strawa5 (@Strawa51) August 22, 2019
"Only you have a big enough influence to help Spidey stay where he belongs," tweeted one concerned netizen. "I'm asking you, @RobertDowneyJr please take into account the lasting legacy Iron Man has on the entire MCU and how that legacy desperately needs Spider-Man and Tom Holland. Please help #boycottSony."
Downey's longtime Avengers co-star Jeremy Renner was the first to publicly lobby Sony to maintain its relationship with Marvel, writing on Instagram, "Hey @sonypictures we want Spider-Man back to @therealstanlee and @marvel please, thank you."
Downey starred opposite Holland's rebooted Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, the first film under the Disney-Sony pact; there his Tony Stark recruited a rookie Spider-Man to help detain the defecting Avengers led by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans).
Stark's mentorship role with Peter Parker next played out in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony's first Spidey solo under the new deal, and the relationship played a significant role in Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Stark's death in the latter inspired Spider-Man: Far From Home, built around Parker's loss of his mentor and father figure.
Future sequels planned by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige would have explored a more independent Spider-Man out of the shadow of Iron Man and the Avengers. In a statement released by Sony, the studio intimated the producer would be too busy with Marvel's newly acquired Fantastic Four and X-Men franchises to be invested in the live-action Spider-Man franchise, an IP not controlled by Disney.
"Much of today's news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige's involvement in the franchise," the studio said.
"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. We hope this might change in the future, but 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 they do not own."
We need you to save Spider-Man please 😭💔— Stan Super Junior 👑🍃🌺 (@Juliansolo05) August 22, 2019
Watch RDJ buy Sony just so Tom can continue playing Spider-Man pic.twitter.com/Tr0odhXcvY— I love One Direction 3000 ◟̽◞̽ (@mypoison1D) August 22, 2019
Help us save Spider-Man please 😭😭 #SaveSpiderMan— Nube (@nubeortiz24) August 22, 2019
USE YOU TONY STARK POWER FOR BRING BACK SPIDER-MAN IN MCU— Arno Snow (@Arno_Snow) August 22, 2019
How do u feel about how marvel lost the kid. 😭😭 ur sacrifice to save the kid has been wasted 😭 I’m so sad. Still love you and Spider-Man 3000— Olivia🏆 (@xxlivyhxx) August 22, 2019
HEY WE NEED IRON MAN TO SAVE SPIDER-MAN. ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/548ytcgatm— ︽✵︽ Maddy 🕷SPIDEYMCU🕷 ︽✵︽ (@MaddyCastiel) August 22, 2019