One of the most disappointing pieces of news of the year for Spider-Man fans was learning that Sony and Disney's deal over the character had seemingly come to an end, as Disney sought 50% of profits related to the character as opposed to the previous deal's 5%. Understandably, this deal wasn't as lucrative to Sony, leading to the rumors that the partnership had officially concluded. Sony has now issued a statement that refutes some of the rumors circulating about a partnership, though it does address that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige won't produce future Spider-Man films, while also confessing that it hopes the partnership could be revisited in the future.
"Much of today's news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige's involvement in the franchise," Sony shared in a statement 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. 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."
It added, "Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue."
Many of the details surrounding the dissolve of the partnership feel vague and ambiguous, and that is likely by design. A corporate "break-up" can be a messy one, especially when billions of dollars are involved.
Back in the '90s, Marvel sold the rights to Spider-Man and many other characters to movie studios in hopes of staving off bankruptcy. Sony scored Spider-Man, releasing a trilogy of successful films from director Sam Raimi before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created. The Amazing Spider-Man series debuted while the MCU was gaining steam, yet those films failed to connect as strongly with audiences.
In 2015, Marvel Studios and Sony struck a deal, allowing Spider-Man to be embraced into the MCU as Sony retained a majority of the rights to the character, while Feige and other Marvel Studios execs served as producers on standalone Spider-Man films. These collaborations have been wildly successful, with this year's Spider-Man: Far From Home earning $1.1 billion worldwide.
These recent developments have made it clear that the two studios are on the path towards separation, with a number of future meetings likely determining who owns what and which contractual obligations need to be fulfilled, or if an amicable decision can be made which leaves both parties satisfied.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters now.
What do you make of this recent development? Let us know in the comments below!