There's a chance that Spider-Man: Far From Home, which has only just released, marks the end of another era in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Avengers: Endgame featured the departures of popular heroes like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America, it also featured the return of Tom Holland's Peter Parker, among others. The new films appear to pass the torch, so to speak, to Peter Parker, but we might just get one more film in that franchise's future.
All of this comes down to the contract between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, with the latter still holding the rights to make Spider-Man movies. After the poor reception to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony essentially hired Marvel's production wing to make their Spider-Man films while also allowing them to include the character in their shared universe. That's when the two companies cast Tom Holland to play the character.
That initial deal was only signed for six movies with Holland, broken down to three solo films and three appearances in other Disney-distributed Marvel Studios movies.
So far, Holland's Spider-Man has appeared in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, fulfilling that end of the bargain. Marvel Studios has also produced two solo films as of this week's Spider-Man: Far From Home, leaving just one more solo film in the pipeline.
It's possible that Sony and Marvel could extend their deal, even expanding the scope to allow characters like Venom and Morbius the Living Vampire to take part in the MCU. Or, conversely, Sony could be emboldened by the success of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Venom, prompting them to strike out on their own once more and try to create their own Spider-Man movies again.
This move would probably be met with fan backlash, especially after the immense success both Marvel and Sony have achieved with these new Spider-Man movies. If Sony takes its ball and goes home, only to try to reboot the character for the third time, people might not respond well to that decision.
And yet, if Sony tries to increase their stake in the MCU, Marvel could easily just move on and focus on a new crop of superheroes. After all, it only just secured the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties after Disney's successful acquisition of 20th Century Fox.
Does Marvel really need to keep Spider-Man around when they still have Black Panther and Captain Marvel, as well as the X-Men and Fantastic Four waiting in the wings? We might find out soon enough.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing in theaters.