The Spectacular Spider-Man star Josh Keaton swung by Twitter in-costume during the #SaveSpectacularSpiderMan campaign, a fan-led effort that went viral as a trending topic on January 9. The acclaimed animated series from Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Young Justice) and Victor Cook (Stretch Armstrong & the Flex Fighters) aired 26 episodes across two seasons before Sony Pictures Television canceled Spectacular Spider-Man in 2009. At 34,000 tweets and counting, the #SaveSpectacularSpiderMan event aims to draw the attention of Sony Pictures, which holds the character's live-action and animated film rights, and Marvel Animation parent company Disney, behind subsequent animated series Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man.
"What's up, Twitter? It's your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man here," a masked Keaton says in a video published to his Twitter page, showing him dressed in a partial Spider-Man costume. "I just wanted to shout out some support to everyone tweeting today with #SaveSpectacularSpiderMan. This much support after over a decade? Aw, you guys really know how to make a webhead feel special."
Asked in December whether a Spectacular Spider-Man continuation might happen, Weisman tweeted: "Sadly, no." When another Twitter user asked about there being "any possibility" of a third season, Weisman replied, "I don't believe so. No." Most recently, when asked about contacting Sony to bring back Spectacular Spider-Man, Weisman responded: "That's not how it works."
In 2012, three years after The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Weisman said no "single company" canceled Spectacular Spider-Man and that the 26-episode series was in a situation where "no single company could proceed with it." Weisman explained that situation in a forum post published months before Disney launched its rebooted Ultimate Spider-Man:
- Sony had originally produced SpecSpidey as part of their overall entertainment license of the Spidey property (which of course included the extremely lucrative live action films).
- But in order to win some concession on those live action feature films, Sony returned the animation rights to the character back to Marvel.
- So now only Marvel could produce a Spider-Man cartoon. Sony no longer could, which meant SpecSpidey couldn't continue at Sony.
- I have no idea whether Marvel was interested in continuing Spectacular Spider-Man or not. But let's assume for the sake of argument that they would have liked to.
- They couldn't.
- Why? Because Sony owned all the specific elements (designs, storyline, etc.) to the SpecSpidey VERSION of Spider-Man. So Marvel would have had to license all that BACK from Sony.
- You can imagine how unlikely THAT scenario was. Marvel finally gets the rights back to do an animated version of their marquee character, and then they have to pay Sony to do it instead of just starting from scratch. That was never going to happen.
- Of course, all this was complicated by the fact that Disney purchased Marvel, and Disney and Sony are direct competitors.
- And I'm sure Marvel was excited to put their own stamp on an animated Spider-Man. Who could blame them?
- So that was it. We were toast through no fault of our own. The folks at Marvel, Sony and even Disney all seemed to like our show, but the corporate mess made it impossible for us to continue.
Disney and Sony have since made two pacts bringing a live-action Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the first five-picture deal expired with the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019, Disney and Sony renegotiated and struck a new deal to partner on the untitled Spider-Man 3 and another as-yet-revealed film from Marvel Studios.
TWEET NOW 😤
The Event has started #SaveSpectacularSpiderMan 👈January 9, 2021
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You know you made a special show when you get campaigns like this and get them trending, and it's true, this show deserved better and it deserved more time!#SaveSpectacularSpiderMan pic.twitter.com/rbStNAzPoF— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) January 9, 2021
We want a third season of Spectacular Spider-Man #SaveSpectacularSpiderMan @Victor_Cook1 @Greg_Weisman @vanmarshall @joshkeaton @SonyPictures @Disney @SonyAnimation @IamLaceyChabert pic.twitter.com/Lks4cj8x04— Daily Symbiote Spider-Man (@REAL_EARTH_9811) January 9, 2021