By Crystal King
Spider-Man is swinging back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – also known as the MCU – after a financial dispute between Sony Pictures and Disney’s Marvel Studios left the friendly neighborhood hero out of the ongoing Marvel Universe.
The initial separation was in late August 2019 when Sony did not agree to Disney’s new financial terms of a 50/50 split of profits between the two companies. The disagreement meant Spider-Man would no longer be a part of the MCU and was a huge loss for Marvel who had made the hero into a key role in recent films beginning with Captain America: Civil War.
Marvel fans campaigned on Twitter and across social media for Sony and Disney to reconcile with the hashtag #SaveSpiderMan. The split also received responses from Spider-Man actor Tom Holland and other MCU cast members.
Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye, a skilled marksman in the MCU and member of the Avengers, responded to Sony on Instagram saying, “Hey [Sony], we want Spider-Man back to [Stan Lee] and [Marvel] please.”
Fans did not have to wait long to breathe a sigh of relief. Staying true to the Spider-Man underdog aesthetic, Marvel and Sony agreed to combine forces once again. On September 27th, both companies announced that they had reached an accord and Spider-Man would be returning to the MCU with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige returning to produce the third film of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series.
Behind the scenes of Sony and Marvel’s reconciliation is an unlikely hero. Spider-Man actor Tom Holland himself campaigned for his spidey-hero to stay in the MCU. Sources show that Holland made several appeals for a resolution to both Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman and Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger.
In the new agreement, Disney and Marvel studios will earn 25 percent of net gross profits. Disney will also keep merchandising rights and will provide 25 percent of the financing for the upcoming films.
The new deal also promises Spider-Man will appear in another future Marvel Studios film, and producer Kevin Feige is excited for Spider-Man’s return and the possibilities he has in the MCU.
In a statement on September 27th, Kevin Feige made a comment that caught the attention of many fans saying, “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spider-verse you never know what surprises the future may hold.”
Feige’s statement has made many speculate the future of Spider-Man in the MCU. While fans are guaranteed another Spider-Man film, the speculation comes from where the hero will fit into another movie as Marvel is set to release five films in their fourth phase between 2020-2021.
Kevin Feige has also hinted at films expected to be released in Phase 5. Among these films is a possibility of a Fantastic Four which Spider-Man has a connection to in the original Marvel Comics.
While fans are left to ponder Feige’s statement and where Spider-Man falls into the ongoing Marvel Universe, a release date for the next film in the Spider-Man: Homecoming series has been confirmed.
The movie is set to release on July 16, 2021 with Amy Pascal of Pascal Pictures returning to produce the film with Kevin Feige as she did for the first two films.