Some film Twitter-shattering news to start your morning. It looks like Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will no longer be a producer on future Spider-Man movies. Deadline reports that Feige will no longer serve as a producer because Disney (the company that owns Marvel Studios) and Sony (the company that owns the film rights to Spider-Man) were unable to reach a new agreement which would’ve given the House of Mouse a co-financing stake moving forward. This dispute has been going on for months and now Sony has bid goodbye to Kevin Feige as well as future involvements of Marvel Studios in the Spider-Man universe.
This is frankly baffling news. I would understand Sony’s decision if their partnership with Marvel Studios hasn’t bore fruit either from a quality standpoint or a financial standpoint. However, we just saw Tom Holland’s Peter Parker make a big splash in the climactic scene in Avengers: Endgame, a movie that has gone on to become the highest-grossing film of all time at the global box office ($US 2.79 billion). Also, under the guidance of Kevin Feige, Spider-Man: Far From Home not only went on to be the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie of all time, but it also surpassed Skyfall to be the highest-grossing Sony movie of all time.
There are reportedly two more Spider-Man films in the works right now, which are supposed to be directed by Jon Watts (helmer of Homecoming and Far From Home) and starring Tom Holland. However, Jon Watts still does not have an official deal for the next picture and unless some kind of major development happens over the next few hours, days and months, Feige unfortunately, will not be the creative producer of those films.
There’s quite a lot to unpack. Deadline‘s report also states:
Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, and there were discussions that this might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe. Sony turned that offer down flat.
While it may suck for fans and hurt the quality of the Spider-Man films going forward, it’s easy to see why Sony would reject Disney’s 50/50 offer. After all, Sony produced Venom all on their own and while the film legitimately sucked, it still went on to make more than $US 800 million at the global box office. From a business standpoint, a 50/50 financing and profit split may not be the most beneficial to Sony.
The aforementioned have lead us to believe that Spider-Man may also no longer appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward, which is just as shocking as the character first making its appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Since Civil War, Spidey has become one of the fan favourites in the MCU. Not only that, Feige and his band of creatives have been slowly building the character up to be one of the core members of the Avengers going forward.
All of this is frankly disheartening for someone who’s a huge fan of the MCU and the Spider-Man character. Under the watchful eyes of Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios, we’ve finally gotten the most perfect and true-to-comics version of the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger, something Sony failed to do on their own on multiple occasions.
If there’s one glimmer of hope, it’s the update Collider just dropped while I was typing away. According to a studio insider:
“This comes down to producer credit only and our understanding is negotiations are ongoing.”