It has been a roller coaster couple of weeks for Spider-Man fans. It was reported about a week or so ago that Spider-Man would no longer be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was because Disney and Sony had reached a deadlock on their latest contract negotiations over the use of the Marvel comics character in feature films. (Sony has owned the Spider-Man film rights since 1999. In 2015, Disney and Sony signed a new deal that would allow the web-slinger to be a part of the MCU. The deal recently expired.) As a result of the fallout, Kevin Feige would no longer serve as the creative mind behind the Spider-Man solo movies and Spidey would no longer be a part of the MCU.
This news was a huge bummer considering Spider-Man has been used exceptionally well in the MCU under the guidance of Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige. At the time of the initial reports, nothing seemed to have been finalised just yet and many fans were hopeful that Disney and Sony would arrive at a compromise. However, recent interviews with Kevin Feige and Tom Holland have indicated that the ship has probably sailed. And now, Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra has doubled down on the departure.
In an interview with Variety, Vinciquerra said:
“For the moment the door is closed. We had a great run with (Feige) on Spider-Man movies. We tried to see if there’s a way to work it out….the Marvel people are terrific people, we have great respect for them, but on the other hand we have some pretty terrific people of our own. Kevin didn’t do all the work.”
Vinciquerra also mentioned that one of the reasons behind the impasse in the new deal is because Kevin Feige has been “stretched incredibly thin,” due to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (i.e. The Eternals, the Disney+ projects and also newly acquired properties like Deadpool, Fantastic Four and X-Men [my examples, not his]).
However, the biggest story to come out of Vinciquerra’s interview with Variety, is that Sony has plans to launch its own Spidey universe using the plethora of Spider-Man characters, now that Peter Parker is back exclusively at Sony’s camp. Yes, this means that we will eventually be seeing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the same universe as Tom Hardy’s Venom.
The Sony boss expressed that the character will be “just fine” outside of the MCU. Vinciquerra pointed to the likes of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Sony-Amazon series The Boys, as proof of Sony’s capability of delivering stellar superhero projects.
“Spider-Man was fine before the event movies, did better with the event movies, and now that we have our own universe, he will play off the other characters as well. I think we’re pretty capable of doing what we have to do here.”
Currently, Sony is working on a Venom sequel, this time helmed by Andy Serkis, a film based on the character Morbius, as well as “five or six” TV series set in the Spider-Man universe.