Variety reported Tuesday, however, that according to one source, “a deal might still be reached between Disney and Sony.” And i09 said on Twitter that “this dispute is simply over a producer credit and negotiations are ongoing,” according to a Sony representative.
Disney did not respond to a request for comment; Sony refused to comment on the record.
Sony controls the film character, so if the partnership ended, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige would no longer be a credited producer on Spider-Man releases. Plus, Spider-Man would apparently no longer appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” a Sony spokesperson told THR. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film.”
Feige helped jump-start the character’s cinematic presence after a Sony-produced Spider-Man sequel starring Andrew Garfield commercially underperformed in 2014. The webslinging character rebounded spectacularly in 2016 with a younger British actor, Tom Holland, inheriting the role for the Feige-led Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
Holland then starred in Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” ($880 million worldwide) in 2017 and Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” ($2.05 billion) last year, plus this year’s “Avengers: Endgame” ($2.8 billion) and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” ($1.1 billion). That means the actor’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker has appeared in films collectively grossing nearly $8 billion worldwide, making Holland, 23, a global star. The films have also had a mostly positive critical reception.
Feige has achieved historic box office success since 2008′s “Iron Man” launched the MCU, which has grossed more than $22.5 billion globally across 23 films, including this year’s “Captain Marvel.”
By late Tuesday night, the hashtag #SaveSpiderMan was trending on Twitter, and “Avengers” star Jeremy Renner wrote on his social media accounts: “Hey @sonypictures we want Spider-Man back to @therealstanlee and @marvel please. thank you.”
Spider-Man was created by Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in the early ‘60s. Sony won the film rights to the character, with its 2002 “Spider-Man,” starring Tobey Maguire, helping to kick off the current phase in superhero cinema. The franchise has grossed more than $6.3 billion worldwide.
From 2007′s “Spider-Man 3″ through to 2014′s “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the Sony franchise often seemed to lose its way. Once Sony and Marvel joined forces after that, the mostly positive critical reception to the films with Holland’s Spider-Man has further bolstered Feige’s clout.
Here’s how some disgruntled fans responded on social media: