Spider-Man Deal Between Disney And Sony

Christa Pierik, Staff Writer

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*UPDATE (9-27-19): News has come out that Sony and Marvel will be partnering up to make a third Spider-Man movie after-all. Note- this opinion article was written prior to the news coming out.*

Spider-Man is leaving the MCU! Or is it. Shortly after the release of the new Spider-Man: Far From Home film, word spread that Sony canceled renewing film rights to Disney, who owns the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Fans began to go ballistic, while many blamed Sony for ruining the amazing MCU Spider-Man that they had all grown to love. But, I believe that Disney had just as big a part, if not bigger, for this deal to fall through. 

An important thing to remember is that Spider-Man’s character is actually owned by Sony, not Disney. This is because during the 90’s, before Marvel was bought out by Disney, Marvel Entertainment was attempting to recover from bankruptcy.  In order to stay afloat, they had to sell some characters, one of them being the crowd favorite, Spider-Man. Later, Disney bought the rest of the remaining Marvel characters, creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Disney has since been able to become one of the wealthiest and most successful television networks to date. 

Sony was able to make several movies with their precious Spider-Man, but after Andrew Garfield’s reboot Spider-Man films, the box office wasn’t doing so well. Disney saw the struggle and took the opportunity to strike a deal with Sony. This deal was that Disney could help make new Spider-Man movies within the MCU as long as they got all revenue from Spider-Man merchandise. This year, 2019, the contract of that agreement was up and they were forced to renegotiate. 

Disney came into this meeting asking for 30% of box office revenue for future Spider-Man films, but Sony did not attempt to negotiate and immediately pulled Spider-Man away from the MCU, or at least that’s what the internet says anyway. One sided reports like this got out before the deal was set which caused things to get ugly very quickly. This was most likely done by Disney to get fans to be on their “side” and force Sony into agreeing to Disney’s new terms. 

When the word got out that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might be leaving, the MCU fans got furious, just the way Disney most likely intended. While there were some split opinions on who was to blame for this tragedy, I empathized with Sony. This is because Sony is one of the only companies that is not totally under Disney’s control. Spiderman is currently Sony’s biggest asset and the main thing that is keeping their company afloat. If Sony were to give Disney 30% of a character they already own, than they might just as well be another one of Disney’s little minions. 

This is not to say I don’t like the MCU Spider-Man, but to say I see why Sony is reluctant to accept Disney’s new offer. I as well grew very fond of this new version of Spider-Man and hope that Disney gets off it’s high horse and pay more attention to the fans than money, for once. I do believe that Disney and Sony could make a deal once again and if that does happen, there is no doubt that the movie theatre would be packed to see it after this huge debacle. 

Here are some more interesting articles about Spider-Man’s history and the Disney/Sony dispute:

Also here are some articles about the new deal as well (9-27-19):

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