spiderman stands in front of a train

A Sticky Situation: The Spider-Man Fiasco

After three years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his starring roles in several successful blockbusters and solo movies, and his establishment as the successor of the deceased Tony Stark, Peter Parker was poised to become the new golden boy of the MCU.

Spider-Man movies had become more popular than ever before due in part to actor Tom Holland’s excellent performance, with Spider-Man’s latest outing, “Far From Home,” pulling in almost $1.2 billion at the box office.

It seemed inconceivable to many Marvel fans that we would lose Spider-Man anytime soon; however, on Aug. 20 of this year, Sony announced that after a failed attempt at renegotiations with Disney, the rights to Spider-Man films would return to Sony Pictures. To further add to the surprising situation, both Disney and Sony later confirmed that since Holland was still in a contract to act in Spider-Man films, his iteration of the famous webslinger would appear in future Sony-produced films, albeit with no connection to any characters or ideas from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The general initial reaction on the Internet seemed to be outrage towards Sony; many fans, myself included, blamed Sony for getting too greedy with the Spider-Man property and depriving audiences of future MCU films. This outrage was understandable, seeing that the last good live-action Spider-Man film produced by Sony was “Spider-Man 2,” which came out in 2004. After several years without any good Spider-Man films, and after those abysmal “The Amazing Spider-Man” movies, superhero film fans have rightfully lost faith in Sony Pictures to create a quality, enjoyable film starring the friendly neighborhood hero.

Building onto this anger was the belief that Sony was stealing away Spider-Man from the MCU, where the character had received some major development and had a key role in both “Infinity War” and “Endgame.” Peter Parker’s death at the hands of Thanos’ genocidal snap at the end of “Infinity War” proved to be the main catalyst for Tony Stark, Parker’s mentor and father figure, to participate in the Time Heist to reverse the snap, a decision which ultimately lead to Stark’s death.

Stark was arguably the biggest player in the MCU at the time of his death, and having him sacrifice himself to bring back Parker was a clear indication that Holland’s Spider-Man was intended to be his successor.

This legacy was further built upon in “Far From Home,” in which Parker is seen near the end of the film showing striking similarities to Stark, further establishing Parker’s role as the new head of the MCU. Thus, learning that all this buildup would be dashed, supposedly due to Sony, caused an uproar.

However, as more information was released, news broke that Disney had tried to greatly increase the split of profits between the two companies.

Disney demanded a fifty-fifty split of the profits for future Spider-Man films, but Sony refused, according to Deadline, an entertainment news website. After deliberation, both companies refused to capitulate, and thus film rights to Spider-Man returned to Sony; hearing this display of Disney’s greed ameliorated some of my personal outrage towards Sony.

Ultimately, MCU followers are still left disappointed with no upcoming Spider-Man films to look forward to, no matter who is to blame. Knowing that Spider-Man will no longer be starring alongside the likes of Scarlet Witch and the Guardians of the Galaxy due to a failed corporate deal is saddening, but unsurprising.

Hopefully, Sony and Disney can reach an agreement over the film rights for the web-slinging hero somehow. For now though, a future with the Spider-Man franchise in the MCU seems difficult and unlikely.

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