Disney/Marvel vs. Sony

Okay so there are a lot of stories being pushed out right now as to the fate of Spider-man and whether he is going to be in the MCU any longer. Most of these are unfounded articles from people who read a single headline and went on a rant. Nothing has come to light yet about what actually happened in the meeting, but the outcome is clear, Sony wants Spider-Man back.

THE ORIGINAL DEAL

4 years ago, Disney/Marvel proposed a deal with Sony. Disney/Marvel would be allowed to use Spider-Man in their cinematic universe with Sony retaining the rights to the character. In exchange for Sony allowing his use, This was the deal that they came to:

  1. For all team up films (Avengers and other team ups) Disney/Marvel receives all gross proceeds from ticket sales and toy purchases. Sony receives a percentage of the gross net value of these films.
  2. For all solo films (Homecoming & Far From Home) Disney/Marvel will cast,shoot, edit and market the film. Sony receives 95% gross of all sales from tickets and home video purchases. Disney/Marvel receives 5% of the gross intake from sales, but 100% of all income from toy purchases.

And thus the deal went on. This would explain why, in the span of 4 years, Spider-Man has appeared in 5 MCU movies in total, 3 team up films and two of his own.

THE NEW DEAL

Recently it was reported that Disney/Marvel proposed a new deal with Sony. That they would split everything 50/50 from this point forward with the studio being allowed to use the Spider-Man IP however they wanted in their cinematic universe. This comes off the tail of Far From Home becoming Sony’s best selling film to date, surpassing Skyfall.

Sony holds all the cards in this exchange and understandably said “No”.

CONSEQUENCES

This causes a major rift in the plans of Disney/Marvel for the MCU. They’ve spent the last 5 movies setting Spider-Man up as the new face of their franchise to only have Sony take the carpet out from under them. I want to be VERY clear on this next statement… NOTHING IS FINALIZED YET. This is just the opening stages of a probable very long negotiating process that will eventually come to some sort of an agreement.

I work in the legal field and when negotiating a settlement, you always come in with 100% of what you hope to achieve and move from there. Each side has opened with their obvious top request, Disney/Marvel wants 50% and Sony wants to keep the original deal. Sony pulled Spider-Man until Disney/Marvel comes back with a more reasonable number. That’s the way the game works and that’s how it goes. The only problem is that normally, this kind of stuff is kept hush hush behind closed doors. The media has seen to make sure that everyone who has access to the internet now thinks that Spider-Man is leaving the MCU.

That being said, Sony released a statement saying that they’re confident they can continue down the road Marvel and Kevin Feige has started them on. Looking at their track record with the Spider-Man IP… that’s clearly not the case. Sam Raimi did well with it until the Sony intervened and demanded Venom be added to Spider-Man 3… The Amazing Spider-Man had the look of the suit and the snarkiness right, but failed once again because of studio interference.

Sony totes their recent success with Venom as their proof that they can do a superhero movie right. I will be the first to admit that I love the Venom movie, I’ve probably watched it 15 times now; but I can also admit that it’s a bad movie. The story is meh, the acting is meh save for Tom Hardy, and Venom himself just looks… off. It’s also no secret that Sony has wanted to cross Spider-Man with Venom for YEARS. I have a feeling that if this deal doesn’t come to some sort of arrangement and Sony takes back Spider-Man permanently, they’re going to force a crossover with Venom and ruin two perfectly good IPs in one foul swoop. This could also be the third time that they ruin Spider-Man.

I don’t know what was actually said in the meeting between Sony and Marvel, I’m just going on what I’ve seen reported. I want Spider-Man to stay in the MCU but let’s be fair, if Sony takes him back out of spite, Disney will probably just buy Sony.

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