Now this is an Avengers level threat indeed. We’re losing our Spider-Man… or at least the MCU is! This is bad news for just about everyone involved. Let’s all work through this together by ranting a bit.
I am a massive Spider-Man fan. He’s my favorite fictional character. I saw his first movie in theaters in 2002 and it changed my life. Before I knew it, I was diving into comic books in a way I had never done before. I had never even heard of any Marvel characters other than Spidey, the X-Men and Hulk beforehand. But now I was reading and enjoying Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and, of course, The Avengers. I remember thinking it was strange that they didn’t have movies. Of course, a few years later that would change with the MCU becoming the biggest thing in the world while Sony struggled to keep the Spidey-Verse afloat. I was (and still am) amazed at how well Kevin Feige built a world that felt so interconnected and sprawling. If only Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were allowed to join the fun, then we’d have a perfect franchise to continually blow my mind.
Then, it happened. I still remember the moment exactly. Marvel sent out a social media post that included Iron Man, Cap, Thor and Spidey and mentioned something about Spider-Man joining Civil War. I legitimately didn’t believe it. I thought the Marvel page had been hacked. But, the more I looked into it the more I realized it was true. And, we’ve been living in the golden age ever since. Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter has been terrific. And, both the Avengers movies and Spider-Man movies have benefited big time, both creatively and financial, by crossing over. Avengers: Endgame just became the biggest movie of all time while Spider-Man: Far From Home crushed records for Sony. It was a match made in heaven.
But, now it’s over. The good times have come to an end. Disney asked to be co-partners on the third Spidey solo movie, splitting the profits 50/50. Sony declined and offered to keep their current arrangement. Disney declined. And now we’re here. Spider-Man has essentially been kicked out of the MCU. I truly think this is a dark time for all involved.
First of all, from my understanding, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios more or less had creative control over the Webhead’s exploits in this current franchise. That would explain why these last couple of movies have been super true to the source material and really freaking good. Of course Marvel knows how to handle the character. They’ve been writing him for over fifty years. Let’s take a look at what Sony’s done with the character. They ran the Sam Raimi franchise into the ground by interfering too much and not letting him do his own thing. That series wasn’t ready to introduce Venom yet, but they forced it. Then, they rebooted into a completely bland franchise that was trying too hard to expand too fast. That failed rater miserably so they ran to Marvel to fix their broken franchise. Meanwhile, they continued to make the same mistakes. They greenlit Venom, and Morbius, and Silver Sable, and Kraven, and the Sinister Six (again). All without a Spider-Man! They wanted to keep it separate from the multi-billion dollar franchise their main character was attached to. That’s the reason I personally still haven’t seen Venom, despite being a huge fan. So, Disney/Marvel fixing their franchise wasn’t a good enough reason for them to split the profits of the next one? Hell, not even 60/40 or 70/30. From what I read, they just offered the original 5% of the profits that was agreed upon originally. That’s just plain disrespectful.
For Disney, this is obviously disappointing because they are again losing one of their major characters. Everything they had set up over the last couple movies Spidey-wise might as well be flushed down the toilet. He looked to be the young, fresh face for the franchise going forward, but I guess not. They’ve essentially lost Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and Spider-Man all within a couple of months. What really hurts is that they had just gained the X-Men and Fantastic Four too. We were about to get a full set. Artistically, I don’t think this hurts them nearly as much as it does Sony. They did a great job turning B- and C-list characters into major franchises before they had Spidey. They’ll continue to do so after. I would not be surprised at all if freaking Shang-Chi’s new movie somehow outgrosses Spider-Man 3. That’s just the magic of Kevin Feige and the MCU.
In this breakup, it is Disney who is too good for Sony. Not the other way around. It just sucks that the kids had to suffer in the divorce. I’m going to miss having Tom Holland’s Spider-Man around. Seeing his next movie is going to feel super awkward now. But, let’s be real. I’m still going to continue to support both of these franchises.
I’m still not watching a Spider-Manless Silver Sable movie though. That’s never happening.