Sony Pictures executives have pulled superhero Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) over a dispute with Disney bosses.
In 2015, bosses at Sony, who acquired the film rights to Spider-Man in 1999, made a deal with Marvel Studios and its parent company Disney in which they would share the rights to the web-slinging superhero and integrate him within the MCU.
This led to Tom Holland playing the character in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, while MCU characters such as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan made appearances in Spider-Man: Homecoming and this year’s Far From Home.
However, editors at Deadline reported on Tuesday that Sony and Disney executives had reached a stand-off as they couldn’t agree on co-financing and profit-sharing terms, so Marvel and its boss Kevin Feige will no longer be involved in Spider-Man films.
In response to the reports of the deal, a Sony Pictures spokesperson released a statement, which mainly focused on Feige’s departure as producer of the movies.
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterised recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” the statement began. “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.
“We hope this might change in the future but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP (intellectual property) they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
It is not currently known what this means for Holland, but it is likely he’ll only appear in Sony’s Spider-Man films in the future, rather than any Marvel Studios projects.