So What’s the Deal with Sony and Disney’s Spiderman Split?

Hannah Hendron, Reporter

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Since 2016, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker has become a substantial, favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, with Holland’s five year contract over, negotiations are in murky water between Sony and Disney. 

Negotiations between Sony and Disney began two weeks ago, with Sony allegedly rejecting a new deal over comic book character Spider-Man. The new 50/50 co-financing deal Disney reportedly offered included both companies putting up half of the production costs and splitting the profits.

In 2015, the initial deal between the companies was reached, which meant Disney, who owns Marvel, would be allowed to incorporate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As it was included in their first contract, Sony tasked Marvel’s creative team with introducing him into the MCU and put up 100% of production costs. According to website CNBC, Disney would then receive five percent of ticket sales from the first day of release and benefit from the merchandising rights. With their negotiation sealed for five years, Sony would be profiting from the rest of the tickets sales made and still maintain the rights to the beloved character. 

The stakes might have been too high in the new deal Disney proposed for Sony to agree with. Since 1998, Sony has retained the film rights to Spider-Man and 900 other Marvel related characters, as long as they release a “Spider-Man” movie every five years and nine months. Sony might not have wanted to take that leap since Spider-Man is their biggest film property. Out of Sony’s six top highest-grossing domestic releases of all time, “Spider-Man” movies take up five of those slots.

With the second revival of this character, this time with Disney on board there is no doubt it has been a successful journey. Both solo films, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, amounted to approximately two billion dollars combined and counting. If neither company reaches an agreement concerning Spider-Man, they would both feel the effects of a loss. If Sony were to move onward and continue making Spider-Man movies with Tom Holland, Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios President) wouldn’t be involved with any further projects. The movies won’t be able to incorporate any more MCU characters, which supposedly means no appearances or references.

Sophomore Colin Webb would like to have Disney and Sony reach an agreement as he said, “They already built him into the universe and it would cost Sony more to work around what Disney has already built then to just agree to the deal. I wouldn’t go see another Sony version because I heavily dislike their previous attempts and there would definitely be something missing if the MCU wasn’t incorporated anymore.”

Disney most likely wanted to have a better deal to represent their contribution in the making of the movies and the revival’s success. Their brand plays a big factor in bringing in ticket sales, which helps benefit the profit exponentially. They have also significantly weaved him into their ever unfolding storylines in the MCU.

Sophomore Jacoba Babin said, “Honestly I would side with Disney to be able to still be involved with Spider-Man’s character because he belongs in the MCU, so I don’t necessarily agree with Sony not being able to compromise. They have other characters and productions that bring in revenue because they don’t just have Spider-Man.”

The fate of Spider-Man within the MCU is currently up in the air as Sony and Disney continue to negotiate.