UPDATED 8/21, 9:30 a.m. ET: Following reports that surfaced on Tuesday, Sony Pictures released a statement on Twitter confirming Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won't be involved in the Spider-Man franchise going forward. "Much of today's news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige's involvement in the franchise," the company said on Twitter.
"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," the statement continued. "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 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."
The tone of the statement would indicate Sony would be open to collaborations with Marvel in the future, but as of right now the next Spidey film will almost certainly be a solo affair unless a big change happens. As Deadline reports, sources insist Peter Parker's exit from the MCU is money-related, while the Sony statement implies Feige is too busy working on Disney's newfound Marvel properties, which include the X-Men.
One major figure in the MCU took to Instagram to express his disappointment in the move.
Ryan Reynolds meanwhile, was asked to save Spider-Man.
Complex's own Frazier and Chopz deduced that the falling out will be bad for everyone involved, and that includes audiences.
See original story below.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has reportedly lost a major franchise.
According to Deadline, Sony has killed its Spider-Man deal with Marvel Studios, effectively ending president Kevin Feige's involvement with two planned webslinger films.
"Sources said there are two more Spider-Man films in the works that are meant to have director Jon Watts and Tom Holland front and center," Deadline wrote. "Unless something dramatic happens, Feige won’t be the lead creative producer of those pictures."
The partnership reportedly ended following a dispute between Sony and Marvel Studio's parent company, Disney. Insiders claim the studios failed to reach an agreement on Disney's stake in the upcoming Spider-Man films. Disney reportedly wanted a 50/50 co-financing deal that could've expanded to other projects within the Spider-Man universe. Sony is said to have rejected that deal without offering a counter, and was set on continuing their licensing agreement in which "Marvel receives in the range of 5 percent of first dollar gross."
Before Marvel Comics had established its own movie studio, it had sold the licensing rights to some of its most popular characters. For example: Fox got X-Men and the Fantastic Four, while Sony got Peter Parker. But rather than give Marvel back the rights, the studios inked a deal that allowed Disney to feature the Spider-Man character within MCU motion pictures, while Sony would finance all standalone Spider-Man films ... and reap the box office profits. (It's important to note that Marvel still retains merchandising rights over Spider-Man, meaning it still makes bank off Spider-Man-branded products, like apparel and toys.)
Unsurprisingly, many Spider-Man fans weren't pleased to hear about Sony and Disney's split, as some credited the latter for the reboot's record-breaking success. The last installment, Spider-Man: Far From Home, has earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office; it's predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming, has grossed nearly $900 million worldwide. Both films were co-produced by Feige.
But insiders claim Sony isn't too worried about the loss: "Sources said that Sony reasoned that they will be fine, without Feige," Deadline reported. "The creative template has been set on the Spider-Man films, and Watt and Holland are in place along with Amy Pascal, who became producer with Feige after she exited the executive suite after presiding over the previous Spider-man iterations directed by Sam Raimi and Marc Webb as Sony Pictures chief."
While Deadline reports that the deal between the two studios is pretty much done, Erik Davis of Fandango took to Twitter to say that "Negotiations are ongoing and nothing is finalized."
As an update, multiple sources are confirming that talk of Sony and Disney parting ways on Spider-Man is premature. Negotiations are ongoing and nothing is finalized. Still holding out hope for that Spider-Man/Fantastic Four movie! pic.twitter.com/iBEZdSk6sl— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) August 20, 2019
io9 also reported "a Sony rep" as saying their "belief" is that "negotiations are ongoing."
Update: A Sony rep told us it’s their belief this dispute is simply over a producer credit and negotiations are ongoing. They further clarified Feige has contributed to other Spider-centric movies that he did not receive a producer credit on. https://t.co/IwwnqBOJ7S— io9 (@io9) August 20, 2019
Check out some reactions to the news below.
Sony announcing the news that they’re pulling Spider-Man out of MCU— look @ pinned post (@hendrsnttr) August 20, 2019
The studios have yet to comment on the news.