What’s interesting here is the amount of hubris from both parties involved. Sony seems content in thinking they’re capable of doing it themselves, getting high on their success of both Venom and Into the Spider-Verse. It’s speculated the studio still has deals with Tom Holland and Jon Watts, and producer Amy Pascal, so a lot of the core talent would still be in place, even without Feige. However, as Deadline is quick to note, Feige is on an absolutely unprecedented run right now. Over the last decade, he’s overseen 23 different movies, all without a single L: Every single Marvel Studios film has opened in first place at the box office, their total combined profit is close to $27 billion dollars (nearly $2 billion of which comes from both these MCU Spider-Man films), and he produced what is now the highest-grossing film in box office history in Avengers: Endgame. There’s no comparison for that right now. It is a Herculean feat, the likes of which we may never see again. And it would absolutely benefit Sony to continue a relationship with someone who has such a deep understanding of what makes each of these characters work. A MCU without Spider-Man, a character that’s been so pivotal and integral over the last few years seems like a pretty bleak situation, especially after getting two truly great movies in a row. Hell, the entire emotional core of Far From Home doesn’t exist without Peter’s compelling relationship with Tony Stark. Furthermore, the ending of that movie launched a new and legitimately exciting future for the character, one that would be great to see come to full fruition under Feige’s tenure.
The Variety piece seems a little more optimistic about the chances of negotiations resuming, while Sony attempted to downplay any reports of animosity in a tweet thread late last night. Conspiracy theorists seem to think this news was floated to outlets in an attempt to garner public’s ire and bring the two parties to an agreement. Regardless of how this plays out, it’s not an understatement to say this feels like a real turning point in the history of Marvel Studios. Are we about to see an Icarus moment? Time will tell.
One parting thought: If Sony does decide they want to try and make it on their own, I’m pretty sure they could call some guys who helped make a really damn good Spider-Man movie last year to help them out. A live action movie with the creative prowess of Into the Spider-Verse? I would like to see it.