Under the terms of this agreement, Sony would continue to pay for and have “final creative control” of any sort of future solo Spider-Man movies—but—Marvel Studios would produce the film and serve as “creative lead”. This meant Kevin Feige and his expert team would have the chance to shape the tone and style, pick the cast, and integrate the character into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Meanwhile, Sony could still develop spinoffs (hello, Venom, hello, Jared Leto-as-Morbius) and animated movies (i.e., Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). The decision was met with praise from both critics and fans, a shrewd business decision that benefitted all parties.
And it did. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s worldwide gross of $880.2 million outperformed all other Spider-Man movies (save for Spider-Man 3). Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Far From Home just crossed the billion dollar worldwide mark, making it the most successful Spider-Man movie ever. Director Jon Watts breathed new life into a character that had been rebooted a shocking three times in 15 years, while Tom Holland’s performance as the titular character gained tons of acclaim—and was the emotional center of Avengers: Infinity War’s most devastating scene. Everything seemed to be going well.
Which brings us to yesterday’s news. According the Deadline report, Disney and Sony haven’t been able to settle on an agreement—and it’s all come down to money. After the success of Far From Home, it’s said that Disney wants to change the terms of the financing agreement, opting for a 50/50 split. Sony and Disney would go splitsville on funds needed to make the film, as well as sharing the profits of the film 50/50. As it stands now, Marvels receives all profit from merchandise sold and (roughly) a 5% cut of the profits from the box office totals on the film’s first day of release. Sony, specifically senior management team executives Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, apparently countered that the deal should remain as is, but Disney didn’t want to play ball. There also, reportedly, seems to be some concerns over Feige’s current workload, not only overseeing Phase 4 and the various Disney+ series, but the overall inclusion of the recently acquired Fox properties (X-Men, Fantastic Four) into the MCU.