When Sony and Disney came to an agreement this past September on jointly handling Spider-Man for the foreseeable future, their deal felt very much like both sides were merely putting a band-aid on their problem.
Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige will return as a producer for the third film in the Spider-Man: Homecoming series, which is scheduled for a July 16, 2021 release, and Spidey will reportedly appear in, at least, one more MCU film. What does the future hold for the Web-Slinger beyond that is anyone's guess.
With the keys to the Spider-Man franchise in his hands, Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman seemed more than pleased with the idea of keeping Disney along for the ride. "I hope so," Rothman said at the 16:38 mark of The Hollywood Reporter's studio executives roundtable. "I think this was a classic win-win-win. I think it was a win for Sony. I think it was a win for Disney. And I think it was a win for fans and moviegoers."
Rothman suggested that the immediacy of news outlets reporting their breakdown in talks created an unnecessary narrative since he believes both sides would've eventually found a middle ground. "The only thing I would say about that is that news cycles and the rhythm of negotiations do not necessarily overlap," he said. "I think we would have gotten there, and the news got ahead of some things."
"I think it's an example of the kind of terrific collegiality that you see around this table, and that we had," Rothman continued. "We had two films in four years of a terrific relationship with Disney, and an excellent creative partnership, and I could just say that we're very excited."
For Rothman to speak so glowingly and fondly of his partnership with Disney and Marvel, it gives a clear impression of where their partnership currently stands. Sony is well aware that they own the film rights to Spider-Man and according to Business Insider, they can continue to do so as long as a new movie is released every five years and nine months.
Just two years ago, Sony proved that they can successfully release Spidey projects with Into the Spider-Verse, which grossed $375 million worldwide. Still, the studio wants Disney by their side, and it speaks to another important aspect, the fan base, that Disney chief creative officer Alan Horn touched upon. "They like the fact that the MCU and Kevin Feige were involved," he said. "And we heard feedback out there that suggested joining forces once again was probably a really good idea."