We’re back with yet another instalment of Respawning’s Let’s Talk series, where every Friday we get every one of our charismatic writers together to discuss a new topic! This week it feels like the entire world is talking about Spider-Man so we thought we’d join in. With Disney and Sony failing to come to a deal, it’s looking like the webslinger may no longer have a home in the MCU. But who’s to blame? Disney? Sony? Or does the blame lie elsewhere? Sit tight as we point the finger and discuss who is to blame for the potential MCU exit of Spider-Man.

No matter who is to blame, I’m not happy. How can they give us the best version of Spider-Man we have ever seen on the big screen just to rip him away again because Sony got a sniff of the big bucks.. maybe that last sentence hints at who I believe is to blame here. Being an out and out PlayStation fanboy (make sure to check out the PS Pod), I’m usually a stern supporter of Sony but this has left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I know it’s Disney who have made all the big demands and according to Sony, are the ones who have chosen to back out of the deal but let’s look at why..

It all comes down to Disney wanting a 50/50 split going forward. Given my earlier statement about this being the best live action version of Spidey we’ve ever had plus it being the first ever Sony movie to break a billion, I think it’s only fair that Disney ask for equal rights to the character. Good luck without Kevin Feige and Marvel going forward Sony, cant wait to see Uncle Ben die for the fourth time. For more on my Sony/Disney Spider-Man thoughts, make sure to check out my article from earlier in the week.

So Marvel lost custody of Spider-Man again or something and now we don’t know what’s going on. Well, at least, I don’t know what’s going on but I really don’t care. My only hypothesis is that Sony got a little too big for their own pants after Spider-Verse and wanna do it all over again.

I don’t care much about superhero movies to keep track of them anymore but if Sony makes another live action reboot to Spider-Man I’m going to cry. But till then I’ll watch this shit show unfold from afar.

I don’t have much worth saying on this. I mean the whole thing has been pretty boring to me. Let’s face it, everything will be resolved and Spidey will keep swinging his way through the MCU like nothing ever happened. The only bit I’m having a hard time getting my little walnut around is the heat thrown at Sony alone. Come on, sure they come off as the bad guys but it’s a safe bet that it’s not ALL Sony’s fault. Disney’s offer clearly didn’t work for them. Disney started this really and Sony (as a massive company in its own right) has to try to get the best deal for themselves. Can’t blame them for that. I guess though it’s easier for some people to blame them than it is the blame the lovely folks at Disney. They made Bambi remember? They can’t be evil… Right??? Oh wait there’s all that stuff about them dominating the entertainment industry and buying out all possible competition. They only win all the time because they have no one left to outshine them! That’s like going to the track and betting on every horse. Yeah you’ve won…but not really. 

There’s a lot of heat on Sony for this, and ultimately, it is Disney’s fault this is an issue, but Sony would never have had access to Spiderman in the first place if it weren’t for the Marvel of yesteryear. Back in the 80’s, Marvel was looking to get their characters on the big screen. Inspired by the success of DC’s Superman films, the comics giant shopped around – only to find that interest in superheroes was lukewarm due to those very same films. They did eventually get the interest of several studios, though; New World Pictures for the Punisher property, and Cannon Films for the Spiderman one.

Whilst The Punisher did eventually release, Spiderman did not – Cannon reportedly spent over $2 Million on multiple scripts before deciding to just sit on the rights. Said rights were transferred to Pathe Communications when they bought Cannon, and again transferred to 21st Century Film Corp when they purchased the company. 21st Century Film then proceeded to distribute the broadcast rights for the still non-existent film property to multiple companies: Viacom for TV Broadcasts, Columbia Studios for VHS releases, etc.

21st Century Film Corp went bankrupt, spilling the rights of the Spiderman film everywhere. Eventually, by the late 90’s, the majority of the rights ended up in Columbia’s hands. And Columbia was bought by Sony, leading to the creation of the first Spiderman film almost twenty years after it was first suggested.

Now, you may be cursing 21st Century Films for the fiasco we’re now in – almost 40 years after things all started – but that’s not entirely fair. You see, Marvel did indeed get the film rights back, briefly, in the late 90’s: They sold them to Columbia. And that may be bewildering, considering what the property just went through, but it makes sense if you consider the time.

You see, in the mid-90’s, Marvel went bankrupt. The hole had fallen out the bottom of the comics industry, due to the increasing loss of comic shops, space in corner stores, and oversaturation of collectable editions. Marvel was barely salvaged by an Israeli toy tycoon, Isaac Perlmutter, who saw potential in the merchandising, and as such every other aspect of the company that wasn’t making comics or toys was thus expendable in order to help get Marvel back on its feet. This lead to Marvel selling off things like film rights for whoever they could – Fox got the X-Men, Paramount got the Hulk, and Columbia – Sony – got Spiderman.

Sony only returned Spiderman to Marvel’s hands because they had lost faith in their ability to handle the property – after Spiderman 2, they were uncertain of their direction. They came to understand that Marvel knew him better, and came to trust in Marvel Studios – and by extension, producer Kevin Feige – in how they handled Spidey. So it’s understandable, if very unfortunate, that Sony would not accept others creating Spiderman films. Hopefully it’s a situation that can resolve, because man, Spidey has been through a lot the past four decades, and he needs to be able to just be himself on the big screen.

Sony recently got mass amounts of praise for purchasing Insomniac, a studio that’s extremely close to my heart having developed both Ratchet & Clank and arguably the best superhero game of all time, Spider-Man.

…Sony then proceeded to take that praise pointed towards ‘buying the Spider-Man devs’ and dunk-slammed it in the trash by ripping Spidey straight out the MCU.

…Do I even need to explain? As Chris notes above, Spidey only returned to Marvel because Sony was uncertain that they could make it work… Now that Tom Holland arguably encapsulates Spiderman to a T, they feel they can just pluck him out and write the same quality of movies?

Ged’oudda ‘ere Sony you buffoons.

No more MCU Spiderman? So um, this is apparently a thing. I haven’t kept up to date with the ongoing Marvel movies lately, so I don’t really know what to say, other than, damn it? I mean I’m not surprised, Spiderman seems to be a property that’s passed around like a game of hot potato.

I’m sure this isn’t the last time we will see a live action Spiderman movie, perhaps we’ll see more of the spider verse going forward. I mean, they can’t just, not make another Spiderman movie ever again. Right?

Spider-Man

Sony should be feeling pretty shitty right now, as they are who are being blamed for this disappointing turn of events for Spiderman in the news this week. I really liked Spiderman’s appearances in the MCU but Far From Home didn’t really do anything for me. It was in no way a bad film, but served to highlight the most safe and basic paint by numbers formula Marvel want for one of their films. It took no risks and pushed no boundaries, but J.K Simmons’ appearance in the mid-credits scene was solely responsible for me raising my score of the film to a 7 from a 6 out of 10.

With the departure of Iron Man and Captain America in Endgame, combined with the plethora of new characters being added for Phase 4, what’s one more hero to add to the discarded pile.

I remain hopeful that Sony sort their shit out, as Tom Holland is definitely the best Spiderman / Peter Parker actor we have had, and I find it doubtful that Sony will dare try to reboot Spids yet again with a new lead.

Spiderman leaving the MCU has hit pretty hard amongst the fandom. I’m personally gutted – I feel like it’s such a shame Marvel, Disney and Sony couldn’t reach a deal. As Stan Lee’s daughter speaks out about how nobody from Marvel or Disney reached out with condolances after his passing, Spiderman’s future is in question.

Stan’s boy is left drifting. It’s such a shame because the amazing relationship Peter Parker built with Tony Stark and the potential to be the next Iron Man looms over our heads after Far from Home, all of that is about to go up in flames. Personally I’m sick of the greed shown by big companies like Disney and Sony, and thoroughly think that the 50/50 deal was resonable… But who am I to talk?

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