Within the last few weeks, avid comic book fans, for the most part, have been extremely concerned for the future of the much-beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as well as their “friendly neighbourhood” Spider-Man.
After Sony Pictures‘ temporary deal with Disney came to a sudden halt late last month, the web-slinging superhero was stripped away from Marvel and their continuously expanding and in-depth onscreen universe.
Though Spider-Man fanatics across the globe remained hopeful that the film industry giants would sign another deal together, it seems money got in the way, and no deal was signed.
Those fans may have more reason to be upset now too, as on Thursday afternoon, Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra told Variety that “for the moment, the door is closed” between Sony and Disney.
This re-iterated the likelihood that Tom Holland, who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man, may not be returning for any more Marvel films. At least for now.
That’s not to say that the popular actor will not be returning as Spider-Man at all though. He may still have some onscreen opportunities with Sony if they decide to keep him for the role based off of one of Vinciquerra’s additionally cryptic comments.
“It’s a long life,” he said, before detailing some vague future Spider-Man plans.
Though another Sony-based Spider-Man trilogy is seemingly not what (most of) the fans want, that’s likely to be the situation if no deal can be agreed upon.
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As a result of the seemingly withering relationship, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, would have to step down as Spider-Man’s lead producer — the role he played on both previous standalone films.
During the interview, Vinciquerra, 65, used Disney’s recent film and television announcements — which included the highly-anticipated MCU “Phase 4” lineup — as a reason to suggest that Feige, 46, was too busy to be working on Spider-Man films.
The words he used on Feige were that he was “stretched incredibly thin” by the latest MCU additions.
Having already cemented the teenage hero as a key character in Marvel’s upcoming phase, the sole possibility of a Spider-Man-free MCU continues to shock and anger passionate fans across the world.
Here’s what some of those disappointed fans had to say on Twitter:
Though the companies’ financial disagreements resulted in the end of a highly-successful partnership, Vinciquerra insisted that there was “no ill will” between the studios.
“We had a great run with (Feige) on the Spider-Man movies,” said the CEO. “(and) we tried to see if there’s a way to work it out…”
“The Marvel people are terrific people, we have great respect for them,” he continued, “but on the other hand, we have some pretty terrific people of our own. Kevin didn’t do all the work.”
“Spider-Man was fine before the event movies, did better with the event movies, and now that we have our own universe,” added Vinciquerra. “He will play off the other characters as well.”
“I think we’re pretty capable of doing what we have to do here,” he concluded after claiming Sony is “not for sale.”
Amid the intense wave of negativity across social media, director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King) — who starred alongside Holland in both MCU-canon Spider-Man films, seemed positive about the current situation between the studios.
The lack of a deal was “not for lack of trying,” he said. “I’ve been talking to everybody about it (and) I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said.
“I think it’s a long way away,” admitted the 52-year-old, “and I think the collaboration has been really strong up to this point, so I’m hopeful that there’s away for us all to play together going forward,” he concluded.
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The end of Sony and Disney’s short-lived partnership followed the massively successful release of the second Disney/Sony Spider-Man film, Far From Home, which came out in early July.
The film pulled in more than US$1.109 billion from the worldwide box office earlier this month, surpassing the previous record-holder, Skyfall (2012). These numbers officially made Spider-Man: Far From Home Sony’s highest-grossing film to date, as confirmed by the studio.
It was directed by Jon Watts — who also directed Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017). He was initially set to come back for at least two more standalone Spider-Man films, but the future of these films now seems unlikely — at least for now.
The premise of the blockbuster hit follows the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame in which Tony Stark/Iron Man (portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) dies, leaving Peter Parker with a vital piece of Stark Industries technology and thoughts of having to become one of the new leaders of the Avengers.
Ultimately, this made him one of the MCU’s most important characters.
At the end of the film, in the post-credit scenes, fans were left with a suspenseful cliffhanger that potentially alluded to the once-upcoming Spider-Man films.
Global News has reached out to a Sony representative seeking further clarification. A representative of Disney declined to comment.
WATCH: What Canadians can expect from Disney+
Disney+, Disney’s very own streaming platform, launches on Nov. 12 in North America and will feature all MCU-related TV series and films. It will also serve as the hub for the upcoming Phase 4 series, including Loki and Hawkeye.
Details on Disney+ can be found through the official website.