Is Tom Holland Still Spider-Man? MCU Role Uncertain After Marvel-Sony Split
Did Earth just lose another one of its favorite heroes?
Kevin Feige’s five-year plan for the MCU may have just been destroyed thanks to an ongoing disagreement between Disney and Sony about sharing the Spider-Man character. Deadline reported Tuesday afternoon that, “Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won’t produce any further Spider-Man films because of an inability by Disney and Sony Pictures to reach new terms that would have given the former a co-financing stake going forward.”
So … is Tom Holland still Spider-Man?
Update 1: Variety reports that the deal isn’t totally dead yet and an agreement between Marvel and Sony may still be reached. Hang tight. Original article continues below.
Update 2: In a series of tweets late on Tuesday night, Sony Pictures appeared to confirm the news of Spider-Man’s split from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pinning the blame on Disney and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision,” Sony wrote, adding, “We hope this might change in the future.” Marvel Studios/Disney have not yet released an official statement. The original article continues below.
Anyone who’s worried about what all of this means for the Spider-Man actor can breathe a sigh of relief. Holland will still reprise the role of Peter Parker and explore his flourishing romance with Zendaya’s MJ in perhaps two more superhero films — but he’ll seemingly do so outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Not only did the MCU just lose Iron Man and Captain America as part of Endgame, but it also just lost Spider-Man as well due to this contract dispute.
Holland’s version of the character should still appear on the big green, but all of his appearance won’t have Kevin Feige’s Midas touch as a Hollywood producer. Sony also won’t receive whatever additional support Disney may have provided during production on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home that helped make both solo Spidey films such a success. The impression all along was that Sony could do whatever it wanted with characters like Venom that the studio exclusively owned, but the agreement between Sony and Marvel Studios meant that Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel had last say in terms of the overarching plan involving Spider-Man.
Now, Sony is on its own, and the studio can forge its own way. How long can this last? How long will it last? Can it even be successful?
The Hollywood Reporter stated back in 2016 that Holland’s initial contract was for three solo movies and three Marvel projects total, meaning that as of this writing, his contract should only include one more solo film. However, Deadline’s latest report based on inside sources claims the plan is for two more solo Spider-Man movies with Holland as Peter Parker, both directed by Jon Watts.
This drastic change probably won’t impact Marvel’s Phase Four all that much when you recall that there are no team-up projects or Spider-Man films scheduled over the next few years. But it does mean that Spider-Man won’t be an Avenger any longer when the inevitable Phase Five and Avengers 5 become the focus of the MCU — unless somehow this agreement changes yet again.
Hopefully there were no secret cameos or post-credits scenes with Spidey planned because that is no longer as possibility.
On the plus side, this does mean that Holland’s Spidey can swing neatly over into Sony’s other Marvel properties. Spider-Man can fight Tom Hardy’s Venom and Jared Leto’s vampire in Morbius. There’s also Kraven the Hunter and another spin-off with the Silver Sable and Black Cat to look forward to. A Spider-Man cameo, crossover, or even just post-credits scenes in one or all of these projects is now a firm possibility.
There’s also the more obvious and enticing option of having Tom Holland voice a version of his character in an animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel. The timing of this news is also interesting in light of Monday’s news that Sony Entertainment purchased Insomniac Games, the video game studio behind the critically acclaimed Spider-Man game for the Sony PlayStation 4.
Mark this one as two steps forward for Sony as it tries to grow its flagship superhero franchise, but one step back for anyone who wants to see all Marvel Comics characters appear together in the same live-action movie.