Sony Pictures announced on Friday that Spider-Man would stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige would coproduce the third “Spider-Man” movie in the MCU.
Sony didn’t disclose terms of the new deal. The announcement said that Spider-Man would also appear in “a future Marvel Studios film” and that Tom Holland would return to the role.
The news is a dramatic reversal for Sony and Disney, which had previously failed to reach a deal over the character’s future in the MCU.
Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man and over 900 related Marvel characters and can keep them as long as it releases a SpiderMan movie every five years. But in 2015, the studio reached a deal with Disney’s Marvel Studios for the character to appear in MCU movies while Sony co-produced and retained distribution rights.
Deadline reported in August that Disney wanted a 50/50 co-financing stake in future “Spider-Man” movies and that Sony didn’t budge on its existing deal, in which Disney received up to 5% first-dollar gross and all merchandising revenue. A source familiar with the negotiations confirmed the Deadline report to Business Insider.
Sony released the statement after the report blaming Disney and saying Feige was too busy with the Marvel characters that Disney acquired in the Fox merger to focus on Spider-Man.
These characters would be the X-Men and the Fantastic Four.
“We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own,” Sony said at the time. “Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
The third SpiderMan movie in the MCU is scheduled for release on July 16, 2021.
“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” Feige said in a statement on Friday. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”