Anthony Russo and Joe Russo on Sony’s Greatest Reservations Concerning Spider-Man

As is widely known, Sony owns the cinematic rights to Spider-Man’s intellectual property. Thus, both the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield-led franchises were Sony Marvel productions. However, when it came to bringing Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony and Disney struck a deal, allowing the character to, at last, play in the sandbox with his fellow supers.  

Tom Holland waves in front of Spider-Man poster
Tom Holland, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ press conference | Chung Sung-Jun / Staff

As GQ explains, Sony Pictures Chairman Thomas Rothman and former chairwoman Amy Pascal spearheaded the negotiation on Sony’s side, allowing Holland’s Spider-Man to exist in both the Sony and Marvel universes successfully. 

While discussing Spider-Man with GQ, Avengers: Endgame Directors Joe and Anthony Russo explained that it was quite the journey to get Holland to play the protagonist. While those on the Marvel team saw Holland and were ready to put him in the driver’s seat, Sony had a few reservations.

Sony had some reservations when it came to lending Spider-Man to Disney

Director Joe Russo explained that, though Sony negotiated to allow Spider-Man to exist under the Disney umbrella, the decision was not an easy one. Russo shared:

…They were reticent, nervous, about handing off something that could ultimately cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars down the line.

Joe Russo | GQ

RELATED: ‘Cherry’ Will Feature 6 Chapters, Each With Completely Different Tones and Production Designs, According to Joe Russo

Sony didn’t quite understand exactly what was going on with Spider-Man. Russo said: 

“Sony’s reservations were: ‘Are we loaning it? Or are we giving it to them to help us reinvent it in a way that adds value for us…”

Joe Russo | GQ

Anthony Russo thinks Tom Holland’s age played the greatest factor 

While handing over one of their most profitable IPs was likely the scariest decision Sony has ever agreed to, it wasn’t the only factor that made the studio a bit skeptical. Anthony Russo believes that Tom Holland was part of the problem, sharing:

“It was the first time Spider-Man had ever been cast as an actual teenager, right? Which was very important to us; there was a distinct nervousness of casting a kid…”

Anthony Russo | GQ

RELATED: Joe and Anthony Russo Explain Why the Avengers Lost in ‘Infinity War’

Though Peter Parker is often in high school in the movies, he is rarely a teenager in real-life. Tobey Maguire was 27 when his first Spider-Man movie premiered, and Andrew Garfield was also 27. On the other hand, the Russo Brothers aimed for accuracy; Holland first appeared as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War when he was 19.