Why Marvel Fans Are Nervous About Spider-Man Staying in the MCU

Marvel/Spider-Man fans are nothing if not optimistic. Despite all indications that the schism between Marvel and Disney was permanent and Spider-Man is truly out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they clung to hope that the story is not over. 

And, they turned out to be right. Ever since the news first broke that Sony and Marvel could not agree on terms to continue their deal, it felt to some people like a negotiating ploy being played out in public. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the two companies — Sony Pictures and Marvel — announced Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige will produce the third Spider-Man film.

What happened between Sony and Disney?

A Spider-Man figure is pictured during the Comic Con Portugal 2019.
A Spider-Man figure is pictured during the Comic Con Portugal 2019. | Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Here’s a quick recap: Before Disney owned Marvel, Marvel sold the movie rights to Spider-Man to Sony/Columbia Pictures. They made three very successful Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, and together they made more than $1 billion at the box office adjusted for inflation. Say what you want about Spider-Man 3, but financially it was a huge hit. 

Then, the franchise started to falter. By many accounts, Sony unwisely rebooted, releasing two Amazing Spider-Man movies starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in 2012 and 2014.  Those made money as well — more than $460 million together non-adjusted — but the general consensus seemed to be that Sony lost the plot.

By this point, Disney bought Marvel and the MCU was going strong. But Sony still had the rights to the Spider-Man movies. Since Disney was doing so well and Spider-Man was Sony’s most valuable property, Sony and Disney worked out a deal to share the character. As per the deal, Spider-Man appeared in three Marvel movies and Sony produced Homecoming and Far From Home with Tom Holland. They all made loads of money and everyone was thrilled. 

Until it came time to renew the deal. To recap, Disney basically said “We want lots more money” and Sony said “You already own half the entertainment world and you can’t extort us. Bye, Felicia!!” Or something to that effect.

Did Disney and Sony make up?

Sony and Marvel Studios released a joint statement announcing that Marvel Studios and Feige, president of Marvel Studios, will be producing the third installment of the Spider-Man: Homecoming franchise. Tom Holland, who is currently portraying Spider-Man in the Homecoming series and in the Avengers series, will reprise his role as the superhero.

“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. “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.”

What fans are saying? 

When it was reported that Disney and Sony were not seeing eye to eye, Marvel fans on Reddit were skeptical.

One said: “I don’t think the door is closed, I believe it’s all negotiation tactics. I’m sure there’s a plethora of factors fans don’t consider in regards to how these deals are made. It’s a massive billion dollar deal, I’m sure it takes months to figure out. I’ll believe it’s over when … a completely Sony produced movie is in production”

Now that the two companies have come to an agreement, fans are taking to social media to share their thoughts. Some fans are downright excited. One took to Twitter to say: “Spider-Man back in the MCU. All balance is restored and I can stop wearing black forces.”

Other fans aren’t so thrilled. One Twitter user wrote: “Spider-Man 3 already exists and it’s a masterpiece.” Another shared their two cents: “Sony made the best Spider-Man movies, the best Spider-Man animation movie and the best Spider-Man game. Marvel sucks so no.. better be on Sony’s side.”

Fans appear to be discontent with Disney playing hard to get. A Spider-Man fan wrote: “I’d hate to even say this. But Sony, being the lesser of two evils, treated Spider-Man better.”

And some fans are even side-eyeing Disney, wondering which company caved. One user tweeted: “So Sony and Disney are back on the Spider-Man train. Conveniently the new agreement hasn’t been disclosed, so I’d bet anything that Disney’s bullying tactics worked and Sony gave into their money grubbing threats.”