Sony and Disney Strike a Deal with Spider-Man

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BY Trevor Monroe

Staff Reporter

After a couple months of conflict, Disney and Sony have come up with an agreement regarding the Spider-Man franchise.

The two companies have been in negotiations regarding the rights of Spider-Man and the character’s involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The conflict started when Disney wanted 50% of the box office sales for Spider-Man movies. At the time, their deal was 5% of box office sales.   

“Given the impressive way that they have developed the MCU mega-franchise, it’s certainly not surprising that they would use their leverage to get a bigger piece of the Spidey pie,” said Sarah Ross, Department Chair of Media & Theater Arts.

Disney currently owns the two franchises, Star Wars, and Marvel. Also, they have recently acquired Fox, which includes intellectual property such as X-Men and Deadpool.

Disney has received some criticism from students regarding the deal.

“I’m concerned they are becoming too powerful,” said freshman Luke Healy. “Creative freedom is going to be limited.”

Some fear that a monopoly on the film industry is looming. Sony has also received some criticism from fans bringing up the quality of their prior films.

“I have complicated feelings on Sony,” said Healy. “Their own Sony-Marvel universe seems to be very rushed.”

Sony’s track record with live-action Spider-Man films is lower than the Marvel/Sony combination, with “The Amazing Spider-Man” getting a 6.9 on IMDb while “Spider-Man: Homecoming” received a 7.4.

However, they have released an animated Spider-Man film called “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” which has an 8.4 on IMDb and won the best-animated feature film at the 2019 Academy Awards.

“I would like the new Spider-Man movies to have less of a focus on Iron Man,” said Healy. “The benefit of Sony owning Spider-Man would be that they would be able to focus on more Spider-Man-centric stories instead of Iron Man.”

Recently, the two companies have come to an agreement. Spider-Man is now scheduled to start production in one more movie that takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.   

“Marvel/Disney have a better recent track record with the character and have certainly made it integral to the Avengers storyline, so I think most fans are relieved that they were able to make a deal,” said Ross.

Many students are pleased to hear the news about Spider-Man remaining with Marvel.

“Personally, I’m very happy that he gets to stay in the MCU,” said junior Daniel Valencia.

Tom Holland, the actor that currently plays Spider-Man, stayed quiet during a majority of the conflict, only bringing his head up during the D23 Expo back in August.

According to Associated Press, “He did not address Spider-Man specifically but told the audience that it’s been a crazy week and cryptically quoting Tony Stark in ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ added: ‘I love you 3000.’ ”

Holland has been a part of the MCU since 2016, with his introduction into the franchise in “Captain America: Civil War.” He has played the part of Spider-Man for the entirety of the MCU. His first dedicated Spider-Man film was “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which was released in 2017.

“We have had a great collaboration over the last four years, and our mutual desire to continue was equal to that of the many fans. We are delighted to be moving forward together,” Sony Pictures’ official Twitter account tweeted, quoting the Chief of Communications Officer Robert Lawson.

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