The announcement by Sony a few years ago that Spider-Man would be merging with the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe managed by Marvel Studios and Disney, thrilled fans. Most people were fairly disappointed with the most recent Spider-Man films produced by Sony itself, and many critics and fans felt that getting Marvel involved could only be a plus. Certainly, the trailers for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming look awesome. So it’s alarming to learn that Sony might pull Spider-Man from the MCU after a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming.
But as reported by Collider, there’s a good possibility that this exit from the MCU might be exactly what happens. Currently, the contract between Sony and Marvel seems to only take into account two movies focusing specifically on Spider-Man – i.e. Spider-Man: Homecoming and a sequel – and a few appearances by Spider-Man in various Marvel films. In addition to the appearance Spider-Man has already made in Captain America: Civil War, he can be safely expected to appear in the two upcoming Avengers films as well.
But according to Amy Pascal, a producer and former head of Sony, neither studio is under any obligation to maintain a connection between Spider-Man and the MCU after the aforementioned films have been produced.
“One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don’t have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact it may never happen again, after we do the sequel. Because Sony, and Disney, and Marvel all decided that the right thing to do was to allow Peter Parker and Spider-Man to be in the MCU and to work with the Marvel guys and have them produce this film.”
As Pascal further notes, the entire arrangement itself is highly unusual and certainly provided a number of benefits for Sony and the Spider-Man character.
“And I think that was a very rare thing for three companies to do, and a very brilliant thing for them to decide to do because there are only so many stories that you can tell again and again and again about Spidey, and this is something that we would have never been able to do in any other way. So it was a very selfless thing that very smart on the part of all the companies.”
Of course, these kinds of decisions ultimately come down to box office numbers and profit. If Sony Studios believes that it can make more money by keeping Spider-Man in the MCU, then that’s probably what they will do. If, conversely, they decide that the deal isn’t working out well enough for them, they’ll almost certainly decide not to renew it after the second collaborative Spider-Man film.
In fact, all of this talk of not renewing the arrangement placing Spider-Man in the MCU – and even Sony’s announcements of prospective Spider-Man spinoffs like Venom – could all be negotiating ploys on the studio’s part, designed to force Marvel to offer more favorable terms on any future contract.
And of course, the other problem for Sony – if it actually decided to move forward with removing Spider-Man from the MCU – is how they would go about explaining this inside their movie universe. After all, the trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming make it clear that Spider-Man not only interacts with Tony Stark/Iron Man, but that all of the other MCU heroes like Captain America exist as well.
Doing this might even necessitate yet another reboot of the character, which is something the audience probably wouldn’t tolerate given that we’ve already had three versions of him in the last two decades. Still, Sony has proven in recent years that it’s perfectly capable of making very bad decisions when it comes to Spider-Man.
[Featured Image by Sony]