The daughter of comic book legend Stan Lee is taking aim at Disney and Marvel amid the companies’ ongoing battle with Sony over the legacy of one of Lee’s best-known creations, saying the companies never cared about her father.
Disney recently reached an impasse with Sony over the future of Spider-Man films, spilling out into a very public rift that has comic book fans backing Disney and taking aim at Sony. But the daughter of Stan Lee, the man who helped to create Spider-Man and a number of other notable comic book characters, is backing Sony and blasting Disney and Marvel for what she said was substandard treatment of her father.
In a statement issued to TMZ, Joan Lee said that Marvel and Disney need to be “checked and balanced” as they sought to share control over the Spider-Man character with Sony. Though Disney and Marvel made billions of dollars from Stan Lee’s creations, Joan said the companies did not treat her father well.
“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me,” Lee said. “From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”
Disney and Sony had been negotiating to keep Spider-Man within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but those talks recently fell through. As CNBC reported, Sony had reached a 2015 deal with Disney, the parent company of Marvel, that allowed Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Under the deal, Sony allowed Marvel to integrate Spider-Man into its series of comic book movies. Disney covered all of the production costs and was entitled to 5 percent of the ticket sales from the first day of release.
This led to a new series of Spider-Man movies with actor Tom Holland in the lead role, including this summer’s blockbusters Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. The plan to continue on with new Spider-Man films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe now appears to be dead as the comic book superhero moves back into sole control of Sony.
Many fans have rallied behind Disney and Marvel and imagined that Stan Lee would support the character staying within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Joan Lee said that her father’s characters and his legacy “deserves multiple points of view.” Sony has owned the copyright to Spider-Man for the last 20 years, CNBC noted.