Inside the Spider-Man Split: Finger-Pointing and Executive Endgames

Variety | 8/22/2019 | Matt Donnelly
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Spider-Man’s neighborhood has been decidedly unfriendly this week. A private and contentious battle over the onscreen future of the beloved Marvel superhero has spilled out into the public square over the past few days. After making nice for two wildly successful films, Sony Pictures, which holds the licensing rights to the Marvel character, has decided to go it alone. As every fanboy and girl out there now knows, it will no longer partner with the Disney-owned Marvel Studios on producing sequels.

Fallout from the creative divorce has revealed a callous truth about Hollywood’s obsession with the bottom line: Studios don’t like to cut big checks, particularly when the recipient is a rival studio.

Wednesday - Sony - Reports - Deal - Company

On Wednesday, Sony confirmed reports that the producing deal between the company and Disney employee and Marvel chief Kevin Feige would end. That leaves the franchise without Feige’s guidance and effectively removes Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Feige’s team had been credited with giving the character a lighter touch that blended wisecracks and teen angst in a way that was truer to the original comics.

Less than 24 hours after Sony’s Tuesday announcement that the latest standalone Spider-Man film, “Far From Home,” had become the highest-grossing film in the studio’s 90-year history, news broke that the collaboration was over. The reports were conveniently timed.

Sony - Negotiations - Feige - Fold - Producer

Sony had been in negotiations to keep Feige in the fold as a consulting producer, but Disney — who just this year swallowed 20th Century Fox and all of its Marvel characters with it — left the table after Sony refused to increase its share of the profits. Some reports said that Disney was looking to essentially become a 50/50 partner in the series. Another insider close to the deal said negotiations came up for renewal as long as six months ago, and Sony did not...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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