Swinging into Tragedy? Reports and Reaction to Spider-Man’s Sticky Departure from the MCU

By: Sydney Phillips and Marissa Yelenik

Staff Writers

This year, there have been many surprises involving Marvel. With the announcement of Phase 4, many questions regarding Spider-Man and his future involvement in Marvel movies have surfaced. On August 20th, 2019, Sony announced that the character Spider-Man would be leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), causing an Internet uproar. 

In 1999, Marvel licensed the rights of Spider-Man to Sony Pictures Entertainment. Under Sony, three Spider-Man movies were made with actor Tobey McGuire, and two were made with actor Andrew Garfield. On May 6th, 2016, the Marvel movie Civil War was released, introducing Tom Holland to the world, playing the role of Spider-Man. This was Holland’s introduction to the MCU and its storyline. 

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Photo Credit Courtesy of The Wrap

The MCU is a deeply intertwined narrative. Its storylines all fit together in such a way that fans are able to watch and speculate for years, well into adulthood. People become extremely attached to each character, and become intensely argumentative when anything is said against their favorites. Ever since the news of Spider-Man leaving the MCU was released, this became especially apparent. Tons of people were shocked to find out that their favorite character would be leaving the MCU storyline, especially junior Kendal George who shared “I’m very sad. When I first figured out about it I was like, really shocked, because I just started following the MCU, and he started becoming my favorite character.” 

There have been many rumors regarding the deal between Marvel and Sony. In the beginning, it was reported that Disney asked for a 50/50 split in profits from Spider-Man. There were different responses to this news; some people believed that Disney was being unfair and that this new development was unnecessary, especially with all of the different networks that they own, and the fact that they receive the merchandise profits from the character. Others felt like Sony was not being fair with the negotiations, and thought that it was ridiculous for them to pull Spider-Man out of the MCU, like junior Katie Mason who said that “no matter what, Sony is going to keep making the same amount of money, and they would make more money together if Spider-Man is still in the MCU.”

Recently, however, it was announced that Disney did not ask for 50/50 in the negotiations, they had asked for 25/75, which is what freshman Ethan Feldsher suggested. “I think it would be worth it for Marvel to negotiate a 25/75 split, or something like that.” There is supposedly a new deal that is being discussed where Marvel will get 30 percent from movies, and Venom will also be introduced into the MCU, but as of right now, it is only a rumor.  

Many people are upset with the news of Spider-Man’s departure from the MCU mainly because of how it might affect his story. Before the announcement of Spider-Man’s departure, it was rumored that Marvel had plans to make him the face of the MCU, after the introduction of the Multiverse, and what its role would be playing in the upcoming movies. Fans feel that Sony will not do Spider-Man justice, especially since The Amazing Spider-Man movies with Andrew Garfield did not do too well in the box office, the first one earning $757 million, compared to Spider-Man: Homecoming’s $880.2 million. With the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home this summer, many things have been revealed for Holland’s character that may be difficult for Sony to reciprocate and continue the story. Junior Kendal George agreed that “it kind of messes up the timeline, especially with the last movie.” 

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker struggles with how his life changed after the ‘blip’. From dealing with the loss of his father figure Tony Stark, to navigating his high school and superhero life, everyone was wondering who the next Iron Man would be. Conflict arises when Mysterio, who was someone Peter thought he could trust, is actually against him, and at the end, Peter’s identity is revealed as Spider-Man. This was a big revelation that shocked many fans, and now they are wondering if that story will continue with Sony’s Spider-Man movies. 

As of September 18th, 2019, the Spider-Man deal is reportedly on hold after a lot of back and forth, due to the rumor that the companies Apple and Amazon are interested in buying out Sony. The reason why the companies are interested in purchasing Sony is because of the streaming sites that they have been/are working on, and they do not have their own distribution model or theatrical production. It has been mentioned that if a company buys out Sony, then the rights to Spider-Man will go back to Marvel. For now, fans are awaiting an update on the deal, but all they are doing now is hoping that he will be placed back in the MCU. 

 

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