Rumors Suggest Sony and Disney’s Marvel Partnership Will Continue
Since the beginning of the deal for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to share the Spider-Man IP going forward, there have been ups (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and downs (Venom, which is at least surprisingly watchable), but there has been the sinking feeling in the back of the minds of fans that it could all come crashing down. Worry not; our Spider-Senses are tingling on some new rumors, which indicate that the partnership is going forward well into the future.
DiscussingFilm has an update on the Sony Picture slate of Marvel movies that they’re developing independently of Marvel Studios, but before we get into that, we should take note of what they have to say on the status of partnership following Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is allegedly the final film on Tom Holland’s initial contract. It’s very much entwined with why the Venom movie had absolutely no references to Spider-Man in the film:
“Before delving into these films, I must first preface the giant elephant in the room; where is Spider-Man? In our interview with screenwriter Richard Wenk, he stated that his ‘Kraven’ film would present Kraven the Hunter pitted against Spider-Man and in our interview with screenwriter Jeff Pinker, he stated that it is not impossible that Spider-Man could appear in ‘Venom 2’. So does this mean the end of Marvel Studios and Sony’s partnership? Not at all, from my knowledge, there are plans to renew the contract once it expires. However, it is possible that Sony’s Spider-Man villains universe either begins to be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Sony decides to use their own Spider-Man in these films. It’s ambiguous currently where that ship will sail but it can be said that Marvel and Sony are currently pleased with the position Spider-Man is in following ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’.”
To explain in brief, the initial contract basically said that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was the only live-action that could exist until the terms of the contract expired. This meant that there could not be any reference to him in any of Sony’s Spider-Man-less Spider-Man spin-offs, which extended to the removal of the spider insignia on Venom’s chest. Note that I say “initial” here; when the time comes to renegotiate the contract, Sony will likely want Spider-Man in their spin-offs, since they explicitly have plans to have him in the Kraven movie, and they might have him in Venom 2 (though I doubt it). However, that Spider-Man is not likely to be Holland, but a new actor for Sony’s universe (while Holland continues his adventures in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and Sony are probably going to have to differentiate their version from Marvel’s.
I actually argued in favor of this approach, since even if it might be confusing to casual audiences that are used to seeing one ongoing live-action take on Spider-Man at a time, it would allow greater contractual freedom for Tom Holland, who would only need to worry about playing Spider-Man in MCU movies, and for whomever plays Spider-Man as the Nick Fury of Sony’s universe, since he would technically play a supporting character in that universe. If Sony want to flesh out their setting independently of the plans of Marvel Studios, then this is the best-case scenario. Sony’s biggest concern at this point would have to be worries about oversaturating the Spider-Man IP; while not every spin-off will need the Wall-Crawler in it to work (as Venom established), the same cannot be said for the planned Spider-Verse animated movies, or the Marvel Studios-produced Spider-Man standalones and guest appearances in movies starring other characters.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home will be released on July 5, 2019. Meanwhile, Sony’s Morbius and Venom 2 are slated to release on July 10, 2020 and October 2, 2020 respectively. Sony also has two animated projects (Spider-Verse 2 and Spider-Women) in development, but neither of the films have a release date in mind.
Grant Davis is a freelance writer who has covered entertainment news for more than four years. His articles have frequently appeared in Star Wars News Net as well as as other entertainment-related websites. As someone who grew up on Star Wars and comic book movies, he’s completely thrilled with the current era of genre entertainment.