One of our favorite childhood heroes, the friendly neighborhood avenger Spider-Man, has been the subject of a bitter corporate war between Sony — the owner of the character, and Disney-owned Marvel, where Spider-Man was effectively born.
Last month, the feud heated up when Sony revoked Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning that Tom Holland’s beloved portrayal of the masked hero would likely disappear. It was a heartbreaking piece of news for fans all over the world — but like every great story, it ultimately had a happy ending. On Friday, Variety reported that Sony and Disney announced that they had reached a deal, meaning Spidey wouldn’t be ripped from his MCU family.
"I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said in a statement. "Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
The news was celebrated by the cast of Spider-Man. Tom Holland posted a video of Leonardo DiCaprio yelling “I’m not fucking leaving!” on to his Instagram, while Zendaya posted a gif of Spider-Man doing a celebratory dance.
The initial disagreement between Sony and Disney was — of course —about money. Disney reportedly wanted to split the funding of the film 50/50, and earn a higher percentage of the film’s revenue, and Sony disagreed. But after negotiation (which seemed to include the public threat of fans losing Spider-Man from the MCU) Disney and Sony reached a new deal on Thursday, which has Disney earning 25% of income revenue.
"We have had a great collaboration over the last four years, and our mutual desire to continue was equal to that of the many fans,” Sony Pictures Entertainment's chief communications officer Robert Lawson also said in a statement. “We are delighted to be moving forward together.”
While it’s upsetting that two corporations can hold the fate of a beloved character in their hands, and leave millions of fans at their mercy, it is nice to hear that we will continue to get watch Tom Holland and Zendaya’s on-screen romance carry on. Mary-Jane and Peter Parker forever!