Welcome to Breaking Geek, a column that just won’t go away, where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week (or whatever he feels like), using his expansive knowledge of all things geek! Today I have collaborated with LRM’s Seth McDonald to cover the very real possibility that Sony will take Spider-Man back after Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The success of Venom leaves Sony with two options, that the studio has likely been counting on since they first made the deal with Marvel Studios to share Spider-Man, now that they have a profitable “Universe.” Last week on Breaking Geek, I discussed how Sony’s Plan B was likely using leverage from the film to insert their version of Venom into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which could NEVER actually happen!
What do we assume is Plan A, do you ask?
Well… do you really want to know?
Because you see, now that Sony has a “Universe” or playground to incorporate a character they still own into, I think the friendly days between Marvel Studios and Sony are about to come to an end.
Don’t pretend like you all haven’t had the thought pop into your heads, especially now that Venom isn’t universally hated by fans and has actually made Sony money. With the door left open for a Venom sequel, a Silver Sable film, a Black Cat film, as well as Morbius The Living Vampire, there’ only one thing missing…
Spider-Man. Specifically, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Seth breaks down the deal between Sony and Marvel Studios expertly:
For those that are unaware, let’s go ahead and break down the basic premise of the deal before diving into speculation:
- Marvel has the right to use Spider-Man in five films total. Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, the still-untitled Avengers 4, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- Marvel paid nothing to Sony for the use of Spider-Man in the MCU films he has appeared in.
- Marvel receives no money from the Spider-Man solo films (Homecoming and Far From Home)
- Sony receives all profits from the Spider-Man solo films, and none of the profits from any other MCU films that Spider-Man appears in.
- Sony receives no money from Marvel for the use of Spider-Man
How Sony “Played” Marvel
So, now the original deal is almost up, with Spider-Man: Far From Home coming out July 2019. Will Spider-Man stay in the MCU? Or will Sony reclaim “their” character, including likely keeping Tom Holland in the spandex, building off all the goodwill Marvel Studios instilled in this version of the character?
First, just know that this isn’t some wild conspiracy theory brought on by fans. Amy Pascal has been quoted as saying, “One of the things that I think is so amazing about this experience is that you don’t have studios deciding to work together to make a film very often. In fact, it may never happen again—after we do the sequel.” While Pascal has sort of stepped back on that quote, it does appear that Sony has considered pushing Marvel out of the deal.
After all, Marvel Studios has given them what they really want, a rebranded Spider-Man that has us all but forgetting the disastrous Amazing Spider-Man films, Sony’s last attempt at a SpiderVerse (not to be confused with their other current animated Spider-Man in the film titled “Into the Spider-Verse.”).
Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a sort of Batman and Robin, seeming to be the final nail in the coffin for a character who was once incredibly bankable and well-loved, but now a tarnished franchise and character. If Sony wanted to make money off Spider-Man they seemed to have two choices without giving up the character, wait more years than they would like to try another reboot… or let Marvel Studios use their amazing talents and superb track record to rehabilitate the character.
So, they did just that. And it worked. Tom Holland widely seems to be the most beloved Spider-Man and Peter Parking, nailing the character in a way that even makes the original Spider-Man films, that started this whole modern superhero film obsession, seem quaint. Thanks to Marvel Studios, Spider-Man is back on the map!
After being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, we’ve enjoyed a standalone adventure with our new Spidey in Homecoming, we’ve cried when he turned to dust during “The Snappening,” and now we’re looking forward to his second standalone film Far From Home.
Now that the deal between Marvel Studios and Sony is seemingly almost complete, why wouldn’t Sony take back not only Spider-Man, but also keep Tom Holland on board? Even if Sony doesn’t immediately start with a new Spider-Man film, they’ll want to use that goodwill to improve one of the other announced films in their “In Association With” Marvel Universe. Maybe he’ll show up first in Venom 2. We’ll have to wait and see.
How was this not already Sony’s plan from the beginning? You’ve been played, Marvel!
Taking Back Spider-Man
Not only do I believe Sony will take back their precious Spider-Man after 2019, here’s how they’ll introduce him into their own universe, that doesn’t sync up with the MCU.
Have you noticed that Sony has been playing with the idea of a multiverse?
Maybe you’ve seen a trailer for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse where other Spider-Men and two Spider-Women are tossed into Miles Morales’ reality? How about the second post credit scene in Venom that opens with the text, “Meanwhile in another Universe” before cutting to a clip from Into the Spider-Verse? Sony has planted the seeds of multiple versions of these characters existing in different realities that are all similar, but different, just like the comics, and in a more specific way than Marvel Studios or Fox’s X-Men films. Now it’s almost time to harvest that fruit!
It’s easy, Spider-Man gets sucked from the Marvel Cinematic Universe into Sony’s Marvel Universe.
Maybe there is a deal in place and Marvel Studios hasn’t been played. Mysterio is said to be in Spider-Man: Far From Home, a character who sent Peter Parker from the main comics continuity into the Ultimate Comics universe in the comic mini-series, Spider-Men. Could this be a post-credits fate of ole’ webhead?
Unlikely. I’m not sure why Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige would want to help Sony and Amy Pascal transition the character away from them, unless they are getting something better in return. And what’s better than Spider-Man?
More likely, Sony does a really half-assed explanation – like everything in Venom – and Spider-Man just appears! Easy, peasy.
Would any of the MCU come with him? Or would we get a new Aunt May, and eventually new versions of Vulture?
Who the hell knows for sure? Just imagine the worst possible way to handle it, and you’re likely on the same page as Sony, who may have just had a hit with Venom, but still seems to have forgotten how to make a superhero movie since 2004.