Spider-Man is considered to be one of Marvel’s most important super heroes, only being rivaled by DC Comics’ Batman in terms of popularity. His recent outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been received with much success and popularity, arguably helping young, British, actor Tom Holland, get more and more roles in Hollywood productions. But Tom’s run in the MCU may be coming to a close soon with the rights of the character reverting back to Sony entirely.
In case you didn’t know, Marvel, or in this case Disney, does own the Character of Spider-Man himself, but the film rights are owned by Sony.
Back in the 1990s Marvel was on the verge of bankruptcy and sold the film rights to many of their characters.
20th century Fox got X-Men, Daredevil and Fantastic Four.
Universal got Hulk and Namor.
New Line got Blade and Sony/Columbia got Punisher, Ghost Rider and Spider-Man.
When Disney bought Marvel in 2009 all the Licensing contracts still existed as long as those studios still made films with those characters. Fox let Daredevil Expire, New Line let Blade Expire and Sony/Columbia let Punisher and Ghost Rider Expire.
The Hulk’s rights are still at Universal, but Marvel only uses the character and doesn’t give him solo films which is a legal loophole.
Disney bought Fox in 2019 so all those film rights are now at Disney, but for Spider-Man to appear in the MCU, with his own movies, Disney has to work with Marvel, and the contract between the two companies is almost up.
Sony has been setting up their own Spider-Man Universe with films for characters like Venom releasing in 2018, an upcoming film based on the vampire Morbius in 2022 and potential films for the Prowler, Silver Sable, Kraven and Black Cat. But what does this mean for Spider-Man? Well in a recent interview with President of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Sanford Panitch, he gave us a glimpse into that.
“We don’t really think of our 900 characters as the Spidey-verse, We have a Marvel universe. The volume of characters we have — you know, wait until you see this next ‘Venom.’ You don’t miss Spider-Man. There actually is a plan, I think now maybe it’s getting a little more clear for people where we’re headed and I think when ‘No Way Home’ comes out, even more, will be revealed.“
At this time not all seems clear but with the fact that Spider-Man: No Way Home seems like Spider-Man’s last film in the MCU we can only assume something with the Multiverse will occur and may very well spin off into a separate franchise, one that Sony has full control over.
Sony tried to do a Spider-Man Cinematic Universe some time ago with Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man but those plans fell through with the poor reception of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, causing Sony to strike a deal with Marvel/Disney for Spidey to appear in the MCU.
Only time will tell what Sony has cooking, and it will be up to the fans if it is a dish worth tasting.
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