The fact that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man might no longer be a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) anymore is an absolute tragedy. For avid fans of the Marvel superhero movies, the earth has been flipped upside down in a battle between Sony and Disney. The terrible aftermath has resulted in a Marvel universe where we might not see Tom Holland’s gorgeous face shining at us from on-screen.
Sony owns the rights to the Spider-Man character. In a past agreement, Sony gave Disney (owner of the MCU) permission to use the cherished character so long as Sony received most of the revenue from Spider-Man movies (though Sony agreed to finance production of the films). Before we knew it, Spider-Man appeared in “Avengers” movies and had his own solo films. This caused Disney to push for better financial terms from Sony.
Why should Disney receive such a small percentage of box office revenue if they were the leading creative director for the Holland Spider-Man movies? Disney wanted to be a full partner of the Spider-Man character with a box office revenue share of 50-50. Disney also agreed to shoulder some of the production costs. Unfortunately, Sony was having none of that. And so, with Sony and Disney unable to reach an agreement, the partnership has most likely ended. Holland’s presence alongside characters like Thor and Black Widow may be no more.
This is truly tragic. Without Spider-Man, the Marvel Universe will become a very different place. It is no secret that Spider-Man is set up to be the next leader of the Avengers, paving the way for the next generation of Marvel superheroes. The character also added a refreshing element to the Marvel movies. Peter Parker is an average boy from Queens, N.Y. who develops astounding abilities after being bitten by a spider. He is a normal teenager with problems that many can relate to. So many fans love Spider-Man because he’s quirky and adds the perfect comedic element to the Marvel movies. As many people have said, if you take away Spider-Man from the Marvel universe, you lose the “heart” of it. I completely agree.
In my opinion, Sony should have given Disney a larger cut of the Spider-Man movies’ revenue. Marvel is responsible for the success and creativity of Spider-Man in recent years and should be credited with that. But, it will be interesting to see what Sony decides to do now that their partnership with Disney has most likely ended. How will Spider-Man look outside of the MCU?
I know many Avengers fans who are upset by this drastic change to the Spider-Man character. And I am sure Holland is puzzled as to what will happen next. What I can only hope is that we save Spider-Man from Sony so that he can swing his webs once more in the Marvel universe.
Laras Kettner ’21 is from Falls Church, Va. Her major is nursing.