Conflicting reports are coming in from various Hollywood trade sites and online news sources as now it is claimed that talks between Disney and Sony over the future of Spider-Man within the Marvel Cinematic Universe are dead.
Following the initial report about the talks having fallen through, various Hollywood trade sites, such as Entertainment Weekly and Variety, noted that the talks between Disney and Sony were still ongoing, but the LA Times published their own version of the story that cites numerous sources that claim the talks are no longer happening:
A person close to Sony said negotiations were “ongoing,” raising hopes among superhero film fans on social media that the two sides would come back to the table. But multiple people disputed that notion, saying the talks were dead.
Disney, Sony Spider-Man talks fall apart
The site goes on to recount how things fell apart surrounding Disney, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, Sony and Spider-Man offering in part (note: my comments are in parenthesis):
- Kevin Feige will no longer produce Spider-Man movies released by rival Sony Pictures after the two companies failed to reach a new agreement.
- The LA Times article cites three people who are familiar with the matter as sources, but who are not authorized to comment (basically this means people at Disney and/or Sony who can't go on the record).
- Disney had a hand in producing Homecoming and Far From Home becoming huge blockbuster hits, so Disney wanted to take a 50% co-financing stake in future Spider-Man MCU films.
- According to the site's three sources, Sony was unwilling to give up such a large portion of its most valuable franchise, especially as Sony has been riding high on the success of the Spider-Man movies (we can also add Venom and Into The Spider-Verse).
- Similar to the official statement from Sony, a big cause for concern was the growing demands on Kevin Feige's time, as Feige is now overseeing the Disney Plus Marvel properties, the upcoming Phase 4 films, and the recent acquisition of the Fox Studios Marvel properties which includes Deadpool, Fantastic Four, and all the X-Men characters.
- The article says Disney wants Feige to focus on the properties they own, again, which is the newly acquired X-Men characters (and also means not Spider-Man, which is owned by Sony).
- It’s questioned how the next Spider-Man film within the MCU would be able to fit in within Marvel's Phase 4 plans even if the deal would have been made (Marvel's Phase 4 is more about diversity and female characters).
Disney blamed; Sony doesn't need Marvel for Spider-Man success
The site further says that Disney decided it didn't make sense for one of its most important filmmakers (Kevin Feige) to work for another studio (Sony) if it couldn't own a significant financial stake in the (Spider-Man MCU) movies.
The article further points out that Sony has found success on its own (without Disney, Marvel or Feige) with the Tom Hardy Venom movie that wasn't connected to or a part of the larger superhero universe spearheaded by Disney (the MCU), as Venom brought in $856 million at the box office (again, we can also add in Into the Spider-Verse which won an Oscar and brought in over $375 million).