The news comes after four years of an unprecedented sharing of the character. Sony Pictures has owned the movie rights to Spider-Man for decades, and found great success with the character with director Sam Raimi and actor Tobey Maguire's take on the webslinger in the 2000s — their three films grossed nearly $2.5 billion worldwide. But then Sony's reboot of the franchise with director Marc Webb and actor Andrew Garfield, released in 2012 and 2014, was seen as a critical and commercial disappointment, leaving the studio with the unprecedented agreement with the Disney-owned Marvel Studios to share the Spider-Man character.
Disney got to use Tom Holland's version of the superhero in its Marvel Studios movies — 2016's Captain America: Civil War, 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, and 2019 Avengers: Endgame. And Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige produced Sony Pictures' Spider-Man movies for them, 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home, integrating them within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, according to Deadline's report, Disney had demanded that Sony split future Spider-Man movies in a 50/50 co-financing arrangement — which also meant a 50/50 split in the profits. Led by Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, Sony didn’t want to share its biggest franchise and denied the request. Sony proposed keeping the arrangement going under the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first-dollar gross, sources said. However, Disney refused and pulled out Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios as producers of Sony's future Spider-Man films, closing off the future for Spider-Man’s character within the MCU.
BuzzFeed News, however, has reported that negotiations between Disney and Sony about the character's fate remain ongoing, including how much Sony's Spider-Man movies could remain a part of the MCU. It also opens up the possibility that Holland could participate in Sony Pictures' plans to exploit other characters within the Spider-Man comics canon, including the Venom franchise with Tom Hardy. However, so far the fate of Spider-Man in future Disney's Marvel Studios films remains unclear. Both Disney and Sony didn’t officially confirm or commented on the reports.
Spidey fans, obviously, were shocked and angered by the news.
me w todays news abt spidey pic.twitter.com/yzZS8sQYWk— anano loves loki ४ (@stardustthor) August 20, 2019
MCU and Marvel fans on their way to Sony & Disney headquarters to defend Spidey pic.twitter.com/wfBd7W1PZU— keat (@keatxngrant) August 20, 2019
I’ll agree 50/50 is a big ask and unnecessary for a giant money empire like Disney. I just don’t trust Sony with this character anymore, and I’m sad about that. Spidey is my guy.— Chris Stuckmann (@Chris_Stuckmann) August 20, 2019
Sony and Disney discussing about sacking Tom Holland as Spider-Man and meanwhile... pic.twitter.com/oJBPERIgXK— `nj☠ (@Najeeb__) August 20, 2019
tony stark realizing he wasted his life on spiderman for nothing pic.twitter.com/aH9ujffYwJ— ziwe (@ziwe) August 20, 2019