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Spider-Man no more: Sony and Disney split might remove Spidey from the MCU

It might be over. According to some reports, Spider-Man is no longer part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sources at Deadline claim that the partnership between Sony Pictures, which owns the film rights to Spider-Man and all associated characters, and Marvel Studios, which controls the rest of the MCU, has been terminated, effectively ending Peter Parker’s time as a member of both the Avengers and Marvel’s shared cinematic superhero universe.

The culprit, as always, is money. Disney was rumored to be pushing for a new deal that would have given the company a co-financing stake in future Spider-Man films. Sony refused to agree to the terms, effectively ending the deal that allowed Spider-Man to join Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and other heroes on the silver screen.

Deadline claims that the end of the Disney-Sony collaboration means that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will no longer have any input into Spidey’s big-screen adventures, and that the rest of the MCU will be off-limits to the webslinger going forward.

Sony put out a statement late Tuesday night saying that the news about Spider-Man was largely about Feige’s role in the franchise, but it did not clarify whether or not the character would remain in the MCU.

We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. (2/3)

— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) August 21, 2019

Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue. (3/3)

— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) August 21, 2019

However, sources like Variety claim that reports regarding the end of the Disney and Sony partnership are premature, and negotiations are ongoing. One of Variety’s sources says that Disney and Sony could still reach an agreement, while a Sony representative told i09 that the dispute is over a simple producer credit and that a compromise is still on the table. Digital Trends has reached out to Marvel, Disney, and Sony for clarification, and will update this story when we hear back.

It’s unclear what the end of Disney and Sony’s Spider-Man deal would mean for the future of the MCU. Spider-Man: Far From Home, which hit theaters in late June and dealt with Avengers: Endgame‘s immediate aftermath, seemed to tease a number of upcoming MCU plotlines, and included a shocking post-credits scene that might have set up Marvel’s next comics-inspired crossover event.

However things shake out, this isn’t the end of the current iteration of Spider-Man. Sony still has two Spider-Man films in development with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home director John Watts, both of which are expected to star current Spider-Man actor Tom Holland. In addition, Sony is pushing ahead with Spider-Man spinoffs, including Venom sequel, Jared Leto’s Morbius, and a bunch of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-related projects.

So far, the Sony-Marvel partnership has worked out well for both companies. Spider-Man: Far From Home, a joint Sony and Marvel production, recently became Sony’s highest-grossing movie ever, while Avengers: Endgame, in which Spider-Man plays a major role, broke Avatar‘s record to become the biggest movie of all time just a few weeks ago. In addition, both studios just announced that Spider-Man: Far From Home will return to theaters on Labor Day weekend with 4 minutes of new footage.

This is a breaking story, and we’ll update it with more information as it becomes available.

Updated on August 21, 2019: Added Sony’s statement on the negotiations.

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Chris Gates
Christopher Gates lives in Los Angeles, CA and writes about movies, TV, video games, and other pop culture curiosities. In…
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