Sony Pictures, the studio that owns the rights to comic book character Spider-Man, on Wednesday said that it was parting ways with Disney, which meant the end of the character’s appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The company said it was disappointed with Disney’s demand for a higher stake in the superhero’s films, The Guardian reported.
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterised recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” Sony said in a tweet. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film.”
The company further said that it hoped that the situation “might change in the future” but added that Feige, who is the president of Marvel Studios, had been given several new responsibilities, including the new Marvel properties. Sony said that it did “not allow time for him to work on IP [Intellectual Property] they do not own. The company also thanked Feige for his help and guidance.
Negotiations between the two companies had been under way for months, with Disney’s demand of future films to be financed evenly and that Feige act as the consultant producer for the movies. However, Sony wanted to stay with the existing terms, which gave Marvel 5% of first-dollar gross and revenue from merchandise.
Feige had a huge creative input to the last two Spider-Man films, featuring British actor Tom Holland, which also integrated the character into the multi-billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to BBC.
In 1999, Sony had bought the rights for the movies on the comic book character after which it had made five films – three starring Tobey Maguire and two with Andrew Garfield. The studio entered into an agreement with Marvel Studios in 2015 after which the character Peter Parker made his entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The deal allowed Disney to co-produce the movies and share profits from the films that featured the superhero.
Spider-Man has been in five Marvel movies – Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. The last film dethroned the movie Skyfall as Sony’s biggest film at the international box office.
The decision sparked a barrage of reactions from fans all over the world. The hashtag savespiderman was trending on Twitter. While some made fun, others said they will miss their favourite character.
Here are some of the reactions: