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EntertainmentMoviesFormer Marvel Legal Counsel On Why The Sony/Spider-Man Deal...

Former Marvel Legal Counsel On Why The Sony/Spider-Man Deal Will Last


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EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Marvel Studios attorney explains why the ongoing Sony-Marvel deal regarding shared Spider-Man rights will be sustainable long-term.

A former Marvel Studios legal counsel explains why the Sony Pictures Entertainment deal to share Spider-Man will last. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has just wrapped up his personal trilogy with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Beyond that, however, the MCU’s wall-crawler will continue his arc in the franchise with Spider-Man 4 officially in development, as revealed by Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige.

There was a time, however, that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s agreement to collaborate on Holland’s take on the hero was on the cusp of being dissolved. It all started in 2015, when the partnership between the studios allowed the MCU to feature Peter Parker after years of being isolated in his own franchise. On the heels of the success of Spider-Man: Far From Home, however, a dispute over their deal’s financial details almost caused Sony to pull out, potentially taking Holland’s Peter with him. Luckily, Sony and Marvel Studios were able to find a middle ground and agree to continue.


Related: Marvel Revealed A Better Doctor Strange 2 & No Way Home Link Than It Used

For those who are worried that something similar might happen again in the future, an ex-Marvel Studios attorney explains why that’s unlikely. In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Paul Sarker breaks down the reasons why Marvel Studios and Sony’s agreement will be sustainable in the long run. He points out that both sides are benefitting from the deal, so it would be difficult for them to walk away from it. Marvel Studios has the chance to incorporate one of the most iconic Marvel heroes in the MCU, while Sony gets to take advantage of Feige and his creative team in shaping their characters. Read Sarker’s full quote below:

Creatively, I think it’s a win-win. Sony gets the benefit of Kevin [Feige] and his amazingly talented team in making their movies. Marvel gets to use Spider-Man, who is one of the most prominent characters in the MCU, in its films. I think the fans ultimately win, because seeing Spider-Man in Civil War, in Endgame and Infinity War is super-cool. And also seeing Doctor Strange or Iron Man in Spider-Man films is also very thrilling.

I haven’t worked at Marvel for the past couple of years, but it makes sense. The importance of Spider-Man to Sony as a movie studio can’t be overstated, right? Because Sony doesn’t have the box office draws that Marvel has, so the fact Sony was able to retain the rights to make Spider-Man movies and also get Kevin [Feige]’s input and his DNA in the movie is a huge win for them.

I think the only other option would’ve been Disney buying back the rights, and who knows how expensive that would’ve been, but long-term that wouldn’t have been a great move for Sony. This helps Sony keep their studio relevant in the comic movie conversation, and it gives Marvel one of its best characters. So I think it’s a win-win. In my own opinion, if Sony didn’t do the deal but continued with its productive approach without Marvel’s input, I don’t think that’s a good result for them. At the same time, if Marvel doesn’t get to have Spider-Man in its films, that’s not great either. Both sides get something important out of this.

Tom Holland Tobey Maguire Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man No Way Home

Sarker is right – at this point, both parties are benefitting equally from this deal. For Sony, Marvel Studios’ depiction of Holland’s wall-crawler has been well-received allowing them to build their own superhero franchise focusing on villains of the character as seen in Venom, Morbius, and the upcoming Madame Web movie with Dakota Johnson. While Holland’s Spider-Man has yet to appear in any of their films, there’s always a possibility that he would, and since he’s already a well-established character in the MCU and his involvement in Sony’s Spider-Man universe would only bring more prominence to it. As for Marvel Studios, the fact that they are able to continue using Spider-Man is already a big win for them, especially at this juncture in their storytelling where he could be a bigger role player in the universe moving forward.

This doesn’t mean, however, that Marvel Studios and Sony will never have any more disagreements. As their partnership continues, they will encounter new hurdles. The most important thing, however, is that both companies are well-aware of how essential this Spider-Man deal is to them and that they are committed more than ever to working past their differences. This is especially so after the massive success of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

More: Age Of Ultron Already Made Avengers 5’s Biggest Challenge Harder

  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023

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