Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra isn’t losing all hope when it comes to the “Spider-Man” film franchise breaking up with Disney and Marvel Studios. News broke August 20 that Disney and Sony failed to agree on new terms over sharing the character, thus returning full rights for “Spider-Man” solely back to Sony. The split means Tom Holland’s superhero will no longer appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Vinciquerra says there is “no ill will” between the studios and “for the moment the door is closed.”
Vinciquerra appeared at Variety‘s Entertainment & Technology summit and responded “it’s a long life” when asked whether or not Spider-Man will swing back to Disney and Marvel. The comment implied that the door isn’t fully closed just yet. The CEO said that one of the reasons talks broke down between the studios is because Marvel boss Kevin Feige is “stretched incredibly thin” now that Disney owns Fox and the MCU has the freedom to use even more superhero properties.
“We had a great run with [Feige] on ‘Spider-Man’ movies,” Vinciquerra said. “We tried to see if there’s a way to work it out….the Marvel people are terrific people, we have great respect for them, but on the other hand we have some pretty terrific people of our own. Kevin didn’t do all the work.”
For the time being, Sony is moving ahead as the sole owner of the “Spider-Man” franchise. Owning Holland’s character without having to share him with Disney means Spider-Man can more easily crossover with the “Venom” franchise. Led by Tom Hardy, “Venom” was a box office hit in 2018 with over $850 million worldwide. “Venom 2” is gearing up for projection with Andy Serkis attached as director.
Vinciquerra added that Sony’s sole ownership of Spider-Man makes it the perfect time for the studio to launch its own universe set in the Spider-Man world. In addition to the “Venom” movies, Sony is also developing “five or six” TV series set in the Spider-Man world and the Jared Leto “Morbius” movie. Given all the projects in development, Vinciquerra stressed the Spider-Man character will be “just fine” in Sony’s hands and pointed to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and “The Boys” as Sony superhero properties that earned success outside of the MCU.
“Spider-Man was fine before the event movies, did better with the event movies, and now that we have our own universe, he will play off the other characters as well,” Vinciquerra said. “I think we’re pretty capable of doing what we have to do here.”
Some fans might disagree with Vinciquerra’s statement that Spider-Man “was fine” before the character joined the MCU. The last “Spider-Man” movie released before Holland’s debut was the Andrew Garfield-starring “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which was widely panned by film critics. As far as Holland is concerned, the actor remains confident Sony can deliver without Disney’s support.