First Deadline reported that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige wouldn’t produce any further Spider-Man films because of an inability by Disney and Sony Pictures to reach new terms that would have given the former a co-financing stake going forward. The dispute had taken place over the past few months at the top of Disney and Sony has essentially nixed Feige, and the future involvement of Marvel from the Spider-Man universe, the site reports.
It all came down to money. Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, and there were discussions that this might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe. Sony turned that offer down. Led by Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, Sony just simply didn’t want to share its biggest franchise. Sony proposed keeping the arrangement going under the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first dollar gross, sources said. Disney refused.
Sources said Disney’s top brass for the past several months has sought new terms for Feige and the Marvel cross-pollination to continue. As the Spider-Man relationship grew, Feige and Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman spoke about the possibility of a wider involvement in the Sony-controlled Spider-Man universe, which contains 900 characters.
A day later, Sony Pictures went public over its divorce with Disney on future Spider-Man projects, Variety reports.
In a rare public rebuke to Disney, Sony announced Tuesday night that it was “disappointed” over the decision, highlighting Disney’s refusal to allow Marvel President Kevin Feige to continue as a producer on the projects. It also praised Feige, who teamed with Amy Pascal on Spider-Man: Far From Home, which became Sony’s most successful release earlier this week in terms of global box office.
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” Sony said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
With Feige not producing future Spider-Man films, the impasse effectively removes Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The dispute stems from Disney’s demand that future Spider-Man films would be financed on a 50/50 basis, with Feige remaining in a consulting producer capacity. Sony is believed to have proposed keeping the arrangement under the current terms, which stipulate that Marvel receives about 5% of first-dollar gross and all merchandising revenues. However, Disney allegedly expressed concerns that Feige was spread too thin due to other Marvel projects plus original projects for Disney Plus.
Representatives for Disney and for Marvel were not immediately available for comment.