Spider-Man could leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), after news emerged that Disney-owned Marvel Studios could be leaving the cross-studio partnership with Sony Pictures that allowed Spidey to appear in the MCU.
Deadline reported on Tuesday that there has been a disagreement between Disney and Sony over the profit-sharing structure. If this is true and no more negotiations are to be held, then Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will effectively no longer be producing any Spider-Man-related content in the future.
What this essentially means is that Spider-Man could potentially leave the MCU altogether, leaving the franchise without one of its biggest names. While this is undoubtedly a huge blow to fans of the MCU (which already 'retired' Iron Man and Captain America in Avengers: Endgame), Marvel Studios has thrived without Spidey before, and will undoubtedly continue to do so without the web-slinger.
The question now is, can Sony replicate the same kind of success that the character managed to get as part of the MCU. Its last two pre-MCU movies - The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, both starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker - were reasonably successful in their own right, each earning over US$700mil (S$970 mil).
However, the movies made after Marvel and Sony made the deal to allow Spidey into the MCU have far surpassed those numbers. Spider-Man: Homecoming earned US$880mil worldwide, and Spider-Man: Far From Home recently became the first Spidey movie to cross the US$1bil mark, effectively making it Sony's biggest movie of all time.
With a split with Disney, Sony could also now make their own Spider-Man movies, and integrate him into the their own Spider-Man cinematic universe, which so far comprises Venom and the upcoming Morbious The Living Vampire. Whether Tom Holland will continue in the role remains to be seen.
Last year's animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was also a huge success, earning US$375mil and winning the Best Animated Feature Academy Award as well. This could also be a factor in Sony deciding that it can now continue to make good Spider-Man movies without the help of the MCU.
While this is undoubtedly a sad state of affairs, we hope that this decision isn't final, and that both studios would be able to come to an agreement eventually.