Thanks to Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, Disney and Sony were able to reach an agreement last summer for the wall-crawler to continue existing inside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is owned by Disney, of course. But for a few weeks there, the internet was in mourning, as Peter Parker was going back under the seemingly rudderless direction of Sony. But in the 11th hour, Holland was able to get both sides together on an impasse.
During the recent premiere for Pixar’s Onward (in which Holland voices one of the main characters), Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted out a photo with the actor and said that Holland owes him a pint for “saving Spider-Man.” It seems he’s taking credit for a deal getting done.
Ironically, it was while Holland was promoting Onward at last year’s D23 when the actor first expressed a desire to get both studios together for one last attempt at negotiating a deal. And Iger credits the young actor for going the extra mile as a motivating factor, with the CEO saying:
“Miraculously. He was. We had an event called D23, and Tom was there because he’s a voice in [Pixar’s Onward]. He said something on stage, and it was clear that fans wanted Tom back as Spider-Man, made by Marvel and our Marvel production team,” Iger began. “And after D23, Tom reached out to folks who work for me and said, ‘Can I please have Bob’s e-mail address or phone number?’ Of course, I’m very protected, so they were very careful. I said ‘Sure, have him contact me,’ and he did.”
“We spoke. And he basically made a — he cried on the phone, no, not really. But it was clear that he cared so much. And actually, we care about him,” Iger elaborated. “I felt for him, and it was clear that the fans wanted this to happen. So after I got off the phone with him, I made a couple of phone calls to our team at Disney Studios, and then I decided to call the head of Sony, and I said ‘We have to figure out a way to get this done, for Tom and for the fans.’ And we did. That’s how it happened… Sometimes, when companies are negotiating with each other, they kinda forget that there are other folks out there.”
It really is a minor miracle that Spider-Man is in the MCU to begin with. When he showed up at the end of that trailer for Captain America: Civil War, it was a stunning moment. Not just for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but for two giant movie studios to share a property.
To be honest, it only happened because of the failure of the second Amazing Spider-Man film. Sony knew that while the hero was by far their most profitable franchise, they were in need of a course-correction. They would never in a million years give up the rights to the IP, so the right move to make was to work with Disney and Marvel and find a way where both sides could benefit.
Yes, Sony earns most of the profits on Spider-Man movies, but his existence in the MCU moving forward is so important now that both Iron Man and Captain America are out of the picture. And really, who cares who gets the credit for this reconciliation? Spidey’s back in the MCU and all is right in the world. Now Holland just needs to get Iger that pint.