For a lot of people, the most dangerous foe that Spider-Man has ever faced hasn’t been one of his many iconic nemeses from the pages of Marvel Comics, but Avi Arad. Those to have followed the various iterations of the web-slinger in live-action over the last two decades will be fully aware that the producer has a reputation for getting a little too hands-on when it comes to the creation and development of big budget Spidey projects.
Don’t get us wrong, the man saved Marvel from disaster and played a huge role in getting the company to where it is today, but that was a long time ago. Arad was CEO of Toy Biz when they were acquired by Marvel in 1993, and he was heavily involved in the negotiations that rescued the failing comic book outfit from bankruptcy several yeas later, and then kept them afloat by selling off the movie rights to major characters including Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four.
However, he also forced Venom into Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 much to the director’s dissatisfaction, overloaded The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with teases for a shared universe that never came to fruition, and was said to be the devil on Sony’s shoulder when they abruptly withdrew Tom Holland’s Peter Parker from the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2019.
We’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Riri Williams would debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever long before it was confirmed – that even though the Sony/Marvel deal was renewed, Kevin Feige is said to be having issues with Arad’s relentless desire to remain heavily involved in the character’s big screen direction.
Arad has already been compared to former Feige for Ike Perlmutter, and the Marvel CCO won that battle, but it’ll be interesting to see what the long term future for Spider-Man holds after the release of No Way Home, with or without Avi Arad.