It was a crazy few weeks when the world thought Spider-Man was departing the MCU for Sony Pictures’ Spider-verse. Millions of words were written on the matter, tears were shed, voices were raised and emotions were high. And then, just as we were approaching acceptance that Spider-Man wasn’t coming back to the MCU, Disney and Sony announced that they had worked out a deal after all.
I don’t want to get bogged down in the precise details of their disagreement, but the root of it was that in the wake of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Venom, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse‘s success, Sony Pictures had newfound confidence that they could handle the character themselves.
As such, when Disney proposed changing their agreement to a 50/50 profit split from any future movies, they balked. But, as is often the case when hundreds of millions of dollars are to be made, the two companies eventually worked it out.
However, new book ‘The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’ reveals that Marvel Studios was resigned to losing the character after Spider-Man: Far From Home and had decided on a PR strategy with Sony in order to avoid bad press.
According to Kevin Feige:
“Our plan was to not mention it until long after Far From Home came out, and just have it be a very amicable thing.”
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Fortunately, the secret didn’t stay under wraps, and the subsequent fan campaign means that for once people being angry on the internet may have actually accomplished something.
Marvel Studios and Sony’s partnership is now closer than most could have dreamed of, as proven by the post-credits scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage featuring a video cameo from Tom Holland’s Spidey. Feige was asked about this during the Eternals premiere and said:
“There was a lot of coordination — and if you don’t know all the coordination yet, I’m not going to be the one to tell you — but yes, between Sony and Marvel and the Venom team and the No Way Home team… We worked together on it.”
Whether that means Tom Hardy’s Venom will be making a surprise appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home is anyone’s guess, though we now know they’ll be crossing webs at some point in the next few years.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is still in theaters, with Spider-Man: No Way Home arriving on December 17th, 2021.