There was uproar back in the summer of 2019 when Sony abruptly withdrew Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the studio confident that they were perfectly capable of handling the character without Kevin Feige and his team, although history had shown otherwise when heavy-handed interference already killed their previous two web-slinging franchises.
The two parties swiftly mended fences, and while the ins and outs of the new deal haven’t been made public, most people assume that Marvel Studios will continue to take charge of solo Spidey movies, but Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will be obligated to show up in the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters from time to time, with the Morbius trailer already confirming that the connections run much deeper than that.
However, insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that if Morbius, Venom: Let There Be Carnage or any of the other multiple spinoffs in development fail to perform at the box office, then Sony could end up selling the rights to Spider-Man back to Marvel under orders of the company’s head office in Tokyo as a cost-cutting measure.
“If Morbius, Venom 2 and the other upcoming Spidey spinoffs fail to perform, Sony Japan will force Sony Pictures to sell Spidey back to Marvel because they’ll need the money,” says the tipster.
Sony were recently valued at around $45 billion as a whole, while their movie division posted a profit of $628 million last year. Obviously, the Coronavirus pandemic is going to have a massive effect on those numbers, but Spider-Man still remains their most marketable asset by far. After all, six of the studio’s ten highest-grossing films ever are Sam Raimi’s trilogy, Homecoming, Far From Home and Venom, so you can guarantee that they have no plans of giving up on comic book adaptations for a long time yet.
Of course, plenty of outfits around Hollywood have been selling off some major assets to try and recoup losses suffered during the COVID-19 era, but something would have to go very wrong for Sony to give up Spider-Man, even though Disney would more than likely be happy to stump up the necessary billions to make it happen.