Buoyed by the surprising success of Venom, which went on to score over $850 million at the box office despite generally tepid reviews, in the summer of 2019, Sony abruptly decided to withdraw Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Needless to say, the news caused a firestorm online, with the reactions to Tom Holland potentially never suiting up alongside the franchise’s roster of superheroes again ranging from utter dismay to righteous fury.
Luckily, the two parties soon came to a new agreement, and not long after that the project we now know as Spider-Man: No Way Home was placed into active development. The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters is still very much a thing, of course, but if Morbius winds up bombing at the box office when it finally arrives next January, then who’s to say that the studio won’t take their ball and go home once more, having failed to establish their own multi-film series without having the web-slinger to rely on?
Tom Holland’s contract with both Marvel Studios and Sony expires after No Way Home, that much we know, but in a new interview, he revealed that the working relationship between the two companies is already in place behind the scenes and is poised to continue for a long time yet.
“The way I understand it is that agreement between the two studios has already happened. I don’t think that they’re going to run into the same troubles that they did as we were going into, was it Spider-Man 2? Far from Home had come out and then the whole thing happened between Sony and Marvel. I think the two studios have worked that out, and I don’t think that that will be a problem in the future. That said, I’m just the actor and I was a part of a few phone calls during that process, but I think they love working with each other, I think they found a way in which it can be beneficial for both studios, and I’m just kind of like a kid in the middle of it, between two parents during an argument.”
Of course, at this stage, it would be foolish for either party to try and rock the boat to any great degree. Spider-Man is Sony’s most bankable asset by far, and they need the cushion of the character’s guaranteed box office business should their latest attempt at building a shared mythology come crashing down like it did the last time. Though let’s hope that won’t be the case.