For the past week, fans have been campaigning non stop for Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Sony Entertainment to return to the negotiating table to resume their partnership on the Spider-man franchise.
After the five picture deal where Tom Holland’s Spider-man appears in the MCU movies (Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame), and MCU in turn helps Sony with the development of Spider-man: Homecoming and Spider-man: Far From Home, fans were worried that the momentum will be lost if Sony embarks on producing movies for the franchise without MCU’s input.
One the key reasons being cited in the deal’s breakdown is the profit sharing clause, which, according to a report from Comic Book entails that Sony give up 30 percent of its profits for every Spider-man movie that MCU helped develop. So, when Spider-man: Far from Home took $1.1 billion estimate worldwide, MCU reportedly took over $200 million (as marketing costs were also deducted from the profits) of the pie. Some would say that $200 million was a small price to pay for the quality and consistency of the film with its MCU counterparts but Sony could beg to differ. Production for the film only cost $160 million given its quality and Sony could really do a lot with the money it easily surrendered to MCU and Disney under the deal. No matter how much fans would want to focus on the implication of this split on future movies, the film industry is a business after all.
Still, all is not lost. By some miracle, if the two film outfits could agree on a more reasonable business deal, it would be a win-win for fans of the Spider-man franchise. However, if not, here are some potential ideas on how Sony would still come out of this with a win.
Loyalty and Curiosity
Admit it. As a fan, you hate Sony for looking at the numbers and not the future of the franchise. You also hate MCU for wanting so much that Sony refused to cave to their demands. But if you were asked if you would still support Spider-man’s next solo movie with or without MCU, you would probably say yes. Tom Holland’s impeccable portrayal has earned him the hearts of fans worldwide guaranteeing that they will follow him on his next big adventure no matter which part of the multiverse takes him.
In all fairness to Sony, The Amazing Spider-man movies with Andrew Garfield were actually pretty solid so I have no question as to whether it could produce a high quality superhero movie. With its dealings with MCU, they may have also learned enough about the webslinger to see them through their future productions. Sony can capitalize on the audience’s loyalty and curiosity on how they will handle the next movie, to rule at the box office. Fingers crossed.
Venom and the Multiverse
Sony did amazing work with Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse but sadly, its take on Venom left a lot to be desired, mostly because of its disconnect with the Spider-man mythos and its non inclusion in the Spider-man deal. Moving forward, Sony could explore the relationship of Spider-man, Venom and Carnage and expand the coverage of the franchise among these three arch rivals.
Also, with the multiverse factor opened up, Sony could explore this direction and consult with comic book experts on how to handle the future of the franchise.
… or it could just return to the negotiating table
It has previously been reported that MCU and Sony could well be negotiating for an extension of the deal and Sony is actually leveraging this to include Venom’s inclusion into the MCU. MCU’s Kevin Feige has earlier said that he is not including the Spider-man arch nemesis in his vision for Phase 4 , but who knows? If this deal pushes through, I would be willing to line up in the movies to see how it turns out.
So there, my non expert opinions (and hopes) on how this split can still be salvaged. As a fan, I am wishing that everything pans out because I love the Spider-man films (except for the Tobey Maguire trilogy, sorry). Come on guys, do the right thing.