Olivia Cattabriga / Art Director

Jack Hanson

Business Manager

Is Spider-Man really leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?

Sony Pictures  has owned the rights to Spider-man since 1999 when Marvel sold the rights to them for approximately $7 billion, according to CNN Business. This led to the production of three movies starring Toby Maguire and another two starring Andrew Garifield as Spider-Man.

However, after “The Amazing Spider Man 2” only grossed $709 million worldwide, former Chairperson of Sony Amy Pascal was up for negotiation for the rights of Spider-Man. President of Marvel Studios Kevin Fiege was more than happy to do so.

Originally, Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, wanted 50 percent of the money earned from any of the movies produced but Pascal declined and moved on from negotiations, even considering another reboot but with the iconic villains, the Sinister Six. Agroup of hackers called “Guardians of Peace” hacked into all of Sony’s servers and retrieved emails and conversations from employees and later leaked those files onto several websites including Wikileaks. The emails that people showed the most interest in were those discussing the Spider-Man deal.

With that information leaked, Pascal decided to renegotiate with Disney once again for the use of Spider-Man in Marvel Studios movies. Together Fiege and Pascal agreed on a deal that would allow Spider-Man to be in the MCU. Under the deal Disney could feature Spider-Man in five films including standalones, receive all rights for merchandise and theme park use and get 5 percent of the total amount grossed. The deal was announced on February 9, 2015 and Spider-Man played by Tom Holland was quickly introduced into the MCU in 2016 in “Captain America: Civil War.”

Since then, Holland’s Spider-Man has appeared in five MCU movies, two of which are standalone films. The last of the five films, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” was released on July 2, 2019, and has become Sony’s highest grossing film in history with $1.11 billion earned worldwide according to Entertainment Weekly. Earlier in the year, renegotiations between Disney and Sony started up again before the five movie deal expired, but this time Disney asked for 50/50 control of the box office earnings. Sony rejected this offer and in return decided to pull out of the original deal completely. This meant that Spider-Man would not be allowed to be featured in the MCU.

This would also affect Disney’s upcoming new attraction at Disney California Adventure, Avengers Campus. The Avengers Campus is designed to have a Spider-Man ride but with the property rights shifting, this would restrict Disney from including the ride in the park.

While promoting his new movie “Onward” at the D23 expo, Holland discussed his time as Spider-Man in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Earlier in the year, renegotiations between Disney and Sony started up again before the five movie deal expired, but this time Disney asked for 50/50 control of the box office earnings. Sony rejected this offer and in return decided to pull out of the original deal completely. This meant that Spider-Man would not be allowed to be featured in the MCU.

This would also affect Disney’s upcoming new attraction at Disney California Adventure, Avengers Campus. The Avengers Campus is designed to have a Spider-Man ride but with the property rights shifting, this would restrict Disney from including the ride in the park.

While promoting his new movie “Onward” at the D23 expo, Holland discussed his time as Spider-Man in an interview with Entertainment Weekly,

“Basically, we’ve made five great movies. It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds?” Holland said. “But all I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It’s going to be so fun, however we choose to do it. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler somehow.”

Fiege also told Entertainment Weekly,  “We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers. It was a dream that I never thought would happen. It was never meant to last forever. We knew there was a finite amount of time that we’d be able to do this, and we told the story we wanted to tell, and I’ll always be thankful for that.”

All of that leaves fans wondering if Spider-Man is truly out of the MCU. But according to comicbook.com, fans are taking to social media with hashtags like #boycottsony and #saveSpider-Man. As of now, Holland is set to reprise his role as Spider-Man but it is unclear if it will be in the MCU. Neither Sony or Disney have commented on the issue.

Jack Hanson can be contacted at

jhanson@kscequinox.com