Burroughs Students Weigh In on the Future of Spiderman


Lana English and Eesha Jasti

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are two of the most financially successful film studios in the business. From “Avengers: End Game” bringing in almost $2.8 billion for Marvel Studios to “Skyfall” earning $1.1 billion for Sony Pictures in box office sales, these studios are dominating the film industry. The Spider-Man franchise has brought both studios incredible stardom, both reaping the benefits from a deal that has been effective for many years. But now, the beloved Spider-Man, the former hopeful future for Marvel’s Avengers, may be lost due to the greedy hands of these two competing studios.

Marvel and Sony’s relationship has been through a lot. It’s hard to imagine Marvel Studios penniless and struggling to stay afloat, but there was a time in 1996 when Marvel had to sell the rights of many movies to keep afloat. This includes Spider-Man being sold to Sony Picture in 1999. However, Sony’s movies did not do as well as they hoped, as “Spider-Man 3” caused profits to dip 64% from the original and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” made $708 million, but cost millions to produce. Desperate to avoid giving up the rights, Sony struck a deal with Marvel in 2015. This compromise determined that Sony would fund the movies and have final control, but Marvel would produce the films and could integrate their characters for a 5% stake and merchandising rights of the franchise. This decision benefited both companies, as the latest Spider-Man movie, “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” crossed the billion-dollar mark, making it the most successful Spider-Man movie by far and Sony’s highest-grossing movie of all time. However, this success led Disney, owner of Marvel Studios, to allegedly request for a 50/50 stake in the Spider-Man franchise on August 20th. Sony, feeling confident with the advance of its new movies (e.g. Venom), refused.

This dispute was left unresolved until late August when Sony announced that Spider-Man was out of the Marvel Comics Universe and that Kevin Feige (president of Marvel Studios) would no longer be involved with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.

“[The deal] was never meant to last forever,” Feige disclosed.

Thus, Spider-Man is completely in Sony’s control. Sony will likely continue to make movies starring Spider-Man but in the void of the MCU storyline.

Alexis Spittal (‘21), a leader of the Burroughs Guild of Geeks club, says, “Although I am sad at the thought of no more Spider-Man in the MCU, I also have to respect the heck out of Sony.” She recognizes that Sony will still have success and is impressed by their “great show of bravery.”

But there is still hope for those fans who were disappointed by the results of the falling out of these companies. One of those fans is JRob Goffstein (‘23).

Goffstein admits, “It sucks that we don’t get to see Spider-Man in the MCU because rich people want more money than they already have.”

Natalie Richter (‘22) agrees, stating, “It seems ridiculous that Sony would split over an issue like money. “As avid Marvel fans know, Tom Holland’s Spiderman was thought to be tipped to become the new Iron Man after the death of the Tony Stark character. Now, he will likely not be a part of the MCU at all, which leads to the question of what will happen to the future of Marvel and the Avengers. Some optimistic fans, such as Patrick Whiteford (‘23), hope that Sony and Disney will make a new deal and work together on a Spider-Man movie again. “Production for the next Spider-man movie won’t start for a while, which is plenty of time for them to work something out,” he said. “When push comes to shove, Disney knows that he’s too valuable to let go of and Sony knows MCU Spider-Man is not feasible out of the MCU.”

However, Whiteford also accepts the fact that Spider-Man might be gone from the Marvel universe: “If nothing is worked out, I’m thankful for what we have had.”