Ever since he was first introduced in “Amazing Fantasy” issue number 15, Spider-Man has been a pivotal character in Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee in 1962, the web-slinging hero is one of his greatest creations.
But the famous line, “With great power there must also come great responsibility,” is a slogan that Disney and Sony clearly missed.
On Aug. 20, news broke that Spider-Man has been removed from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sony and Disney couldn’t come to a new partnership and contract agreement and have decided to part ways.
Sony confirmed on Twitter that Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, did not have time to work on intellectual property they do not own, which would include Spider-Man. That sounds ridiculous to me. Feige has loved working on Spider-Man, and the character was also speculated to head the new Avengers. Disney hasn’t said anything at the time of this writing.
Spider-Man is a property that has been tossed around several times. We’ve had two reboots of Spider-Man since Tobey Maguire played the role in 2002. The biggest problem, of course, is how crucial Spider-Man is for the next phase of the MCU. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, the mantle of leadership was passed from Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, to Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man. Most of Spider-Man: Far From Home was Peter coming to realize that he was more than equipped to take over the mantle as well as a cute coming-of-age story.
When the news broke that Disney and Sony couldn’t come to an agreement, all hell broke loose. Twitter was trending hashtags like #SaveSpidey and #SaveSpidermanFromSony. People, myself included, were calling for a full boycott of the studios if they couldn’t reach an agreement.
Bringing Spider-Man into the Avengers has easily been one of the best decisions made in the MCU. With Tom Holland playing the pivotal character, a role he’s always wanted to play, he brings it to life — as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He plays the character with such heart, energy and charm. Now that Sony and Disney have failed to come to an agreement, fans are upset. We’ve already had to say goodbye to Peter in Avengers: Infinity War, and if Disney and Sony make me go through that distress again, I’m over the whole superhero genre.
When Peter was turned to dust in Infinity War, we already knew that Far From Home was in the works, so even though the scene where Tony holds Peter as he turns to dust was painful, we knew he’d be back. In this case, with Spider-Man out of the MCU, Tony’s sacrifice in Endgame would be completely pointless. Tony died so that Peter could live. He died solely to bring back “the kid.” One of the first lines Tony says to Captain America when they reunite in Endgame is “I lost the kid.” I remember crying at that scene. Tony put Peter at risk, and he was dusted. Tony then put everything on the line, included his life, for a chance to bring back Peter.
Peter was a protege and a son to Tony in many ways. Having little Morgan Stark grow up without her father, and now, potentially without her “older” brother, would be devastating. Morgan Stark needs her older brother, Peter Parker, to go have cheeseburgers with and to have tea parties with. They deserve that character relationship and dynamic. “The kid” needs to be saved, and Disney and Sony need to come to a new agreement because Stan Lee and the fans deserve it.
Disney wanted more money. They wanted to go from a 5% to 50% cofinancial deal, and Sony was not on board. Some sources say that Sony wouldn’t even budge for 30%. The whole issue is about money, and that’s such a bummer. Spider-Man is a character that so many people love and adore, and he’s my favorite superhero of all time. I remember finding out that Spidey would be in Captain America: Civil War. I shared the post and was so excited. The world seemed hopeful and full of possibility. Now it just feels like Thanos won, like this was his true endgame.
I hope that for the sake of the fans and the MCU as a whole, Disney and Sony fix this and fast. With people threatening to boycott either studio and the next phase in the MCU not really being achievable without Spider-Man, only time will tell if both studios are willing to do whatever it takes.