With no deal in sight between Sony and Disney on the future of fans’ favorite wall-crawler, Tom Holland’s Spider Man fate is unclear at the moment. Considering he still has a contract for two more films, how Sony is going to develop his character from now on? How can the MCU cope with the loss one of its major characters? (Far From Home SPOILERS ahead!)
The last few days were literally heart–breaking for every Marvel and Spider Man fan that was impatient to watch how Tom Holland would have taken the spot that was owned by Robert Downey Junior. A scenario that it won’t be happening anymore, apparently, as the deal between Sony and Disney seems to be irrecoverable: the issue that caused the split between the two parties was the percentage of the income, with Disney reportedly asking for a 50/50 deal. A deal that Sony rejected, causing the stop to the negotiations (at least for the moment, even if an agreement seems really unlikely, at the moment).
During the weekend Disney had its own panel, the D23 and we finally got some clarification from Kevin Feige himself and, after a few days of silence, Tom Holland. Feige stated that the “unprecedented” deal between Sony and Disney was never meant to last forever, and that they got to do five films to tell the story they wanted to tell the fans. Even though only last July Kevin himself teased the plans for the future Spider Man 3 saying that the film would have told a story that has never been told before, those plans at the moment won’t be probably realized anymore, and Tom Holland’s Spider Man could take a whole different path. Tom Holland himself during the panel stated:
It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? 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.”
A quite diplomatic answer from the actor, that confirmed he will still be wearing Spidey’s costume, even mentioning new possible crossovers. Sony indeed confirmed that the work on the scripts of the third solo film with Holland didn’t stop and that they will keep on working on it, regardless of a deal with Disney or not. After the events of Far From Home it seems that Marvel Studios had decided to place Spider Man at the centre of their universe, with Peter finally collecting Tony’s legacy, just to see it thrown upside down in the post credits scene, where from hero he is quickly turned into a villain to people’s eyes.
Holland’s Spider Man is a character extremely deep-rooted within the MCU: starting from the suits he wore in every film, his positions in the Avengers and the characters revolving around him (Happy in the first place) have strong connecting threads to the bigger universe created during the years. Can the character survive outside his native environment?
One of the option for Sony would be for Spider Man to join Venom universe (and it will match with Tom Holland’s statement about new crossovers… I mean, the guy is famous for delivering massive spoilers, so it could have been a massive slip off). While the first film wasn’t really well-received by critics and Venom/Eddie Brock wasn’t well characterised, a possible Spider Man entry into his universe (and with Carnage on his way…) the brand could be able to see an interest surge towards the brand, with a possible adaptation of Maximum Carnage being one of the most craved solutions by the fans. The question is, is Sony willing to keep the character that Marvel developed as it is? Tom Holland being the main actor once again it doesn’t necessarily means that they will try to keep his version of Spider Man as it is in the MCU. Would this be the chance, we could witness a soft-reboot of the character that will eradicate him from his origins within the MCU and give him a new and completely detached identity, to make him join Venom and Tom Hardy in what it would be the best case scenario within Sony Universe.
But what about the MCU? What is going to happen to Spider Man presence within the universe? His character can’t disappear again like this, as if Thanos had snapped his fingers once again. Spider Man was one of the main superheroes in the last few years and his arc was well written to get to the final act of the Infinity Saga. Every step, turn or direction the Marvel Studios took was intended to make Holland the new leading hero of the Avengers, contradicting Feige statement mentioned above. If they knew that the deal wasn’t gonna last forever, why did they decide to make Spider Man one of their most important characters within the MCU? Why did they choose him as the heir of Tony Stark? My thoughts are that they were totally unprepared to this eventuality and that now they will struggle a lot to find a solution to this that could be a disaster for their continuity. At Marvel Studios, we know that, they like to always plan in advance: this time, though, it looks they could have done a huge mistake, and after loosing Robert Downey Junior’s Iron Man for good, they seem to have lost Spider Man too. And not by their own will, this time…