Due to Sony Pictures and Disney's inability to establish a deal over the future of Spider-Man, the iconic character will no longer be a part of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) — a rather bittersweet ending for fans hoping to see more of their beloved web-slinger fighting alongside the likes of Thor and Hawkeye in future "Avengers" installments.
After nearly a week of turmoil, actor Tom Holland (who played Spider-Man/Peter Parker in five different films) has finally broken his silence to say it was a great run.
"Basically, we've made five great movies. It's been five amazing years," Holland told Entertainment Weekly, according to Fox News. "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."
Marvel producer Kevin Feige also told Entertainment Weekly that the five films he made with Spider-Man was simply a "dream" he never thought would come to fruition.
"I'm feeling about Spider-Man gratitude and joy ... We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers," said Feige. "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."
Spider-Man exited the MCU when Marvel and Disney failed to reach an agreement with Sony over the character's future, which Sony has owned for nearly two decades.
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Disney, which owns Marvel, and Sony had penned a deal in 2015 that would bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the initial deal between the two companies, Sony would allow Marvel’s creative team to integrate Spider-Man into its cinematic universe and would put up 100% of the production costs.
In exchange, Disney received 5% of 'first-dollar gross,' or 5% of the ticket sales from the first day of the release, and retained the merchandising rights for the character. Sony would reap the rest of the box-office haul.
Disney reportedly proposed a 50/50 co-financing deal, meaning each company would put up half of the production costs and then split the profits, according to entertainment news website Deadline. Sony reportedly refused.
As to what Spider-Man will become in the hands of Sony remains to be seen, though the studio did take the character to new and interesting heights with 2018's "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse" — a critical and financial hit that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
While most fans have reacted to the news of Spider-Man's departure with sour grapes, Stan Lee's daughter, Joan Lee, praised Sony while denouncing Disney and Marvel for allegedly mistreating her father's work.
"Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father's creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy," Joan Lee told TMZ this past week. "Whether it's Sony or someone else's, the continued evolution of Stan's characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view."
"When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father's work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency," she continued. "In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney's executives."