Fans may be upset over Sony seemingly ripping Spider-Man from the arms of Disney, but Stan Lee’s daughter, Joan Lee, says Sony made the right decision to not abdicate the iconic character so willingly, accusing Disney and Marvel executives of treating her father abysmally.
“While many fans have rallied behind Disney in the wake of reports that talks had broken down between the company and Sony over future Spider-Man films, at least one person is standing behind Sony — Stan Lee’s daughter,” reports CNBC.
Speaking with TMZ, Joan Celia Lee said that Marvel and Disney’s hegemony over her father’s legacy needs to be “checked and balanced.”
“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,” she said. “Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view.”
Joan went on to say that Marvel and Disney largely disrespected her father’s legacy by exploiting his creations.
“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 said. “In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”
Joan Lee’s explosive comments against Marvel and Disney come shortly after the studios failed to reach an agreement with Sony over the future of Spider-Man, which Sony has owned for nearly two decades. CNBC provided more context:
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.
If the split continues, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will have to continue without Spider-Man, which grossed over $1.1 billion in box office receipts this summer alone with the release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Should the character be back in Sony’s wheelhouse, the fate of actor Tom Holland as the title character remains questionable. Vox, however, says that the ordeal may indeed be a shrewd attempt by Sony or Marvel to negotiate a better deal.
“An important thing to keep in mind: The entire story of the failed deal is probably part of a strategic play by Marvel or Sony, or even both studios, to gain an advantage in negotiations. Leaking this kind of news riles up fans who have taken a liking to the MCU iteration of Spider-Man and actor Tom Holland’s portrayal of him,” reports the outlet. “Both of those solo Spidey films were set in the MCU and co-produced by Sony and Marvel, and outraged fan reaction to the idea that there won’t be any more of them puts pressure on both sides.”