Tom Holland famously helped keep Spider-Man in the MCU with a personal appeal to Disney head Bob Iger, but if Spidey is going to stay there Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, are going to have to make another deal.
The two studio heads recently participated in a roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter, so the subject of Spider-Man naturally came up. Both expressed openness to keeping the character in the MCU beyond his next two appearances, a Spider-Man: Far from Home sequel and one film to be determined.
Before addressing the future of the partnership, both men addressed its recent history. According to Horn, along with Holland’s intervention, it was pressure from fans helped get the current deal done.
“The fan base, which is important to all of us, seemed to really respond to what Tom and his folks had done before with our people, and they like it. They like the fact that the MCU and Kevin Feige were involved, and we heard feedback out there that joining forces once again was probably a really good idea.”
“I think it’s an example of the kind of terrific collegiality you see around this table,” he said. “We had two films in four years of a terrific relationship with Disney and an excellent creative partnership, and I could just say that we’re very excited.”
Moderator Matthew Belloni brought up Into the Spider-verse as evidence that Sony could clearly do very well with the character on its own. That film is also a good reminder that Sony can make its own Spider-Man films and put the character in other films — like, say, this summer’s Morbius — under the terms of the current deal.
So the Sony-Disney arrangement is and would almost certainly remain more of a share than a transfer. That has to bode well for a potential extension, and Belloni asked Rothman if he thought such an extension was possible.
“I hope so,” Rothman replied. “I think this was a classic win, win, win. I think it was a win for Sony, I think it was a win for Disney, and I think it was a win for the fans.”
Despite this rosy outlook, there’s a lot that has to be discussed before both sides can side on the dotted line. Still, there’s reason to be hopeful that Spider-Man and the rest of the MCU could be together for a very long time.