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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

5500 Spider-Man fans to storm Sony offices, bring ‘our boy back home’ to MCU

Fans have set up a Facebook event to rescue Spider-Man and bring him back home to Marvel Cinematic Universe by storming Sony’s California office.

hollywood Updated: Aug 22, 2019 10:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
5500 fans are out to save Spider-Man.
5500 fans are out to save Spider-Man.
         

Save Spider-Man has transcended from being an internet trend to a real-life event. According to a C-Net report, 5500 Spider-Man fans have set up a Facebook event to ‘storm’ Sony’s California offices and bring the web-slinger back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The event was set up on Tuesday by three people and exhorted fans to dress up in Spider-Man costumes and target the offices on Halloween, October 31, to bring “our boy home.” Earlier, a similar event was planned to target Area 51.

Marvel’s superhero films could lose their most famous character after Sony confirmed Tuesday that talks over its deal to share Spider-Man with the Disney-owned studio have broken down. The Marvel movies have together grossed $22 billion at the global box office, and British actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has become an increasingly central figure in the most lucrative franchise in film history.

But while the teen web-slinger has for decades been the crown jewel of the Marvel comic book empire on which the films are based, Sony owns the character’s movie rights. He only began appearing in Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe after the Hollywood giants stuck an almost-unprecedented, and still highly secretive, 2015 deal to co-produce and split profits across the films.

A key aspect of that partnership has now broken down.

Sony confirmed that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige -- widely credited with the phenomenal boom in comic book movies of the past decade -- will no longer produce Spider-Man films, with a spokesman adding the studio was “disappointed.”

“We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him... do not allow time for him to work on IP (intellectual property) they do not own,” the Sony spokesman said in a statement.

The separation makes it “almost certain” that the character Spider-Man will be absent from crossover appearances in future Marvel films, according to Hollywood Reporter journalist Graeme McMillan.

Multiple Hollywood media outlets reported earlier Tuesday that Disney and Sony had failed to agree on financial terms for future Spider-Man films. According to Deadline, which broke the news, Disney had wanted to significantly increase its financial stake in new Spider-Man movies, while Sony refused to alter existing terms.

Sony said the reports “mischaracterized recent discussions,” but thanked Feige for “the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.” In financial terms, Spider-Man is one of the most successful superheroes in movie history.

Tom Holland’s iteration of Spider-Man has delivered box office gold -- he has appeared in a total of five Marvel Studios and Sony films since the collaboration deal, which collectively grossed almost $8 billion worldwide.

These included Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” the highest-grossing movie of all time.

At Comic-Con last month, Marvel Studios set out a timeline of films and television shows scheduled for the next two years including new outings for popular characters Thor, Black Widow, Doctor Strange and Loki -- but none featuring Spider-Man.

Feige is also expected to be busy overseeing new Marvel franchises acquired by Disney in its purchase of 21st Century Fox, which include the popular “X-Men”.

Sony last year produced an Oscar-winning Spider-Man animation separate from Marvel Studios’ domain, as well as a standalone film centered on popular Spider-Man villain Venom.

Disney did not immediately respond to request for comment.

This fan rage spawned from a report Deadline published Tuesday of a high-level dispute between Sony and Marvel. That dispute means Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige won’t produce any more Spider-Man films and Marvel will no longer be involved in the Spider-Man movie universe.

Fan ire has been primarily targeted at Sony, but the company pointed to Marvel’s role in Feige stepping away. “Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” a spokesperson told CNET. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film.”

Stay hopeful, though. The Sony representative also stated they hoped things might “change in the future.”

Sony and Marvel made a deal in 2015 to make Spider-Man movies together. The latest, Spider-Man: Far From Home, earned more than $1 billion at the box office, becoming Sony’s highest ever grossing film.

Columbia Pictures, Sony’s primary film production holding, acquired the rights to movie Spider-Man in 2000. It made five Spider-Man movies before the deal with Marvel brought Spider-Man: Homecoming, then Far From Home.