When Marvel Studios and Sony signed a deal to let Spider-Man into the MCU, they agreed on five films. The five films ended up being: Captain America Civil War, Spider-Man Homecoming, Avengers Infinity War, Avengers Endgame, and Spider-Man Far From Home. As for July 2019, the initial deal that brought Spider-Man home will come to an end
The logical question here is if Sony will renew the contract. Will Sony see the value in keeping Marvel in the MCU? Will Marvel want to keep Spider-Man in the MCU? The debate rages on with evidence on either side of the issue offering up viewpoints that indicate that the MCU might find itself with one less superhero coming out of 2019. On the other hand, other people with compelling evidence claim there is no way that Spider-Man will be leaving the MCU.
There are reasons why Spider-Man may stay in the MCU...and reasons that he won't. Let's break it down.
10 (Won't) Spider-Man Is Profitable Without The MCU
Ignoring the past success of previous Spider-Man films, Sony realizes that Spider-Man is worth a lot of money to them as a studio. With the success of both Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony has proven that Spider-Man can still make a lot of money without any ties to the MCU.
Why should Sony potentially sign off on letting Marvel use the character when they can monopolize the character? Remember that Sony earns none of the profits from Marvel films featuring Spidey, like Avengers Infinity War. That's a lot of money Sony could be earning.
9 (Will) Sony's Spider-Man Profits Grew After The Deal
The Spider-Man films have been on a downward track at the box office ever since the Raimi films ended. Both Amazing Spider-Man films grossed less and less, showing that there was a decline in interest in Sony's vision for the wall-crawler. It wasn't until the MCU deal that people became interested in Peter Parker again.
Though Venom and Spider-Man: Spider-Verse were successful films, would they have been as successful if not for the MCU? After all, Spider-Man Homecoming outgrossed almost all the Spider-Man films when it came out, in part because it was part of the larger MCU. That connection prints money.
8 (Won't) Marvel Can Still Profit Off Spidey Without Making Movies
Marvel licensed the Spider-Man films to Sony, but Marvel can still make a profit off the films indirectly. It doesn't need to squander its resources to produce films for the sake of it.
Marvel owns all rights to any Spider-Man related merchandise. As a result, any merchandise sold in conjunction with a new Spider-Man movie goes into Marvel's pockets. Does Marvel really need to put in the energy into making a film when it will, ultimately, come back to benefit them no matter what they do?
7 (Will) Creative Control
The MCU isn't just a labor of money. The films make that no matter what. No, the MCU is also a creative endeavor for Marvel Studios. As such, they don't need Spider-Man, the X-Men, or Fantastic Four to make a profit...but they want these properties because it completes their creative authority.
As a company that seeks to use its diverse roster in order to tell stories it wants to tell, Marvel Studios wants to exact control over Spider-Man. It's good for both brands, especially now that audiences have had a taste of Peter in the MCU.
6 (Won't) Connections To Venom
Venom is one of the biggest surprises of 2018. The film was a huge hit financially, and, while critics didn't particularly care for it, audiences responded to it in a big way.
As such, it is obvious that Sony will want to pair up Spidey and Venom. However, as Venom is as of now either adjacent to or unconnected to the MCU, that's hard. If Spidey were to be removed from the MCU, however, it would make a potential match-up between Venom and Spidey far easier.
5 (Will) Marvel Studios Has Plans For Spidey's Cast That Conflicts With Sony's
When news broke out that Silver and Black, one of the potential Spider-Man spin-off films Sony had planned, was scrapped, fans started speculating why. One major reason the film was scrapped, it seemed, was that Marvel Studios objected to Norman Osborn being a central figure to the film, as they had plans that contradicted what would happen in the film.
Because of this, it's clear that the MCU isn't done with Spider-Man. If Marvel Studios intended on letting this deal slip through without an attempt to renew it, why would they care what Sony did with Osborn, a character who isn't in Homecoming or Far From Home (as far as we know)? Why would they care about Spider-Man beyond the limits of the deal?
4 (Won't) Avi Arad
Avi Arad is one of the biggest superhero producers of the last two decades. It's thanks to him that the superhero craze really kicked it off. He pushed for Venom, a surprise hit of this year, as well as for the animated Spider-Man film that became Spider-Verse.
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He's also a control freak who forced Sam Raimi to rewrite Spider-Man 3 to fit in Venom, constantly meddled with the Amazing Spider-Man films, and ignored advice Kevin Feige offered on the early scripts to said films. While Arad has failed in many ways, it's possible his eagerness to control the Spider-Man property might result in him making the selfish, bad business decision to hoard Spidey to Sony.
3 (Will) Tom Holland
Many argue that Tom Holland is the best actor to play Spider-Man. Many feel his portrayal has revitalized the character for an audience who had grown bored with his prior appearances. That's all well and good, but Tom Holland may be one of the biggest reasons why Spider-Man stays in the MCU.
Tom Holland is young and energetic. He can play the character for a while. Should Spider-Man leave the MCU, Tom Holland will no longer be playing the character, since, logically, the films would take place in a new continuity. They would lose an actor young enough to play the character for the long-term—energetic enough to play him for the long term—and for what?
2 (Won't) The Deal Will Fall Through
Sony made the deal to lend Spider-Man to the MCU during a time of financial crisis. Sony was desperate. They did it because they had no other choice. Now, however, things have changed. Sony is stabilizing as a company. They are no longer in the desperate position to strike bargains with Marvel Studios.
As such, they may ask for more. They may want more. And this will lead to difficulties with the contract. Agreements like these are so delicate and precise. It is possible that a single argument may shatter the whole thing. It could be over something petty or small. Doesn't matter. The deal stands on a knife's edge. Push a little, and everything falls apart.
1 (Will) It's Good Business Sense
Sony would be stupid not to renew the deal. Marvel does all the creative legwork for them. They get to produce content. Sony profits from both. Marvel profits because they get to exact creative control and continuity over all associated brands. It's a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit.
If the deal were to falter, it would tarnish both brands. Sony's stockholders wouldn't like seeing this intense struggle over a huge brand, and they'd lose money. Marvel's brand would be tarnished due to them failing to hold onto their properties. No one would walk away the good guy here.
The deal to keep Spider-Man in the MCU needs to be renewed. It just would be a terrible idea for fans and businesses to let that through.