Spider-Man: How Sony, Marvel Will Benefit from Unique Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

Amazing Spider-Man 2

Marvel has long wanted to put Spider-Man in its movies, but since Sony Pictures controlled the rights to the character since 1999, the web-slinger has been off limits. Making a crossover could have been costly, since Disney would have been expected to shell out millions. But the actual deal turns out to much cheaper — more like free.

Marvel Studios won’t pay Sony Pictures for the rights to put Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War,” the “Avengers” franchise or its other superhero films, as part of its new partnership with the studio, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. At the same time, Marvel won’t receive a cut of the box office for any of Sony’s films that feature Spider-Man. Sony won’t receive a percentage of the revenue Disney makes from Marvel’s films that have Spider-Man, either.

There may be some opportunities for Marvel to benefit financially from the Sony films, with payments tied to certain box office milestones. The financial relationship is likened by sources to the kind of compensation structure a producer would receive.

Marvel had originally wanted to buy back Spider-Man from Sony. But its resulting partnership, which was in the works since October, is just that — an arrangement that enables both Sony and Marvel to mutually benefit at the box office by having Spider-Man appear in their movies.

The deal actually benefits both sides significantly.

Sony needed to breathe life into its “Spider-Man” franchise; by lending its character to Marvel, it has a way to generate more exposure for its bigscreen hero. Doing so also creates some serious goodwill among Spider-Man fans, who have wanted to see the character become part of the Avengers.

Marvel now gets access to one of the comicbook company’s most popular characters — it already controlled the rights for TV, merchandise and other platforms, but the holy grail for Disney has lately been film, where it has been able to launch franchises that impact the bottom line of all of its various divisions.

Character crossovers across studio films are virtually unheard of and have been considered too cost prohibitive in the past. They’re so rare that Marvel and Fox cast different actors to play Quicksilver in “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

But with Sony looking for a creative way to put a spotlight on its franchise, and Marvel so eager to get its hands on Spidey, Hollywood actually figured out a way to work together for once.

The next step for Sony, of course, is to recast Spider-Man. The studio is looking to go back to Spidey’s roots and put the character back in high school, which would require it to cast a younger actor, Variety has learned. Andrew Garfield is no longer playing the character.

The studio is still moving forward with the Spider-Man villain-centric “Sinister Six,” and “Venom” spinoff, as well as a film that features female characters in the “Spider-Man” universe. “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” has been cancelled. While Marvel’s Kevin Feige is involved with Sony’s new “Spider-Man” films, he is currently not expected to be creatively involved with the spinoffs, sources say.

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  1. Now if only Marvel would make a similar deal with FOX for their Marvel rights…

  2. Kathy says:

    I don’t think Quicksilver was played by two different characters because of money. It had to do with rights. Since he was significant for both worlds, he could be a part of them without infringing on the rights of studios. Since Fox owns the rights to X Men, Quicksilver could be a part of that franchise as long as the Avengers (or any other hero/villain Marvel owns the rights to) aren’t mentioned. And vice versa. Magneto–Quicksilvers dad and the X Men (other Fox heroes/villains) can’t be brought up in any Marvel owned movies or storylines, or sue sue sue they will.

    • therealeverton says:

      You’re 100% right. Mutants they may be, but they ate more “famous” for being Avengers. So Marvel can use them, but not mention their dad bring Magneto or their powers being from mutation. Fox can’t mention Avengers. It’s similar to Wolverine being mostly identified as an X-Man, despite being a character from Hulk who “should belong to whoever leases those rights.

      It’s a guess but given that they only ever mention vibranium in the MCU, only Fox are allowed Adamantium.

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  4. Andy says:

    What’s with the title? That doesn’t make much sense… Shouldn’t it be “Sony and Marvel” rather than “Sony, Marvel”?

  5. Alex says:

    A younger spiderman makes more sense in the MCU when you consider that all the avengers are adults. They need someone younger to balance things out. A young spiderman would be good. Also he would have more excuses to have been missing in the last films. They could say he had to do homework or something. It would also make him more unique as the youngest member. It could be an interesting coming of age story if they transition him into an adult while in the avengers.

  6. X-Man says:

    They shouldn’t have cancelled The Amazing Spider-Man 3 movie. They should have continued it.

  7. spiderfan says:

    omg they are really really gonna miss andy garfeild badly. he was brilliant actor and they’ll see they’ve made a huge mistake firing hip #watchthisspace

  8. One down, one to go (Fox).

  9. Jim G says:

    I doubt the spin-off films will include Spider-man. If Marvel and Feige aren’t involved creatively in those films, then I doubt they’d want Sony doing wired things that would screw up the character and his role in the MCU.

  10. Andrew and team started to grow on me in asm2 up til asm 1 i still looked at Toby maguire as true spiderman and watched asm1 with reservation but the conclusion of asm2 was good they should not just killoff the previous storyline and cast completely espcially since people start to have affiliations with them they should do a soft rebot with andrew and team connecting asm storyline with the civil war and it aint impossible

    • therealeverton says:

      Again, sad as it is for those who liked it, there are not enough people that did. In box office trrms ASM2 lost Sony money and that is with a decreasing audience and enough people stating they did not like the film(s). They simply could not have thrown another $250m+ at a film series too many people simply did not want/like.

  11. Zee Munney says:

    This is the stupidest thing to happen with the Spidey franchise yet! I love the storyline created in the amazing spiderman series that includes the mystery around Peter Parker’s parents. I mean we can guess his mother was killed when she was shot on the plane but his father still could have survived with some creative writing and a parachute! I hate that this storyline will not be wrapped up! Booooo!

  12. Dont get me wrong though-definitely dont connect these with the asm movies and most definitely ditch garfield.

  13. Something I appreciate about Dawn of Justice is that they are going with the full grown version of Batman. The seen it all Batman. Batman at his most Batman. Not the kid trying to figure out how to become Batman. . I’d like to see that Spiderman in Civil War. Married to MJ workin at the Bugle been Spidermanning it for years. Then when he unmasks in front of the press it means means a little more. I don’t mind a little retroactive continuity. Why wasn’t Peter in NYC during Avengers? Easy: second honeymoon with MJ In Hawaii. at this point he could come in as an adult every other avenger knowing about spiderman. its fine. Heres a scene. Peters hangin out with tony stark and bruce banner, they ask him to explain how he got his powers. He can simply say he was bitten by a radioactive spider when he was a kid. stark and banner cant believe it and starts throwing out a convoluted theory about how maybe theres a spider totem and maybe his parents stashed spider dna in their infant son to hide the fornula from oscorp.. etc. Peter says nope nope nope. I already told you my origin story tony, i dont want to keep retelling it over and over, its starting to get a little played out. This could work right? I do see why theyd want to start over with the younger actor though. Iron mans getting old pretty quickly. I bet in hindsight theyre wishing theyd founder a younger actor to play tony and givin him a smaller contract. I think theyll probably to alot of retcon type stuff during the infinity war though that may help them get new actors to replace some of the older ones and fix continuity.

  14. Jack Henry says:

    No more High School.We need an adult Peter Parker.You know who is the perfect age to play Spider-Man?ANDREW GARFIELD!Lock him down!

  15. MileHigh says:

    While I’m excited by the news that Spidey will be able to play in the MCU universe, I’m not at all thrilled to hear that Spider-Man will be, yet again, going back to high school. We’ve seen that Peter Parker as nerdy kid who gets picked on by Flash Thompson. Tell another story. Personally, I would love to see Peter Parker (played by Tobey McGwire again in my dream of dreams) as a high school teacher. There were some great story lines where an adult Parker was being a mentor to younger kids. I bet you could even work in the Miles Morales storyline that way. But it sounds like yet another re-boot, which means we’re due for the same story lines for at least another movie or two.

  16. dwebb says:

    Just when I was really looking forward to spiderman 3 with Andrew Garfield you go and screw it up. I will never pay to see spiderman again.

  17. Shawn Pennell says:

    Very easy to do. Let Sony worry about their spidey. Bring in the black spidey from another universe through an accident with Thor’s hammer and an attack by elves, opens door brings in Spidey which closes Elves door, on wit story, Spidey can take off mask and Marvle can run wit a host of spideys

  18. What the says:

    This is actually a lose-lose for both:

    Sony: is leasing Spidey for free AND has to foot the bill for the Marvel produced film AND lack merchandising rights.

    Marvel: Revitalizes the franchise making it harder to buy Spidey back from Marvel,

    Marvel should let Spidey fail and buy it back for pennies like they did with Hulk.

    • Spider says:

      Good point. I was thinking along the same lines, but I think it was a time issue for Marvel in that ‘Civil War’ is close to filming and Spidey is an integral part of the story. This way, ‘Spider-Man’ will be locked in to what is now sure to be an even, bigger hit- while keeping the story’s continuity intact and making the fans happy, all the while Marvel makes bank and Sony gets another shot at making Spidey right. It would have been great if Marvel would have actually bought back the rights, but despite Sony’s troubles; Sony would have never sold a sure-fire cash cow of a franchise. I would not be surprised if Fox even, considers a similar deal, especially as DC comics and WB are, seemingly, getting their stuff together.

  19. daniel says:

    i don’t like if spidey in the hand sony

  20. daniel says:

    I would marvel made an agreement with Sony is marvel studios will own and have the final creative control of the Spider-Man films and Sony will continue to co-finance, distribute of the Spider-Man films

    • Jacob says:

      Agreed. I am also concerned about Marvel not getting money from the Sony solo films; does this mean they won’t put as much effort in and Sony will have a creative stronghold?

      • thanos0145 says:

        Marvel bought the Spider-Man merchandising rights back from SONY a few years ago. They are going to make a lot of money off of this agreement.

      • Amir says:

        But it’s smart. If this Spider-Man thing fails, Marvel loses NO money!

  21. crysis63 says:

    Brian Williams!! He can spin a good web of lies

  22. Brenton says:

    Why the hell would Sony still be moving forward with Sinister Six and Venom with the Marvel deal in place? That makes absolutely zero sense. Think before saying that.

  23. planetmarkus says:

    I know it’s not likely but you know what? I’d be thrilled if Sony/Marvel decided to take the Miles Morales route!

  24. Ahsoka says:

    Yes but I wish Emma could play Spider-Gwen

  25. lee says:

    Looking forward to all the movies and maybe SpiderGwen.

  26. Going forward with a younger Peter Parker, played by an age-appropriate actor, is the best move for the franchise. Kevin Feige is known to have insisted on this because it brings the character back in line with his comic book portrayal. The fact that both Maguire and Garfield were in their mid to late 20s may skew the view of Peter for those only familiar with the films, but Feige knows best how Spider-Man should be portrayed so that he functions well in both studio’s films. He should be an inexperienced kid next to the more seasoned Avengers heroes and have some difficulty blending into their world.

    Feige moving into the producer’s chair on the Spider-Man franchise is exactly what most fans have dreamed of. Despite Sony retaining “final creative control” of the franchise, it is significant that Marvel mentioned Feige’s dedication to bringing Marvel-style continuity to Spider-Man as he is integrated into the MCU. Feige’s plans will revitalize the hero and revive his ailing franchise after years of mismanagement. It’s not surprising that Marvel’s president is forgoing his fee, given his devotion to the Marvel Universe and the potentially massive profits his studio stands to make from the deal.

    • lotrfan says:

      The question is how much influence wil Feige have?

      I don’t think marvel will make a lot more money, maybe a little. If spider-man shows up in civil war or in future mcu movies they will maybe make a little more money then they would have made without spider-man in the movie. Sony on the other hand will make a lot more money. Not only is there renewed faith in the spider-man franchise because of this deal, but the new spider-man movie will most likely make a lot more money. Especially if another mcu character or characters appear in that movie. This deal has a lot of benefits for sony.

      • therealeverton says:

        People forget that the merchandising / licensing business is measured in the billions, not the millions or hundreds of million. They already make a fortune from Spidey when his films are not as popular as before. with a popular Spider-Man adding to box office takings yhe licensing cash will increase far more. Plus when it works, you may get even more out of the deal. Agent Venom in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. etc.

  27. Ono says:

    Wow, that means whoever cast as the next spidey is gonna have a blast working with both studio at the same time…

  28. therealeverton says:

    Rather see Maguire than Gargield, simply because he was actually in good Spider-Man films and Garfield, through no fault of his own, was not.

    However a new Spider-Man is likely best, there’s no need for an origin as the character will already have been in Captain America and IF Sony want one tgen Fiege will doubtless tell yhem to copy whst Marvel did when they Hulk back from Universal…put the Origin and tale of Spidey’s first few weeks/months/years in the opening credits. 2 minutes and your done.

    the interesting thing here is that Marvel would seem to need an older, married Spider-Man to fit into civil War, whereas according to this Sony want yet another high school set character so…

    • spiderfan says:

      i think tobey maguire was , not necessarily a better spidey by any means than andy garfeild (infact i prefared garfeild), but i think he was more warm and likeable. garfeild put a modern twist on spidey franchise. because andy and emma are a real couple, the peter and gwen relationship worked so well. i’m really gonna miss andy from the movies- and i was looking forward to TASM3 to see if peter had moved on from gwen, the black suit and if richard parker actually died in the plane crash. big mistake sony! marvel should have let ’em to it. i thought nobody could replace toby maguire- then i realised andy was the only person who could. nobody can replace him.
      ps gwen shouldnt have been killed off! emma stone and andy garfield chemistry best ive seen in movies in over 30 years and id have more closure. booohooo # tears #sonyWTF #marvelWTF

  29. lotrfan says:

    Sony should keep Andrew Garfield and go with an older spider-man.

  30. Both Peter Parker and Spider-man should depict as an adult and drop the origin story.

  31. Rosy says:

    The only way they could make it look like Spiderman is growing is bringing back either Tobey or Andrew to replay Peter parker. We don’t need another origins movie and Andrew in particular was great as Peter parker. I would much rather see Andrew back than a reboot. Or perhaps they can film miles teller story.

  32. therealeverton says:

    LMAO…keeping him in high school is exactly what they said they were planning to do with The Amazing Spider-Man. Sony do not have a clue.

  33. jhs39 says:

    There have already been two Spider Man origin films that had so much crossover material that the screenwriter of the Toby McGuire origin film got a screen-writing credit for the Andrew Garfield origin film even though he didn’t actually work on it. Going younger is exactly the opposite of what Sony needs to do with the character–they need to depict Spider Man as an adult.

    • Richard says:

      Well you know they actually do both in the Marvel/ Avengers have an adult SPIDERMAN and in the Sony Films have the stories take place 10/15 years earlier sort of like the first film was a needed lift after 9/11 and its flag pole sitting Spidey no doubt added to its appeal of patriotism and box office . In fact using 9 /11 as a starting point in the new film as a background creating a need for a superhero would be a nice call back to spideys movie debut .

      • zain says:

        i like this picture and you are tati

      • zabardast says:

        That’s possible but I wouldn’t like it since there’s been no sign of spiderman or not even a mention of him in the marvel universe for obvious reasons. It would be odd storyline wise for him to be an adult who has been an active superhero for many years when considering the existing narrative of the marvel studio films especially avengers.

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