×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

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.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content