Sony has released an official response to the recently reported news that Disney and Sony reached an impasse on its Spider-Man partnership, calling many of the stories “mischaracterised” and squaring much of the blame on Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige’s workload.
In a rare public statement, Sony released a thread on Twitter late last night discussing the widely-circulated and contentious news. The company said it’s disappointed by Disney’s decision to no longer have Feige as a lead producer on Sony’s Spider-Man films, claiming it’s because of Feige’s increased workload following Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Disney has not commented on these claims but also said it hopes the situation “might change in the future.”
Here’s the statement in full:
Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. 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. We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.
Deadline reported on Monday that Disney and Sony had failed to reach an agreement regarding their continued Spider-Man partnership. Disney reportedly wanted an even split of the gross, not content to stay at the previously agreed on 5 percent. Deadline adds, “Sources said that Sony, led by Tom Rothman and Tony Vinciquerra, came back with other configurations, but Disney didn’t want to do that.” If the failed negotiations stand, this means Feige will no longer serve as a producer on the next two Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland which were apparently planned.
There’s also the issue of the other aspects of Disney and Sony’s agreement, which allowed Disney’s Marvel characters to appear in Sony’s Spider-Man films, and vice versa. If Disney has truly walked away from the partnership, that could mean the crossover agreement (which was done in exchange for co-producer credit on Sony’s films) is also off the table, and both companies would have to go to the drawing board to establish those terms.
In an update to its story post-statement, Deadline characterised Sony’s comments as an attempt to “spin” its previous report (Sony gave its statement to the Hollywood Reporter before tweeting it out). Sources told the outlet that Marvel and Feige would not have pulled out of future Spider-Man films, as “Feige loves Spider-Man,” if Sony had agreed to Disney’s terms. We’ll bring you more on this story as we know it.