'Spider-Man' returns to the Marvel universe as Sony, Disney strike new deal
Sony Pictures Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios jointly announced Friday they have struck a deal to team up on a third entry in the Spider-Man film series starring Tom Holland, a month after the two studios parted ways amid a reported disagreement over profit-sharing.
The reconciliation means that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who this week was reportedly tapped to develop a "Star Wars" film, will produce the third outing, scheduled for release July 16, 2021.
Holland appeared to celebrate the news in an Instagram post, sharing a clip from the Martin Scorsese film "The Wolf of Wall Street" in which Leonardo DiCaprio hollers, "I'm not [expletive] leaving! The show goes on!"
The news will surely come as a relief to die-hard fans of the sprawling Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe: the new agreement between Disney and Sony allows Spider-Man to appear in a future film under the Marvel Studios banner.
"I am thrilled that Spidey's journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it," Feige said in a statement.
"Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe," Feige added. "He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spider-verse, you never know what surprises the future might hold."
Hollywood veteran Amy Pascal will also produce through her Pascal Pictures label. She touted the "winning partnership" between the two studios.
Sony has owned the rights to the Spider-Man character since 1985, but in 2015, the studio announced a partnership with Disney and Marvel that made it possible for the webslinger to show up in crossover MCU installments like "Captain America: Civil War" and "Avengers: Infinity War."
The arrangement also put Feige in the co-producer's chair for standalone "Spider-Man" projects, such as the recent "Spider-Man: Far From Home." The film, released in early July, is now the highest-grossing title in the history of Sony Pictures, with more than $1 billion in global ticket sales.
The ongoing series of Spider-Man films starring the 23-year-old Holland is Sony's third iteration of the franchise. The first trilogy starred Golden Globe-nominated actor Tobey Maguire and the second pair of films starred Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield.