Spider-Man is Suddenly Out of MCU Due to Money


Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank has always said this: “In business, it’s all about the money. That’s why I like the Goody Feed app.”

The second sentence is #fakenews, but the first is true as steel: everything in business costs money. And unfortunately, that rings true for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, too: because of money, we might no longer see Tom Holland playing Spider-Man again.

Here’s what happened.

The Birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Do you know that back in 1996, Marvel has filed for bankruptcy?

It was a dark period for the company: over 1/3 of the employees were laid off, and the future of Marvel seemed bleak. The bankruptcy managed to clear all their debts but they were losing money as much as honestbee.

And to make money, they had to think of innovative ways. They opened a superhero-themed restaurant and it closed in a year. They did trading cards but failed as well. Heck, they even tried creating interactive CD-ROMS, and CD-ROMS died even faster than Marvel’s CDs.

Prior to that, they had experimented with selling their characters rights to other production companies, not knowing that they’d be a hit since superhero movies used to look like this:

The first character they sold was Blade. Surprisingly, the movie was a hit, making USD$70 million. However, Marvel’s licence deal was a one-time flat one: they’d just receive USD$25,000.

But they had to do it for the quick cash, and so, they continued to sell more characters: X-Men was sold to Fox and Spider-Man to Sony.

Those movies made tons of money but they all went to the studios that bought the rights to the characters.

So Marvel was like: why not we do our own movie?

It was a big risk: the company didn’t have much cash and they weren’t prepared to go back to the dark days. What if they fail? The company would be honestbee-ed.

But they went with the idea, taking a bank loan of USD$535 million. And the collateral they had to put up? Almost all the rights of the remaining characters they had.

In other words, if they didn’t return the money, the bank, Merrill Lynch, would own the rights to these characters.

It would be interesting to see what the bank would do with those characters, though. Name their savings account as “Captain America Savings”?

In any case, Marvel took the risk—they bought back the rights of Iron Man and did the movie themselves.


The rest, as they said, is history.

Except that not every company agreed to sell back the rights to them.

Marvel’s Parent Company Bought a Company That Owns Many Characters

In 2009, Disney bought Marvel for USD$4.24 billion. Then Disney bought 21st Century Fox for USD$71.3 billion this year.

Back then, Marvel had sold some character rights to 21st Century Fox, with the most popular one being X-Men. With both companies under the same parent company, Wolverine can now drink bubble tea with Nick Fury.

But not Peter Parker.


You see, the rights of Spider-Man are still with Sony. But why is Spider-Man in the MCU then?

Well, simple: the rights of Spider-Man were never sold back to Marvel. Instead, Sony and Marvel reached a deal, in which Sony would allow Marvel to use Spider-Man in their films, but Sony would maintain the rights to the character and was responsible for financing, distributing, and “final creative control.”

The deal also meant that Marvel would just take 5% of the gross box-office revenue.

That’s been the case for the first two Spider-Man films, but with the movies making billions of dollars, Marvel now wants more.

Marvel Wants Half of Everything

Instead of letting Sony take a bulk of the money, Marvel wants future Spider-Man movies to be “50 / 50 co-financing arrangement between Disney and Sony.”

That sounds chim, but I’m going to take it that Marvel wants to be very involved in the movies, and of course wants 50% of the profit.


Needless to say, Sony turned down that offer.

Now here’s the thing: Marvel still isn’t happy with the 5% deal.

And this, my spidery friends, is why the headline exists: there’s now a standoff, and Spider-Man might be out of the MCU.

Both Marvel and Sony haven’t commented on this issue.

If you’ve watched the last Spider-Man movie, you’d know that it ended on a cliff-hanger. Would we be able to see how Peter Parker reacted to that plot twist?


Let the money decide.