At long last, it appears someone has decided to take a stand against the colossus that is Disney Studios. Sony Pictures has finally said “enough” regarding their shared custody of the beloved Spider-Man.
In a dispute over “how much is Kevin Fiege worth to you”, Sony and Disney have decided to part ways. This outcome resulted from Disney’s decision that they were no longer happy with the original deal which according to sources saw Marvel receive about 5% of first-dollar gross and all merchandising revenues. Instead, Disney decided they wanted all future films co-financed 50/50 with Feige staying as a consulting producer. Needless to say, Sony was less than thrilled with the offer.
But is this really the big deal that many are claiming it to be? Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.
Long forgotten are the days before the reign of Disney in the comic book-to-film era. Discarded in the backs of our minds are movies such as the Batman of 1989, Spawn (1997), or even Hellboy (2004). So much so, that for some who have enjoyed the monopoly that has been the MCU, the thought of a world in which Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is not hanging out with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man appears to be the end of the world. Well in case anyone is wondering… it’s not.
There are studios outside of Disney quite capable of producing incredible comic book-based films. If fact, this is not as rare an occurrence as the mega-corporation would have you believe. There have been plenty of films produced by outside companies that have done just fine, and this may well be the case with Sony.
Not only is Sony very capable of producing successful films on it’s own, they are responsible for producing what may arguably be the best incarnation of Spider-Man in modern day, and they did it all on their own. Yes, I’m talking about Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Into the Spider-Verse is a phenomenal example of what can happen when people are willing to step out and take a leap. This is the kind of thing people do when they don’t have to make their story fit into a collection of other tales. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the MCU as much as anyone, but the overall arch can limit those who like to think outside of the box.
At this point, Sony has squarely set themselves outside of the box. So it’s time to see how long they can stay independent and if they will take this opportunity to do something unique and unexpected, or fall back into line.