Sony, Disney, and Spidey

GhostAndy

If there’s one thing that nearly all of the Ghost staff can agree on, it’s the fact that one of our favorite, if not our “the favorite” character in all of comic books is the one and only Spider-man!

I feel regular contributor on the GotS website, Jabroniville, best summed up why we all love Spidey:

“The guy is the ultimate, probably the greatest super-hero ever made. He’s perfect in nearly every way if you want to tell great stories. He’s powerful so you can get cool feats out of him, but not to the point where he can’t be beaten (most of his villains are stronger). He’s arguably the most well-rounded character in all of comics, with the most facets. He captured Teen Angst in a way VERY few ever have (think- he never actually hooked up with those High School girls he had crushes on, unlike most media today), complete with the colossal self-doubt. EVERY teenage character in comics since has ripped him off, and for their benefit.”- Jabroniville (Top 10 Favorite Characters)

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Couldn’t have said it better myself. And it’s because of our love of the character that we felt it was absolutely necessary to chime in on the news that currently the deal for Sony/Marvel Studios to make joint Spidey movies with him as an official member of the MCU is off, and at least as of this article, it seems to be pretty final.

This comes to most of here at GotS as a major blow below the belt as after that cliffhanger ending to “Spider-man: Far from Home”, many of us said on our podcast that the next MCU Spidey picture was the one we were the most excited to see. Therefore, many of us felt obligated to get out our thoughts on the subject here on our website.

Whether you agree or disagree, please let us know your comments as this story continues to unfold over the course of the next few weeks.

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STEW’S THOUGHTS:

48388259_10161051849820398_4486475811804676096_nI am curious to see how this actually shakes out for a few reasons, but primary one being that the MCU is ingrained in the current iteration of Spider-Man’s bones. From Tony Stark to The Avengers to Mysterio’s entire plan and machinations to Happy Hogan to the aftershocks of The Blip… it’s impossible to fully separate Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from its MCU roots. So to continue doing this Spidey’s story without referencing what came before it would be incredibly awkward. But is that where Sony will have to go? Surely we can’t be gearing towards another relaunch of Peter Parker, so is the goal to just ignore the past and never mention it again?

Additionally, I’m not sure I see Sony as the villain here as much as others may. Ultimately, Disney is the partner that decided the agreed upon deal was not good enough for them any longer and demanded a huge increase in their share. Sony telling them no and Disney pulling out Feige feels like it’s all on Disney, but I get that the MCU has all the good will (and good movies), so fans are going to inherently side with them. But if what I have read so far is true… I can’t really fault Sony as much as I do Disney here.

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This all said, there is a LOT of time before this decision is irreparable, and there is just so much damn money to leave on the table if an agreement isn’t made. I don’t believe we’ve heard the last of these developments… not by a long shot.

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CHAD’S THOUGHTS:

IMG_4466It was fun while it lasted!

But seriously…it’s fine. It’s not great, or good even…but there’s a slight chance Sony can hire capable folks from either Homecoming/Far From Home or Into the Spider-verse. Especially the latter, as if Sony can get the animated team that kicked so much butt on Spider-verse to handle the franchise going forward, then we’ll probably be fine.

Unless they get the Vemon folks, instead. Then it’ll be so bad, which is also kinda okay.

Still though my faith in Sony is not nearly as strong as my faith in Marvel Studios.

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ETHAN’S THOUGHTS:

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I agree with my fellow Ghosts on one thing…what did you expect Sony to do??

According to Deadline, Disney was looking to renegotiate their rate from something like 5% per movie to a 50/50 split.  That’s a 45% change in revenue!  That’s bad business for anyone, let alone two megaton movie studios.

Yes, Sony will lose Feige, the most important figure in comic book movies, but I think they should strive.

Look to the recent success of Venom (commercial) and Spiderverse (critical) for evidence of that.  Watt and Holland are still in place for a sequel, the seeds have already been planted…let’s also see Spidey stand alone.

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Personally, one of the things that bothered me most about the new Spider-Man movies was the overbearing presence of RDJ and Iron Man (making Spidey see the grave of Iron Man instead of his actual father figure, Uncle Ben, in Homecoming was a bridge too far).

Like Batman, I expect my Spidey experience to be its self-contained universe, even if the comics rarely left it at that. Call me sacrilegious, but I’m also personally not a big fan of the “samey” feeling MCU movies…a change in producer could lead to more creative freedom without being shackled in the constraints of the MCU “house style”.

What I would love to see, now that Sony has their hooks deep into the property, is an adaptation of Spider-Man: Life Story, with all the movie Spideys (Andrew, Toby AND Tom) appearing as a separate decade.

Tell me you wouldn’t get FIRED THE HELL UP for that.  It might also finally settle the debate of who was best.

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ANDY’S THOUGHTS:

IMG_5423It seems like since Avengers: End Game, Disney/Marvel Studios has been very stupid. You know that old saying that pride comes before a fall, I think that fits that studio to a tee right now.

Some people talk about what if the fact that the superhero movie’s domination of the box office in recent years is just one big bubble which will one day pop, and although it doesn’t seem like that’s the case at times, it sure does seem like Marvel Studios wants to really test that theory by poking it as hard as it can with reckless abandon.

I mean look at that Phase 4 schedule! Really, Black Widow. That’s gonna anchor your season following the biggest movie thus far of your franchise? That’s gonna put fannies in the seats? Watching a retconned movie about a character that we already know is dead? And then you dump as your follow ups, the Eternals and Shang Chi at us, which are pretty much “C” to “D” list characters in real comics that practically nobody in the general public has heard of, and that’s your plan?!?

Again, it reeks of complete and utter hubris. It’s this notion that the MCU has established itself so well that it could throw out anything from the Marvel canon and we would just gobble it up, no questions asked. Let’s make an Alpha Flight movie, let’s make a Black Knight movie, let’s make a Darkhawk movie! People will lap it up! I mean the Guardians of the Galaxy were unknowns before that first movie, and now they are some of the biggest characters ever! That’s the power of the MCU, right? We can make movies out of anything!

As I said…that’s dangerous hubris talking.

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What people are forgetting is that the first GotG movie came out at the tail end of the MCU slate in a year that already delivered movies with more well known Marvel properties like Thor and Captain America. That reinforced audiences expectations well before GotG hit the screen and allowed for them take a chance on some unknown characters. Plus, the very next movie after GotG was Avengers: Age of Ultron, again allowing for a buffer effect by sandwiching the newcomers between established properties.

Now with no Avengers movie on the horizon, Iron Man dead, and Captain America retired, the options to have that buffering effect on the movies was already significantly limited. Spidey, who is and always will be Marvel’s franchise character, he was their ace in the hole. A relatively young character from a MCU chronological respect around which they could rebuild and shore up places where there was shaky foundations. Sort of like Iron Man did for them, which was why it was apropos for them to make him the heir apparent in “Far From Home”.

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But for them to now say they are walking away from the table and they are okay with losing Spidey, wow, those are some real brass balls. No Cap, No Iron Man, No Spidey. Three heavy hitters off the table. Really, you are okay with this? You think this is smart?

Maybe you are gambling on the fact you got the X-men and FF back, but c’mon they are somewhat damaged goods and besides you have no real plans to bring them in to really help any time soon.

Face it, Marvel Studios. There were holes in the canoe post End Game. Spidey was helping you plug some of them. But now you are actually begging to see that canoe sink.

I’ll agree Sony might make terrible pictures and they might butcher everything you built in saving Spidey from the movie scrap heap, but to jump from 5% to 50% of the profits when you were dumb enough to sign the movie rights over to them in the first place is just negotiation suicide. You are friggin’ Disney! You have money! Do you want to own everything?!? Sheesh!

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So yeah, here’s hoping as Stew said, this is just a chapter in the on going saga which will unfold over the next few months. Maybe we’ll all look back at this article by December and laugh about the bullet we all dodged as Sony/Marvel plan on the next Spidey joint release.

But if this is really the last word we hear on this, then I’m calling it now. This was the death knell. This was the moment where the bubble was indeed exposed. And when audiences start turning away after a lack luster Phase 4 lineup followed by poor quality Sony Spider-man pictures, I’ll put the blame for the demise of Superhero movies solely at Marvel Studios feet.

As Spidey always says “With great power comes great responsibility”. Marvel Studios has the power right now, but it doesn’t seem like they are acting very responsibly.

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Check out our podcast review of Spider-Man: Far from Home Here!

7.9.19

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