Well, that didn’t last too long. Last month, word came out that Sony and Marvel couldn’t come to an agreement to keep Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), but today news has arrived that the two sides have worked out their differences and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will return for at least one more film.
Kevin Feige will return to produce the third film in a series begun with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is now on track for a July 16, 2021 release date. That puts it squarely into Marvel’s Phase 4 plans. The deal also involves the web-slinger showing up in one other MCU film, which suggests that Spider-Man could have a pretty big role in the next stage of the Marvel films now that the Infinity Saga is over. There’s no word on what additional movie Spider-Man will show up in, however.
It’s also not clear what happened that brought the two companies back to the table, though that’s likely to come out at some point once this all gets unpacked. Most likely Marvel wanted to keep the quality brand control over one of its most popular characters and Sony wanted the cash that comes with MCU films so that their burgeoning Spider-verse can have some clout. In fact, in a statement Feige hints at this exact motivation:
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. Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.
This lends more credence to the idea that Sony is making a Madame Web movie to expand the multiverse stories set up in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, by pulling Tom Holland’s Spider-Man into their universe that’s being set up through Venom, Morbius, and other efforts in the works. Whatever the final deal was, it’s good to have Holland and company back for one more turn, especially since this guarantees that J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson we saw at the end of Far From Home will indeed be returning.