Sony Pictures has spoken out after news broke that its partnership with Disney on the Spider-Man franchise has come to an end. In a statement, Sony said it was “disappointed” that the company is pulling Marvel head Kevin Feige away from producing future Spider-Man films.
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” the studio said in a statement obtained by EW. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film.”
Sony also noted that Feige may already have his hands full with the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe after its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
“We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own,” the statement continued. “Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
It was announced on Tuesday that Sony and the Disney-owned Marvel Studios were ending their deal to share the Spider-Man franchise due to a disagreement over their financial arrangement. Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man and related comic characters, but a few years ago, it struck an agreement with Marvel to allow the character to appear in some installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This allowed for Tom Holland to step into Spidey’s shoes in Marvel’s 2016 film Captain America: Civil War and the two Avenger movies. Meanwhile, the actor also played Peter Parker in standalone features like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Feige serving as lead producer.
Disney allegedly asked to share co-financing on future Spider-Man films 50-50, while Sony preferred the financial terms to remain as they had been on Homecoming and Far From Home, where Marvel received in the range of 5% of first-dollar gross, Deadline reported.
The Spider-Man franchise is Sony’s most valuable brand at the moment, with Far From Home overcoming the James Bond film Skyfall to become the studio’s highest-grossing movie of all time.