Farewell, sweet prince.
What a couple of days. It's pretty insane, really. Gamescom is going on - the biggest game convention in the world - and yet, the two biggest news stories to come out of the week revolve around entities that aren't even present - Sony and Marvel.
On Monday it was announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment was purchasing Insomniac Games who recently developed Marvel's Spider-Man, which was released exclusively on the PlayStation 4 last September - on the same day as NBA 2K19, actually. I remember that well because finding a balance and trying to make time for both was literally impossible. BUT ANYWAYS.
This was a good move - this 100% means that we were going to see a Spider-Man 2 being released on next-gen consoles, probably with an even more alive city, a massive interactive world and a great story to boot. I'd bet money that they are already balls deep in production on that thing - putting any other IP like Ratchet & Clank, Sunset Overdrive, etc. on the back burner in favor of capitalizing on Marvel's successes and their own.
What good news, we all exclaimed! Sony, as a whole, is flourishing! And listening! They're giving us what we want, putting their resources into projects that we want!
Then yesterday happened.
And before I get to that, let me be clear that, yes, I do understand that Sony Interactive Entertainment and Sony Pictures are two separate things - one dealing with films and one dealing with video games - sure. But you know what, Sony is Sony at the end of the day and all of this shit is strategically planned and you can't convince me otherwise.
So yes, yesterday - around 4:00 PM EST Deadline posts an article stating that the negotiations between Marvel and Sony were halted and that following Spider-Man's Far From Home successes, they would no longer continue to work together and as a result, Spider-Man would no longer be part of the MCU.
We all knew the deal - it was two movies. Homecoming, Far From Home, and then all the big money boys would sit in a room and see what was next for the franchise and how they'd deal with Sony allowing their precious Spider-Man in the MCU going forward. The rumor circulating the internet at one point was that if Far From Home was to make 1 billion dollars then Sony would agree to keep working with Marvel and we wouldn't have any issues.
But I guess that was all bullshit because that movie crossed a billion weeks ago and yet we're currently existing in a timeline that sees the Spider-Man movies turning back into trash fires.
Well, that's not fair. I enjoyed Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man. And Toby McGuires. I'm being hyperbolic because I'm trying to stress the fact that TOM HOLLAND IS THE BEST SPIDER-MAN. He just is. He's a tremendous actor that literally said he'd be happy to make dozens of Spidey films. He loves the character, he loves the MCU and he'd be happy web-slinging his way directly into his own grave. Imagine a 75 year-old Spider-Man - zip zapping from building to building in a diaper and bashing enemies with his walking stick. We could have had that! But now it seems we'll never know.
With that being said, I am reading these conflicting reports stating how the deal actually isn't done and there's still time to save it and that possibly this information was leaked out in an attempt to gain leverage in the situation and I'd like to believe that to be true. Why not? It just doesn't make sense to me. How can you establish this character and root him so deeply in the story of what's going on in the world of the MCU only to rip him away? The only reason Tony snapped his god damn fingers to begin with was because he knew the world would be safe with our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man watching over them. And now what? We're just never going to address that?
For Sony, it's no problem. Far From Home already set up his next plot line in a post credits scene - you toss in a villain, add in some other Spidey characters - Gwen, Venom, whatever. You've got yourself a couple more entertaining films. Fine. They don't have to acknowledge whats happened before this at all and Spider-Man can just exist in his own little world and Sony doesn't have to worry about it.
But what about the MCU? When the next disaster strikes where is Nick Fury supposed to tell us that Peter Parker is? Are we just going to have to keep making excuses? Kill him off? Or not acknowledge it what-so-ever which would be the weirdest possible solution. It simply makes everything messy - at a time where the MCU was cleaning things up, progressively improving and slowly taking over the world.
So then last night Sony releases their statement which reads something like this:
“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. 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. 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. 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.”
Sooooooo, Sony is saying this was Disney's decision. And that Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, is so busy with all the other properties in Phase 4 and beyond (beyond!) that he doesn't have the time to work on a property that he does not own.
So now I don't know what to believe. I'd like to think Sony knows what they have with associating Spider-Man with the MCU and the future films wont be as popular without that brand attached to it - but I'd also like to believe that Disney and Marvel wouldn't want to fuck up their ever-growing masterpiece that is the MCU. If they genuinely think that they'll be just fine with the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Guardians, etc. going into Phase 5 and simply do not need Spider-Man anymore - as if he's not worth the time or effort then that's just straight up rude.
Sony has Into the Spider-Verse! They have their standalone Spider-Man franchise that isn't associated with the MCU! They don't need to hog Tom! Shit, man. Maybe this is Disney's fault. But what does Holland even think of all of this? Was the only reason he signed the contract that he did because he wanted to exist in this universe and be a part of the bigger picture? And without it, will he still be down to strap on that suit or is he contacting his lawyers right now in an attempt to find an exit route? And if that happens and there's some heavy bad blood between Tom and Sony, will the god forsaken Uncharted movie ever even exist?
Damn. So many questions and at the worst possible time to ask them because this weekend is D23. If this really was Disney's decision they are gonna have some maaaad fans at this event. It's a bad look. You might want to focus on Star Wars this weekend, boys. Put Marvel on the backburner for a while. The Mandalorian looks good! Can't wait to see more of the Rise of Skywalker!
To anyone that's going to D23 this year - wear your best Spider suit and web sling some business folk into making the right decision. And also keep your camera open on your phone and leak as many photos and videos that you can. It's hard out here for us poor folk with a mortgage.