On August 20, the long-simmering spat between Sony and Disney-Marvel over Spider-Man reached a breaking point: Any partnership between the two for a third installment of the Tom Holland-fronted franchise was "100 percent dead," according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
But in true Peter Parker-underdog fashion, an unlikely hero emerged to reconcile the two warring factions less than six weeks later: Holland himself. Sources say the star, 23, made multiple appeals to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Sony film chairman Tom Rothman to reach a resolution, announced September 27, for Marvel to produce a third Spider-Man movie for Sony, and for the character to appear in at least one additional Disney-Marvel film.
Marvel chief Kevin Feige (who also is teaming with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy on a Star Wars movie) will run creative point. Disney will earn 25 percent of net gross on a third Spider-Man — opening July 16, 2021 — and chip in 25 percent of the budget.
Holland made a surprise appearance at Disney's D23 Expo days after the Sony-Disney divorce to promote the animated movie Onward. He earned big cheers by thanking fans for support and quoting Tony Stark: "I love you 3,000." Online, fans adopted the hashtag #SaveSpiderMan to lobby Sony to make a deal with Disney.
Sony gets the Marvel treatment and imprimatur for a third movie (and who knows, maybe more). And moviegoers can enjoy a resolution to a cliffhanger and a happy ending for a beloved character.