Yesterday brought the unexpected (and deeply disappointing) news that the deal between Sony and Marvel Studios to share Spider-Man won't be extended. Initially, it appeared as though Sony decided to go it alone after Marvel/Disney wanted a larger slice of the profits and to co-finance all Spider-Man related movies, but Sony issued a statement that throws some shade in Disney's direction.
“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.”
While there are two sides to every story, Sony's statement indicates that the decision came from Disney higher-ups owing to Kevin Feige's new responsibilities with ushering in the X-Men into the MCU. I'm sure Disney will offer a statement in the foreseeable future, but right now fans are not happy at the prospect of Spider-Man not being involved in the future of the MCU. The statement makes mention of continuing the path the Kevin Feige set them on, but that's going to be difficult if Peter Parker can't directly reference his previous adventures. Presumably, future Spider-Man films won't feature appearances from other MCU characters now that that the Sony arm of Marvel has reverted to being a separate entity.
The entire situation is disappointing, to say the least, just when all the Marvel characters could have feasibly been allowed to play in the same universe, we've had it snatched away at the last minute. Talks to renew the deal started months ago, and it was widely assumed that as long as Far From Home hit $1 billion worldwide, the alliance would continue. As we all know, Far From Home is currently sitting at $1.1 billion globally, and recently became Sony's highest-grossing movie of all time. As always, ruling out a new deal or something that keeps Spidey in the MCU can't be ruled entirely out, but for now, it seems as though we have seen the last of Tom Holland's Spider-Man outside of future sequels and maybe popping up in Venom 2 or Sinister Six.