A little over a month ago, fans were crushed when it was announced that Sony and Marvel had failed to reach a deal and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was officially out of the MCU. Then, just a week ago, it was announced that an 11th-hour miracle had happened and a deal had been worked out to keep Spidey in the MCU for at least one more standalone movie and appearances in others.
There was plenty of speculation at the time of the initial announcement. Some fans thought it was Sony calling Disney’s bluff, some fans thought it was Disney calling Sony’s bluff, other fans were convinced talks were still ongoing, and still others were convinced it was officially over.
But it’s not over, and it turns out we have Tom Holland himself to thank for that. According to THR, the young wallcrawler reportedly appealed to both Sony film chairman Tom Rothman and Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger to go back to the negotiating table and get a deal done.
A professional, Holland was nothing but diplomatic when addressing the news that Spider-Man was no longer part of the MCU, expressing only gratitude for what was behind him and assuring fans there were still plenty of stories for Spider-Man with Sony ahead. Still, it was clear he was disappointed, with him regularly posting pictures on his Instagram of him with Marvel actors and expressing his gratitude for fan support. At Disney’s D23 Expo this year, he appeared briefly on stage to promote Pixar’s Onward (he’s voicing one of the two lead roles opposite Chris Pratt) and signed off with “I love you 3000.”
Sony and Disney started to relent on their cold war after Holland showed them the outpouring of fan love and support and the upset about not reaching a deal. With that momentum behind him, one had to guess he’d use his considerable leverage to make something happen. He currently is set to be the lead in Sony’s troubled Uncharted movie, sticking with the project even after multiple directors dropped out, so he has quite a bit of clout with them. More impressive is that he got Disney to come back to the table, though Disney and Marvel love Holland; it’s not surprising they’d be willing to negotiate.
Good on Holland for being a real-life Peter Parker and using his great power responsibly. In the end, everyone wins. Disney gets a larger stake in the third Spider-Man movie (up from the negligible producing fee of the first two films). Sony gets Marvel’s bulletproof brand and marketing machine. Both studios get goodwill from the fans. The fans themselves get to see Spider-Man playing with the rest of the Avengers and a resolution to his trilogy. And Holland himself gets to be the hero who saves the day.
Basically, we don’t deserve Tom Holland.