Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Spider-Man star Tom Holland provided a glimpse at what was going on behind the scenes during the 2019 negotiations between Sony Pictures and Disney over the rights to the web-slinger
In a recent interview with Empire spotted by Screenrant and Comic Book, Feige shared how tenuous Marvel’s hold on Spider-Man was. “I was mentally preparing to emotionally separate from it,” Feige told Empire. “I didn’t love it, but it is what it is. And then, thankfully, it came back together.”
The two film giants had struck a deal to allow Spider-Man to join the MCU starting with Captain America: Civil War, but after Holland’s version of the character appeared in two Avengers movies and two standalone films, the partnership almost broke down due to a disagreement about the profit split. While furious fans pushed for a resolution, Feige said he started to imagine an MCU without Spider-Man.
Holland told Empire that he had little input in the negotiations, but did lobby to remain in the MCU.
“People seem to think I suddenly went to law school and singlehandedly struck up a deal between Sony and Disney,” Holland said. “Essentially, all I did was show both parties how passionate I was about this character. I basically said, ‘Look, if there’s a world where you can fix this, it will be so much better for the character, and for me, and for the fans. So if you can fix it, fix it.'”
During the negotiations, Holland talked with producer Amy Pascal about how he could keep playing the character outside of the MCU.
“I just drove over to Amy Pascal’s house and sat with her by her pool, and we sat there for hours, just chatting, and pitching movies,” Holland told Empire. “How would we do a film without Marvel? Does Peter Parker fall through a portal, and then he’s in the Venom world? Or do we do a Kraven the Hunter film? It was a nice distraction… because as a young kid I was so in love with Marvel, and I was so lucky to be a part of it that when they took the rug from under my feet, I was not ready to say goodbye yet.”
Spider-Man could still meet those characters in future films, but Feige told Empire it’s unlikely he’d need to do it outside of the MCU.
“I don’t anticipate us going through that emotional rollercoaster, or putting fans through that emotional rollercoaster, again.”
Tom Holland will play Spider-Man again in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which releases Dec. 17.
Samantha Nelson is an IGN freelance writer. Find her on Twitter at samanthanelson1.