Sony Pictures, the film studio behind franchises such as Men in Black, The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, and, of course, Spider-Man, has recently announced that it will rebrand itself as Spider-Man Motion Pictures. This comes after Sony ended its deal with Disney and Marvel Studios to share custody of the character of Spider-Man.
While the rebrand comes as something of a surprise to fans of the superhero, Sony Pictures Chairman Tony Vinciquerra stated that the rebrand makes perfect sense following their breakup with Disney. “We now have total control over how we use Spider-Man in our movies,” he stated, “And we plan on using that character to drive our studio forward in the coming years.”
Spider-Man has had a rocky road at Sony. Tobey Maquire landed the role in 2002 and played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in three films under the direction of Sam Raimi. However, the third film in the trilogy bombed, and in 2012, the franchise was rebooted as The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the role. The sequel in 2014 didn’t do as well as Sony hoped, though, and Garfield was booted from the role.
Everything changed for Spider-Man in 2016 when Disney came knocking on Sony’s door with a deal: they would pick up the bill for a few new Spider-Man movies if Sony would let them use the character in Captain America: Civil War and several Avengers movies. Sony agreed. Young British actor Tom Holland was cast as the third Peter Parker, and the rest was history.
Holland quickly became the most beloved version of the character, and after Civil War, he appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far from Home. The second Spider-Man film became Sony’s highest grossing movie since 2012’s Skyfall.
But the Sony/Disney deal was done with Far from Home, and the two parties returned to the negotiating table. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, opened talks by suggesting a 50/50 split of the profits. According to reports, Spider-Man producer Amy Pascal laughed in his face. When Feige said he was serious, she flipped the table, picked up her Spider-Man stress ball, and went home. Several days later, Sony released its rebranding statement.
Along with its new name, Chairman Vinciquerra also released a roadmap for the studio over the next few years along with an announcement that Tom Holland had signed a new deal to appear in 20 Sony movies a year, an unprecedented contract that has left Hollywood insiders shocked. Reportedly, Holland demanded a ridiculously high salary that was more than the annual GDP of most small countries, so he can “buy lots of cool stuff and a Nintendo Switch.”
In return, Holland will now appear as Spider-Man in almost every movie Sony produces. While Sony hasn’t released all of his upcoming appearances, they have announced some of them.
- Jumanji: Spiders in the Jungle – Spider-Man teams up with characters from the 2017 Jumanji reboot to stop giant spiders from escaping the magical game and destroying the world. Starring Holland, Karen Gillan, Dwayne Johnson, and Nick Jonas.
- Bond, Peter Bond – Peter Parker is recruited by MI6 to work alongside master spy James Bond in the next thrilling installment of the franchise. According to Sony insiders, this movie will release alongside the next scheduled Bond film, No Time to Die, but no word on if Daniel Craig will be playing 007.
- Spider-Men in Black – Holland reunites with Marvel stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson for the next Men in Black. The plot will revolve around Spider-Man helping the MIB team defeat aliens. It’s possible the film will also be a crossover with the 2018 Spider-Man spin-off film Venom.
- Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Spider – Spider-Man investigates the appearance of ghosts in New York and finds help from a team of supernatural experts. Sony has explicitly stated that this film will not be a sequel to its failed all-female Ghostbusters reboot.
- The Spider Kid – Peter Parker finds himself training a young Spider-Man who also does karate in this Spider-Man/Karate Kid mashup. Ralph Macchio is in talks to reprise his role of Daniel LaRusso from the original Karate Kid movies.
- Peter’s Angels – Following the 2019 reboot of Charlie’s Angels, Sony has plans of a sequel featuring Peter Parker working alongside the team of female spies.
In addition to these movies, Sony is also preparing to drop Spider-Man into franchises such as Terminator, The Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania, Angry Birds, and more.
When asked about his thoughts on Sony’s Spider-Man rebranding and use of the character, Kevin Feige simply smiled. “We’ll get him back. Disney is inevitable.” He then snapped his fingers before leaving the room.