The reformation of Marvel under the Disney umbrella has been one of the bright spots in the Disney-Fox merger of 2019. After decades under management that wasn't willing to do more than surface-level work with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, all the characters were coming home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They would join both The Avengers and Sony's Spider-Man in a superhero block party for the ages. But perhaps that homecoming won't be as easy as fans thought. Is Spider-Man leaving the MCU? At this point, it's not clear. Elite Daily reached out to Marvel and Disney for comment but has not heard back by the time of publication.
The news initially broke via Deadline. A "standoff" between Disney and Sony was "threatening" the future of the character to appear in both Sony standalone films and Disney's Avengers crossover movies. In a statement on Twitter, Sony responded, saying:
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.
Fans might understandably feel a little confused, as this doesn't directly address whether or not Spider-Man is still crossing over or not. But it's a bad sign. The fact Disney decided to pull Feige from the producer lineup suggests that the partnership between the two giants is over, at least for now.
But the fact of the matter was, the initial deal between Sony and Disney was already finished. The unique character-sharing plan that was hammered out back in 2015 ran for two solo movies on Sony's end and three crossover films on Disney's end. For Disney, those became the character's introduction in Captain America: Civil War, followed by the Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame two-parter. For Sony, those were Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home.
It was noteworthy that at San Diego Comic-Con, when Feige rolled out the details of Phase 4, Spider-Man was nowhere to be seen, despite Far From Home being second-only at the box office to the original 2002 Spider-Man in the franchise and still climbing. Moreover, not only was there no word on a third collaboration between the two studios, but there was no word of any crossover films at all. In short, the MCU's plate for Phase 4 was practically full, and there wasn't any room for Spidey at the table.
In such a situation, it makes sense that Sony is going to walk away from trying to work themselves into that schedule. Right now, they still have all their stars contracted for another film, and all are still young enough to pass for being in high school.
As for when (or if) another crossover situation happens, Sony is leaving the door open for things "to change in the future." And as Avengers fans know, such changes sometimes occur in the space of a snap.