(This article will discuss plot points for a few movies. So if you haven’t seen an MCU or Spider-Man movie, consider this a spoiler warning.)
On August 20th, word came out that the deal between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to share Spider-Man so that character could appear in the MCU officially ended. To say fans were upset by the news would be an understatement. Whether it was strongly worded messages on social media, or people contemplating storming Sony Pictures headquarters to demand Sony reverse their decision, fans have been upset over the loss of Peter Parker in the MCU.
But should they be? The main fear is that the Tom Holland led films will now somehow change without Marvel Studio’s involvement. I contend that Tom Holland’s iteration of Spider-Man can continue for as long as Sony Pictures is developing good stories for that character.
Tom Holland’s Spider-Man does not have as many connections to the MCU as people believe. His entry into that world was thanks to Tony Stark. With Tony’s story being resolved at the end of Avengers: Endgame, there will not be a need to worry about how to write him out of future Spider-Man movies. While Tony was an influence on Tom Holland’s version of Peter Parker, that doesn’t mean any and all movies starring him as Spider-Man need to constantly refer to Tony Stark in any way. Spider-Man: Far From Home wrapped up Peter’s story with Tony Stark quite nicely. While other members of the MCU met with and interacted with Peter Parker, if fans were being honest, they’d have to admit that those interactions were of no real consequence.
What about Happy Hogan? Spider-Man: Far From Home ended with Happy and Aunt May developing a relationship. The reality is, relationships begin and end all the time. While it would be nice to see some more interaction between Happy and May, would it really affect the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies if Happy and May ended things? That relationship was a minor subplot. Yes, John Favreau and Marisa Tomei are great actors. Getting a chance to see them interact more would have been a treat to see. Yet if we’re being honest, if that relationship is not touched upon again, the movies will not be missing anything.
What about the effects of ‘The Blip’? ‘The Blip’ refers to Thano’s snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, which saw half the population of the universe disappear with the literal snap of a finger. The Avengers were able to reverse this in Endgame, albeit with a five year gap. How can Sony’s future Spider-Man movies go on without discussing ‘The Blip’? Simple. They just move on. I think back to 9/11. As time distanced itself from the tragedies of that horrific day, people’s lives slowly got back to some semblance of normality. I can’t see Peter Parker’s fictional New York not reacting in much the same way to the effects of ‘The Blip’. And as evidenced in Spider-Man: Far From Home as well, everyone in Peter’s social circle came back. I don’t see ‘The Blip’ as something that really needs to be addressed in a future Spider-Man movie.
Finally, how can Sony make another Spider-Man movie after Peter Parker’s identity was revealed to the world by J. Jonah Jameson from the Daily Bugle web show? The answer has already been revealed by Sony. The last scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming saw Peter Parker arrive home dressed as Spider-Man. We see him take off his mask, than the camera pans to Aunt May standing in the doorway to his bedroom, his secret identity being revealed to her. How did Sony handle that in the sequel Far From Home? They showed that Aunt May had come to accept Peter as Spider-Man without really addressing how she came to that state of mind. What I suspect we’ll see in the next Spider-Man movie is this. There will be a gap in time between Far From Home and the next Spider-Man movie. I think we may be looking at a year, but they could add some time to that in order to put Peter and the gang in college. We’ll find out that Peter is still living a normal life in New York. A ‘secret government agency’ will have resolved the identity reveal at the end of Far From Home that satisfies most of the general public. But J. Jonah Jameson knows what will bring traffic to his website. In Far From Home, he’s presented as a pseudo-Alex Jones type of character. He’ll become obsessed with proving Spider-Man’s real identity because he knows that’s best for business. So he’ll do some investigating and find out about Peter’s connection with one Adrian Toomes, The Vulture. He’ll lobby to get get him released from prison. Once free, Adrian connects with other prisoner’s he’s met that Spider-Man put behind bars, five other prisoner’s to be exact, in order to get his revenge on Peter Parker for putting him in prison. And viola, The Sinister Six is born.
There are other points I could bring up, but the moral of the story here is this. Sony and Marvel made sure from day one that Peter Parker’s involvement in the MCU was limited at best. While I will be among the multitude of fans that are sad that Tom Holland will no longer (for the time being hopefully) be involved in the MCU, Sony Pictures steered the Spider-Man ship correctly during this latest reboot. The next Spider-Man movie that stars Tom Holland will more than likely be successful without having to make many, if any, changes to what they’ve established with this character. If people are being honest and looked at the business deal that Sony passed on, if they ran Sony Pictures, they’d make the same decision for their business. It doesn’t make financial sense for Sony to give up so much money on a character whose film rights they currently own. While Sony has had a spotty record with Spider-Man the past decade, their recent successes with Venom and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse shows they have people in place that can and will treat Peter Parker with the love he deserves. Besides, Marvel Studios has some new toys they can play with thanks to the recent purchase of 20th Century Fox by Disney. I doubt a corporation like Disney, with all of the financial resources and intellectual property in their possession, will really shed too many tears about losing access to one character like Spider-Man.