'Spider-Man' flap between Sony, Disney could end Marvel Studios' involvement with franchise

Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures/EPK.tv

Credit: Courtesy of Sony Pictures/EPK.tv

A web of complicated negotiations could mean the end of Marvel Studios' involvement in the popular "Spider-Man" movie franchise, multiple media outlets are reporting.

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According to The Associated Press, Sony Pictures, which acquired the movie rights to the iconic superhero 34 years ago, partnered with Disney's Marvel Studios in a 2015 deal that let actor Tom Holland's Spider-Man appear in Marvel's "Avengers" franchise and "Captain America: Civil War." Under the partnership, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige produced "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and the hugely successful "Spider-Man: Far From Home."

But Deadline broke the news Tuesday that the deal appears to have come to an end.

"Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, and there were discussions that this might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe," the entertainment outlet reported. "Sony turned that offer down flat."

The AP, citing an unnamed source familiar with the talks, reported that the "negotiations are not yet final."

Sony addressed the reports in a statement Tuesday night.

"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," the studio wrote in a series of tweets.

"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."

The statement concluded: "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."

>> See the tweets here

The news comes as Sony works on two films featuring the character, according to Deadline.

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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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