- After Disney and Sony could not reach a co-financing agreement on Spider-Man films, the character will be leaving the MCU.
- This means Sony gets to make Spider-Man films exclusively, the character cannot cross into the MCU, which will be tricky as Tom Holland is still booked for two more films.
- Fans are upset, with some calling a Sony boycott over the matter.
Marvel and Sony Fail to Reach Agreement
As Uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and that has proven to be the case for the execs dealing with the tricky Spider-Man agreement between Disney and Sony. The powers that lie between the two companies failed to reach an agreement on co-financing the Spider-Man franchise, effectively kicking the beloved character out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to a Deadline report published Tuesday, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will no longer have a hand in producing Spider-Man films. Sony has owned the film rights to the web-slinger since 1999, allowing them to make Toby McGuire’s trilogy and the Andrew Garfield reboot. They have lent film use to Marvel since 2015. Their deal allowed Marvel to use Spider-Man in other MCU films while taking merchandise revenue and 5% of first-dollar gross. Sony fully financed the films and took the rest of the profits.
Disney, however, was looking to strike a new deal. They offered to co-finance the film at a 50/50 split, meaning that both companies would spend and make equal parts on the films. Sony said no, and took Spider-Man with them.
Sony tweeted a statement about the news, saying they were “disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision.”
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. (3/3)— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) August 21, 2019
According to several reports, experts are not surprised the companies found themselves at a stalemate. Jeff Bock, a senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations told CNBC that Sony was “playing a little hardball right now.”
“And they have every right to do so, considering the deal Disney offered is a joke,” Bock added. “Maybe if we were discussing the rights for ‘Howard the Duck,’ 50/50 would be in play, but not for the web-slinger.”
The Future of Spider-Man
As for the future of Spider-Man, right now, it seems unclear. Sony now has the sole power to make films about the friendly neighborhood superhero, which is a massive win for them. They arguably need the franchise more than Disney, and Spider-Man: Far From Home recently became their highest-grossing film of all time.
Sony, however, is presented with one massive challenge. Spider-Man can no longer cross over into the MCU, which will be tricky, considering the Tom Holland era of the character is incredibly cemented in that world.
Holland is reportedly signed on for two more Spider-Man films, but most of the plots in his standalones are grounded in characters like Tony Stark, whom he is seen as the heir-apparent to after Avengers: Endgame. His last film, Far From Home, carries a lot of weight in the MCU, including an explanation of “the blip” and the fallout from Endgame. It also ended with massive cliffhangers pertaining to Mysterio and MCU-staple Nick Fury.
Fans React to News
Since this puts Spider-Man’s story in such an—ahem— sticky situation, many fans are not happy. #BoycottSony, #SaveSpidey, and #SpidermanFarFromtheMCU all trended on Twitter with fans expressing their frustrations over the situation.
In addition to being mad at Sony for claiming sole rights to the hero, some were equally upset with Disney for not negotiating their deal.
And fans are not alone in using social media in hopes of changing Spidey’s future. Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in the Avengers films, took to Instagram as well.
“We want Spider-Man back to @therealstanlee and @marvel please,” the actor said.
Ryan Reynolds also acknowledged the situation on Twitter, responding to a user who asked if a Deadpool and Spider-Man movie could be in the works.
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (CNBC) (The Ringer)
Jodie Sweetin Releases Statement After Getting Pushed By Officers at Pro-Choice Protest: “This Will Not Deter Us”
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote on Instagram.
Actress Pushed at Protest
After viral footage showed Jodie Sweetin getting pushed to the ground by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department while attending a pro-choice protest, the “Full House” actress said demonstraters “will continue fighting” for their rights.
Sweetin was attending a protest off the 101 freeway on Saturday following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Photojournalist Mike Ade, who captured the video, said the actress was “trying to lead a group of peaceful protestors away from the freeway” when officers pushed her. Sweetin was standing on a curb when she was pushed and fell down on the cement road. Ade wrote that she was “fortunately…okay.”
Ade shared a handful of other videos depicting officers using similar tactics on other protesters. As these videos started circulating online, many became outraged by the LAPD’s response to the protests.
Sweetin Addresses Incident
Following the incident, Sweetin released a statement where she said the fight against the court’s decision is not over.
“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court,” Sweetin said. “Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free.”
Sweetin also shared footage of the incident and other clips of officers clashing with protesters on her Instagram story. She cheered protesters in a comment on a video of the push shared by a social justice group called The Progressivists.
“Love everyone out there in the streets fighting for what’s right,” she wrote.
According to a statement obtained by Deadline, the LAPD is looking into the matter.
“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway,” the statement said. “The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.”
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Rolling Stone) (The Hollywood Reporter)
Dave Chappelle Decides Against Having Former High School’s Theater Named After Him
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” the comedian reportedly said.
Theater Named Announced
Comedian Dave Chappelle opted on Monday to not have the theater at his alma mater high school named after him, according to a report from The Washington Post.
The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. previously planned to name its theater in honor of Chappelle, as he is a distinct alum and donor. While Chappelle formerly said such a gesture would be “the most significant honor of [his] life,” he announced during Monday’s naming ceremony that it would bear a different title.
The school’s theater will instead be called the Theater for Artistic Freedom and Expression.
A naming ceremony was initially set to take place in November, but was postponed after the comedian began facing backlash for transphobic jokes in his Netflix special “The Closer.”
Among other things, he said he was “Team TERF,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. He also made a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
The jokes embroiled Chappelle in controversy, and reports claimed that some students at Duke Ellington took issue with the comments. When Chappelle ended up visiting the school amid the scandal, Politico reported that one student told the comedian, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.”
Chappelle Defends Controversial Special
According to The Post, Chappelle said the criticism against him “sincerely” hurt, but added that “the Ellington Family is my family.” He claimed he did not want the theater being named after him to distract students.
“The idea that my name will be turned into an instrument of someone else’s perceived oppression is untenable to me,” he said according to Josh Rogin, a columnist for the outlet.
Rogin also tweeted that Chappelle took time out of the ceremony to slam the criticisms levied against him, accusing upset students of promoting someone else’s agenda.
“These kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression,” he reportedly said.
“You cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance,” Chappelle continued while denouncing the press coverage of his Netflix special.
According to David Frum, a staff writer for The Atlantic who attended the ceremony, Chappelle suggested he was open to potentially adding his name to the theater at a later date when the community is ready.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (Variety) (The Atlantic)
Chris Evans Says People Upset With Same-Gender “Lightyear” Kiss Are “Idiots”
The kiss was previously removed from the film until a surge of backlash from Pixar employees prompted Disney to reinstate it.
Chris Evans Supports “Lightyear” Scene
“Lightyear” star Chris Evans is standing against people who have criticized the same-gender kiss scene in the upcoming Pixar film.
“The real truth is those people are idiots,” the actor told Reuters this week when discussing negative reactions to the scene’s inclusion.
“The American story, the human story is one of constant social awakening and growth and that’s what makes us good,” he continued.
Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and more have banned the release of “Lightyear” over the kiss, which is between two women. Right-wing pundits in the U.S. have also slammed it, and user reviews for the picture on websites like IMDB have claimed that movie-going has “become an avenue for political propaganda.”
Evans argued those opinions are outdated.
“There’s always going to be people who are afraid and unaware and trying to hold on to what was before. But those people die off like dinosaurs,” he said. “I think the goal is to pay them no mind, march forward and embrace the growth that makes us human.”
“Lightyear” hits theaters on Friday starring Evans as the titular Buzz Lightyear. Evans, however, is not playing the action figure made famous in the “Toy Story” movies and is instead playing an animated human astronaut who inspired the toy.
Kiss Scene Almost Never Made it to Big Screen
According to outlets that have reviewed the film, the same-gender kiss is between Alisha Hawthorne, a character voiced by Uzo Aduba, and her wife.
Multiple reports have stated that Disney was always supportive of depicting a gay couple in the picture, but was more hesitant about showing an on-screen kiss between the two. The studio previously had the scene removed from the film until a swell of backlash prompted it to reinstate the kiss.
The decision came in March amid criticisms over Disney’s slow response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. At the time, a group of Pixar employees wrote an open letter claiming that they have pushed for more inclusion in their films, but “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection is cut at Disney’s behest.”
Now that the scene made the final cut of “Lightyear,” it has been a large topic of conversation leading up to the film’s release. On Monday, Evans told Variety that the inclusion of the scene makes him “happy,” but he hopes one day, scenes like this will be considered standard.
“It’s tough to not be a little frustrated that it even has to be a topic of discussion,” he said. “That it is this kind of ‘news.’ The goal is that we can get to a point where it is the norm, and that this doesn’t have to be some uncharted waters, that eventually this is just the way it is.”