We’ve heard bits and pieces of how Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man deal works, but now Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has explained the terms definitively once and for all in a new interview with Deadline.
In basic terms, Spider-Man stays a Sony character. Sony pays for the movie, markets the movie, and distributes the movie, but Marvel makes the creative decisions. Check out the full interview with Kevin Feige below, where he explains it in more detail, and also gushes over Tom Holland as Spider-Man.
DEADLINE: Take us behind the scenes a little with your involvement in this refreshing new iteration of Spider-Man who feels like a glove fit in the Marvel Universe. I always heard that Sony rushed films to battle this ticking clock where the rights might revert if one wasn’t made every few years. What can you say about the dynamic of you and Marvel getting directly involved as a producer, and road testing Tom Holland in Civil War?
FEIGE: It came down to an initial lunch between myself and Amy Pascal and then many subsequent phone calls and meetings where I basically suggested that they should allow us to creatively produce the film for them. I don’t know how serious any of those ticking clocks ever were. On some characters, that was the case, with Spider-Man there were many years in between those films and I don’t think that was ever the case. They had all the time in the world to keep making those movies. It became a question of…we are not good at helping, just occasionally giving input or occasional feedback or comments in a screening or on a script. I had done that a little bit on the earlier Amazing Spider-Man films. It doesn’t really work because you become one voice among many. I said the only way, the best way that we could help is if you let us do it for you. It stays a Sony character and Sony pays for it and Sony makes the profits from the film and it is marketed and distributed by the entire Sony team. That deal was agreed to, over many discussions. Thankfully, it’s now been well over a year and step one in our two-step plan is unveiled this weekend. So far, the response has been a dream come true in introducing him. Instead of it being the third reboot of the Spider-Man character, it becomes the first version of the Spider-Man character that we reveal has been inside the MCU. To Amy’s credit and to Tom Rothman, who now has been at the helm at Sony as we’ve been actively putting it all together, their support has been spectacular in allowing us to bring him into this world.
The biggest challenge of course was finding a Spider-Man. Our angle on the character was to make him younger because in our favorite comics, he is young. He is not graduating, he is just starting high school. He is young. That’s what makes him interesting as a superhero, particularly in the MCU. It’s what makes him so different than all the other heroes. So we really wanted him to be an amazing counterpoint to the other Avengers, which of course is what he was and why he pops so much when he was introduced in the comics in the early-‘60s.
DEADLINE: I read those comics in ‘60s and you captured what I remembered, this young, spunky kid who had a tragedy with his murdered Uncle Ben but was not defined and burdened by it. There was more of the wide-eyed wonder. He seems to be having a pretty damn good time. What about this Spider-Man most excited you?
FEIGE: Well, you nailed it. His presence in Civil War was meant to be the counterpoint. The other heroes have a lot of history together. They have a lot of angst, they have a lot of geopolitical issues that they’re dealing with, and it’s heavy. This kid basically feels like he hit the jackpot. The most famous man in the world, Tony Stark, asks him to go to Germany and participate with the Avengers and he loves every minute of it. That’s fun. That’s who Spider-Man is, and we can and will do much more of this in Spider-Man: Homecoming. You saw it in the comics; he constantly talks. In Civil War he goes up against Falcon and at one point Falcon says, “I don’t know if you’ve been in a fight before, but there’s usually not this much talking.” That’s Spider-Man to us. That’s what we love. Tom Holland, God bless him, is that in real life. This amazing young English actor who was brought over here, got into our audition process and suddenly found himself in a room, doing a scene with Robert Downey. I swear it, the exact dynamic that we wanted between Peter Parker and Tony Stark, we had between Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.