This was a very emotional week. Lots of things happened. Very serious things.
But I’m not here to talk about those. I’m here to express every possible conflicted feeling regarding Sony and Marvel Studios’ earth shattering news that Spider-Man will likely no longer be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For those who follow these kinds of things, essentially Sony and Disney had a partnership that allowed them to share the Spider-Man movies but still allowed Disney to get some money and have creative control. But that may be all over now. It’s hard to say exactly what went down. Anonymous sources say Sony probably determined they didn’t need the MCU anymore after “Venom” made a bunch of money and “Into the Spider-Verse” stole our hearts. All fair points on Sony’s part from a business perspective. However, there are also sources that say Disney wanted to up their cut of the money. Regardless, I have one main thought.
All of these people are the worst. Disney doesn’t need more money. They don’t need more power. Greed is actually not good. Just be satisfied. And Sony should realize that while “Into the Spider-Verse” was a gem, it's a terrible move to mess with fans in this way. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” ended with a cliffhanger that has the potential to shake the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe. To not be able to address this in future stories and to leave out the character who has become the heir apparent to Tony Stark hurts the story line that has been set up to this point and kind of leaves the fans in a weird spot. These stories resonate with so many because they make us look up. They make us see the hero in ourselves. And to have stories fizzle or go unanswered because of cooperate pettiness is outrageous.
Lots of others have weighed into this conversation. Stan Lee’s daughter Joan is firmly Team Sony, believing that having the properties in a variety of movie making hands is a good thing. Probably a fair point, even though I love seeing all these characters get to occupy the same space. Jeremy Renner AKA Hawkeye is unsurprisingly team Disney. I guess it makes sense to support who writes your checks. Sony released a statement saying this simply happened because Kevin Fiege is too busy to oversee the character anymore, which feels disingenuous given how big of a role Spider-man has been handed in the overarching Marvel story arc.
Then again it's hard not to wonder if this story leaking is all party of a negotiation tactic on one or both companies parts. Maybe all the news and speculation is just some kind of weird marketing. Is that better or worse? Who even knows?
The honest truth in all this is sure, maybe superhero shakes up matter little next to so many big things going on in the world. But the stories we tell, even the fictional ones, actually matter a great deal. They aren’t just distractions from our lives. They often teach us about our lives. I haven’t just been entertained by superhero movies. I have been inspired by them. So here’s hoping all those very powerful people making these decisions figure out a way to do the right thing, and let us see how this version of Peter Parker’s story ends. I think it's what that kid-turned-hero from Queens would want.
Strange Perspective is a unique weekly look into today's pop culture by Progress columnist Rachel Strange.