For everything that Marvel Studios is bringing into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year, almost nothing is building the hype like Spider-Man: No Way Home. With Tom Holland's web-slinger teaming up with Doctor Strange and likely two other Spideys against a multiverse's worth of villains, this could be the most ambitious solo superhero movie ever brought to life.
For all this film is becoming, it's almost a miracle that it's even having the opportunity to come to theaters at all.
For a few dark moments in Summer 2019, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures were publicly set to end their partnership bringing Spider-Man to the MCU after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Tom Holland's hero would have swung his way exclusively back into Sony's control, and the friendly neighborhood hero's time as an Avenger would have come to a disappointing end after the Infinity Saga.
Expectedly, the executives behind the split-turned-reunion went through quite the emotional roller-coaster through this process.
FEIGE LOOKS BACK ON NEAR SPLIT
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revisited the near split between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures over Spider-Man in a recent chat with Rotten Tomatoes.
Feige admitted that it "was an emotional few months for...all of (them) on all sides" as the studios tried to work out an extension to their original agreement. Even if it hadn't worked out, however, Feige tried to "look at the bright side" of what had already been accomplished by "(making) two great Spider-Man movies" within the MCU:
“There was a time when it looked like Marvel Studios would not be involved in Spider-Man movies going forward for Sony. It was only a few months, but it was an emotional few months for, I think, all of us on all sides – and a very public few months, for whatever reason. But yes, I always want to look at the bright side and the bright side was: We got to make two great Spider-Man movies with Amy Pascal and Jon Watts, Tom Rothman, and Tom Holland. And I was very proud of that and very happy at that. Of course [I] wanted it to continue, but always want to be happy with what we have instead of upset with what we don’t.
In the end, all parties involved simply realized that "(it would) be more fun if we just kept doing it" and keeping Spider-Man alongside the Avengers. Not letting "numbers or contracts or politics" stand in the way, Feige confirmed that everybody simply looked at "a love of Spider-Man and Peter Parker and the Marvel Universe" as the driving force behind the agreement for a third solo movie:
"Luckily, Tom Rothman and Bob Iger and Alan Horn and Alan Bergman and Tom Holland himself all realized, ‘Wouldn’t it just be more fun if we just kept doing it? Let’s not get business or politics in the way.’ Because the deal always started with Amy Pascal and I having nothing to do with numbers or contracts or politics. It had to do with story and a love of Spider-Man and Peter Parker and the Marvel universe. And it thankfully has continued like that. And that’s where we find ourselves now.”
SPIDER-MAN STAYING HOME
When the split between Marvel and Sony initially came to light in 2019, MCU fans were devastated over losing arguably the most popular Marvel character ever.
Tom Holland had delivered a fun new take on Peter Parker that starred in five Marvel Studios outings over three years, and Spider-Man: Far From Home left the character in more danger than any solo movie yet. With fans and cast alike thinking that the story wouldn't get to continue, Feige was maybe the only person who stayed optimistic for what had come rather than lamenting over what was lost.
After a drunken phone call from Tom Holland to former Disney CEO Bob Iger and multiple executives coming to a reasonable state of mind, the deal to keep Spidey with Marvel Studios remains strong to this day.
Now, Peter Parker has a chance to bring a thrilling conclusion to his trilogy by facing more villains in one movie than he's ever faced before while dealing with the identity crisis teased at the end of his 2019 sequel. With one more film on Tom Holland's deal after this, and with a renewed passion to keep Spidey in the MCU, the web-slinger's future looks better than ever even with this temporary crisis.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is set for theatrical release on December 17, 2021.