Tom Holland became a household name when he picked up the web-slingers of Spider-Man to portray the character in the MCU. 2016's Captain America: Civil War introduced viewers to Holland's version of the character, and many fans instantly fell in love with the spin the young actor put on the character.
Being arguably the most popular superhero in Marvel's long comic book history, the MCU decided to give the character his first solo film a year later with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Marvel Studios even let the character's second solo film follow the most popular movie in box-office history to close out Phase 3.
However, the on-screen chemistry between Spider-Man and the other members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes wasn't a mirror of the behind-the-scenes relationship between Marvel Studios and Sony. After the initial deal for the character to appear in the MCU ended in 2019, neither studio gave in to the other, and for a short time, it looked as though the MCU would have to go on without its friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
The two sides eventually came to an agreement as to where both sides would benefit, and as a result, the highly anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to premiere in December of this year.
Now that Sony and Marvel Studios are sailing on smooth water together, Holland and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige can look back and reflect on their feelings at the time, as well as Spider-Man's future in the MCU.
Kevin Feige on the Future of Spider-Man
In Empire Magazine's latest issue, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige talked about the shaky negotiations that went on with Sony in 2019 concerning the rights to Spider-Man.
In the interview, he talked about "preparing to emotionally separate" from the character before expressing how "thankful" he is to have worked everything out:
"I was mentally preparing to emotionally separate from it. I didn't love it, but it is what it is. And then, thankfully, it came back together."
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland also touched on the issue, talking about his involvement in bringing the two sides to come to an agreement. He expressed "how passionate (he) was about" playing the character, and wanted both sides just to "fix it:"
"From a business point of view, I wasn't instrumental at all. People seem to think I suddenly went to law school and singlehandedly struck up a deal between Sony and Disney. Essentially, all I did was show both parties how passionate I was about this character. I basically said, 'Look, if there's a world where you can fix this, it will be so much better for the character, and for me, and for the fans. So if you can fix it, fix it.'"
Feige then expressed his optimism for the future of Spider-Man in the MCU, saying that he doubts fans will have to experience "that emotional rollercoaster" ever again:
"I don't anticipate us going through that emotional rollercoaster, or putting fans through that emotional rollercoaster, again."
Is Spider-Man in the MCU to Stay?
When the drama surrounding the rights to Spider-Man was going on in 2019, almost everyone was worried that the character would never return to the MCU.
Spider-Man: Far From Home had just been released in theaters, and after being the first Spidey movie to cross $1 billion at the worldwide box office, it is likely that Sony saw the potential heights the MCU could take the character.
Luckily for fans, Peter Parker seems to be in the MCU to stay, and Kevin Feige's quotes about how much the character means to him as well as saying that fans won't have to go through anything like that again are extremely promising.
Seeing how Spider-Man is a name that is generally known by everyone, and the MCU has the largest fan base in pop culture, keeping the character in the franchise is the only reasonable way to go.