Spider-Man Producer Avi Arad Blasts Marvel Studios Deal: 'The Worst'

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Spider-Man, Avengers: Endgame

While the Spider-Man deal between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures has brought happiness to many around the world, the partnership between the two parties was hated by at least one former executive, namely Avi Arad.

The deal with Marvel Studios helped Sony take the fan-favorite hero to new heights, allowing the MCU to take advantage of Spider-Man. In fact, a new contract may already be leading to another trilogy for Tom Holland's webhead.

More recently, the agreement between Sony and Marvel Studios was adjusted significantly from what it was the first time around.

Marvel would help co-finance 25% of the cost and reap the same percentage of profit. The other 75% on both ends would go to Sony, who still solely own the Spider-Man rights.

Despite the deal working out extremely well thus far, Avi Arad, an executive who's been involved with plenty of Spider-Man dealings in the past, has declared how he thinks it was a terrible idea.

Avi Arad Criticizes Sony's MCU Deal

Marvel Studios, Spider-Man characters

Avi Arad has a long history in the superhero movie landscape. His first executive producer credit was on 1998's Blade, and his first proper full producing credit was on 2003's Daredevil.

Since then, he's gone on to put his name on Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Into the Spider-Verse, and plenty more. Needless to say, he has a history with the webhead.

Somewhat surprisingly, Arad has revealed how he feels the deal made between Sony and Marvel Studios to share Spider-Man was a "terrible" choice. 

The Direct had the opportunity to get an early read of the Spider-Man-centric book, With Great Power, and within it, Avi Arad talked about the unique agreement between the two Hollywood giants. He likened it to "giving your kids away for adoption:" 

“They did it for money. Terrible… Like giving your kids away for adoption, just because you’re not sure what to do with them.” 

Clearly, those involved in the process didn't feel the same as him.

In a separate interview with O'Connell while on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Amy Pascal, who is a producer on all three of the last MCU Spidey films, noted that she "[doesn't] know if [such a deal] will ever happen again in the history of the movie business:"

“Here's the thing that I want to emphasize because I think this is really important, and I don’t know if it will ever happen again in the history of the movie business. You had three studios that came together to have these movies get made. And no studio likes to share anything with anyone, let alone three studios.”

Pascal admitted that in the end, she felt "like [they] needed more characters" and unique challenges for Peter Parker:

“In the end… I think we felt like we needed more characters, and we needed more challenges for Peter [Parker]. Kevin [Feige] is a genius, and I wanted to work with him. And it just felt like we needed a different way to tell the story because I thought we were starting to repeat ourselves. You don’t want to repeat yourself. And putting Peter in a world where there are other superheroes opened up a whole new world for us.”

At the end of the day, the producer shared how she's "very proud" of the choices they made:

“[We] realized that what was right for the character meant you might have to give up a little to get something better… And I’m very proud of that.”

Tim Rothman, the CEO of Sony Pictures, exclaimed to O'Connell how he's "never seen [anything like it]" and that the deal between the two studios is "inherently special:"

“I’ve been in the business 30, almost 35 years, and I’ve never seen it… I’ve seen studios co-finance movies before, but I’ve never seen studios share intellectual property before… so it’s certainly unique. And because it’s unique, it’s inherently special.”

The Direct was provided with a review copy of With Great Power for coverage. The book, which covers everything a fan should know about Spider-Man on the big screen, is now available to purchase online.

A Bad Take from the Former Spider-Man Producer

This is an example of a studio executive being completely out of touch with reality. For one, even if Marvel and Sony cooperated just for money, is that not why every studio exists? Their entire purpose is to make a profit.

After all, Spider-Man: No Way Home made over a billion dollars—and that’s not including the other two billion made by the first two MCU solo entries.

The character then went on to show up in three additional MCU adventures, all of which made nearly $6 billion together at the global box office.

Needless to say, it was a resounding financial success for both parties. It also injected new life binto the Spider-Man IP, having him interact with a larger world of superheroes and eventually sharing the screen with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Maybe Arad is simply bitter that he wasn’t able to be a bigger part of it all.

Tom Holland's next outing as Spidey is currently rumored to hit theaters on July 12, 2024—though nothing is confirmed as of now.

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.