Normally, I’d record this as a quick podcast. But I’m away at the moment and don’t have access to any of my equipment.
News broke recently, that the current deal between Sony and Disney/Marvel has broken down. There seems to be a lot of misinformation/misunderstanding of why the Sony/Disney deal happened in the first place.
A surprising amount of people think it’s because The Amazing Spider-Man films were financial flops. They weren’t. Far from it. They received a critical panning. But they were financially successful. The first one was the seventh highest grossing film of 2012, the second was the ninth highest grossing film of 2014. These are far from the duds so many Marvel fans are claiming.
The original deal happened because the head of Sony (Kenichiro Yoshida) felt dishonoured by Andrew Garfield. In Japanese culture, being dishonoured is a pretty serious thing. Garfield didn’t show up to the event in Rio, that was announcing The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4, The Sinister Six and, the wider Spider-Man universe. He’d also turned up to meetings unkempt and seemed entirely disinterested-making the Yoshida feel dishonoured. He wanted Garfield gone.
The company then found themselves in the position where they would either have to recast and make The Amazing Spider-Man 3, or reboot it again. For the third time in 15 years. Understandably Sony Pictures didn’t want to reboot. Which is why they initially turned the deal down. It was only when Kenichiro Yoshida wanted the deal, that it was accepted. Yoshida felt that rebooting the character for a third time, but into the MCU would limit damage control and garner good will with the audience. For both companies, which it did.
The deal was Disney would get to use him for 5 films. Starting with Captain America: Civil War, ending with Avengers: End Game. In exchange for this use, Disney would produce 2 films for Sony-with Sony maintaining distribution rights. In exchange for these films, Disney would get 5% the box office takings and all the money from Spider-Man merchandise.
Essentially, the MCU deal happened because the owner of Sony got offended. Not because Sony needed Disney-the deal was mutually beneficial for both parties, but either would’ve still been okay without the other.