The Time Has Come for Sony to Sell Spider-Man

- Jesse Hudgins

by Jesse Hudgins


For nearly 25 years, Sony has owned the rights to Spider-Man and the characters connected to him. In that time, we’ve had 11 films using the Spider-Man characters under the Sony banner, nine live-action and two animated, with the latest being Madame Web with Kraven the Hunter and Venom 3 on the way. With initial reviews not looking good for Madame Web, as with many of the Spider-films before it, one must ask, other than the Spiderverse franchise, what’s the point of Sony owning these characters?

While none of the Sony Spider-Man films have been box office failures since they made back their budgets, their reviews might indicate otherwise. Half the movies have received reviews of 60 or lower on Rotten Tomatoes with the ones that received higher being actual Spider-Man movies. The spinoffs of other characters in the universe like Venom and Morbius weren’t well loved by critics and split in opinion amongst audiences. Again, in the initial reviews, Madame Web isn’t looking to be a box office success, which doesn’t bode well for Kraven the Hunter.

At this point, I believe that Sony would be better off if they sold the rights back to Marvel where these characters can be used correctly. Yes, Marvel has been extremely hit or miss lately, but things seem like they could be getting back on track. Bob Iger, Disney CEO, recently said that the company is reevaluating the release schedule of Marvel looking to dial back the quantity and provide better quality, a policy he also seems to be pushing toward every property owned by the House of Mouse. If this were the case and Marvel did own Spider-Man and the characters around him, amazing things could be brought into the MCU with new takes on established characters, as well as the establishment of brand-new characters for the audience to enjoy.

It may seem cruel to not give Sony a chance to get things right, but it feels too little too late. The first big chance they had was with Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi who were ready to develop Spider-Man 4 but received constant interference with the studio like they had with Spider-Man 3. The next chance had was with Andrew Garfield and his Amazing Spider-Man movies when they were initially released, as well as when fans were very recently calling for a new Garfield movie post Spider-Man: No Way Home. Plans were even in place initially to continue with Garfield after Amazing Spider-Man 2, until there was a misstep in communication between he and Sony. Since then, the company has been putting out inconsistent, subpar live-action films that try to connect themselves in a larger picture which, for the most part, fans don’t care about as much as they do Tom Holland and his place within the MCU which, some of these actors, like Dakota Johnson, believe they were going to be a part of when they sign onto these movies.

The only franchise fans seem to care about is the Spiderverse franchise because of the well-crafted stories, voice acting, and animation. Once Beyond the Spiderverse releases sometime next year, which has yet to be confirmed, there isn’t much for Sony fans to be excited for outside of Tom Holland’s next MCU appearance. Yes, there are rumors of a live-action Miles Morales and Spider-Gwen movie, and fans are still hoping for Spider-Man 4 and The Amazing Spider-Man 3, but what’s been confirmed isn’t going to do much to get fans excited. Sony would be saving more money if they stopped developing new movies, released what they’ve filmed, and come to a good deal with Disney to return the character rights back to Marvel, who would then own every character they sold, outside of Hulk and Namor, since 1993 when they initially started selling movie rights.

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