With Disney’s purchase of Fox, the Marvel Cinematic Universe grew quite a bit larger, giving Marvel Studios full control of characters within the Fantastic Four and X-Men. But even though it seems like Disney owns everything at this point, they’ve still been unable to gain the complete rights to Spider-Man. Peter Parker’s inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been thanks to co-productions with Sony, but a new rumor suggests that Sony might be interested in selling the Spider-Man character and affiliated properties back to Marvel.
This rumor comes from gossip writer Daniel Richtman, who posted the rumor on his Patreon page. Richtman’s rumor says that if upcoming Sony productions like Morbius and Venom 2 don’t do as well as expected, Sony Japan might make Sony Pictures sell Spider-Man back to Marvel. The theory is that if these Spider-Man offshoots don’t pay off, the studio won’t be able to afford to build out their own Spider-Man movie universe.
At this point, this seems like a big if. Venom was a massive hit when it opened in 2018, and was one of the most successful films in the Spider-Man movie universe ever. Tom Hardy’s Venom made $856 million worldwide, proving that maybe Sony could still draw an audience with films in their own Spider-Man universe. This confidence allowed Sony to start fleshing out a new universe of Spider-Man characters that includes several upcoming sequels.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is currently planned for a June 25, 2021 release, after it was delayed from its planned October 2020 release. Pushed even further back is the Jared Leto-starring Morbius, which was planned to come out on July 2020, but has been moved all the way to January 2022. But Sony is clearly waiting for theaters to reopen before they release these two Spider-Man adjacent stories, and considering the third Spider-Man co-production with Marvel is coming out in December, we’re looking to have a big end of 2021 through the beginning of 2022 for Spider-Man fans.
Yet it seems a bit premature to imagine that the success of Venom 2 and Morbius could decide Spider-Man’s fate with Sony or not. The studio has held onto the brand for decades now, even with other films not reaching the popularity they would have liked. Plus, Sony has been working on developing several other projects centered around other Spider-Man villains, so it seems weird that not only would Sony be willing to close up shop on all these ideas, but also sell off one of their most profitable franchises.
It also looks like Sony might and Disney might already be working together uniting these franchises in some way, as Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes / Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming looks to be appearing in Morbius. So even though Sony and Marvel have had their problems with each other in the past, it looks like both are working amicably together for the future of both Spider-Man universes at this point.
But considering that Venom and the Spider-Man franchises are some of the biggest brands that Sony has the rights to right now, it doesn’t really make sense for them to sell off these properties any time soon. With Sony seeing great success with other recent franchises like Jumanji, Bad Boys, and with them releasing Ghostbusters: Afterlife soon, it seems like the company should be afloat and solid enough to warrant keeping around one of their biggest franchises for the time being.