In a statement obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, the studio says it is “disappointed” that Marvel president Kevin Feige will no longer act as lead producer on the film franchise, squarely laying the decision at Disney’s feet. “Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise,” says a Sony spokesperson. “We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film.”
The studio then says Feige, who shepherds the robust Marvel Cinematic Universe for Disney-owned Marvel, may just have too much on his plate, given that Disney recently acquired additional Marvel characters via its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
“We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own,” says the statement. “Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”
The statement comes as THR and others reported Tuesday that Sony and Disney have parted ways as co-producers on the revived Spider-Man movie franchise. Reports suggest that studio chiefs Tom Rothman at Sony and Alan Horn at Disney could not agree on a financial arrangement to continue to collaborate.
Disney and Sony entered into a unique partnership for Marvel to produce the Spider-Man movies that starred Tom Holland. The deal saw Feige as lead producer on Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home in a complex arrangement that allowed the hero, whose movie rights are controlled by Sony, to appear in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War and two Avengers movies.
The two sides had been talking about ways to extend the deal for future Spider-Man movies to star Holland, but talks collapsed recently.
Sony announced Monday that Far From Home had surpassed Skyfall to become the studio’s most successful release, with a worldwide haul of $1.109 billion and counting. The film will be rereleased over the Labor Day weekend with four minutes of additional footage.