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Spider-Man may no longer be part of the Disney family, but Tom Holland is. The actor showed up at the studio’s fan convention D23 Saturday to promote Pixar’s Onward, where he took the stage next to co-star Chris Pratt.
“It’s been a crazy week, but I want you to know I am grateful from the bottom of my heart and I love you 3,000,” Holland said.
D23 comes days after news broke that Sony and Disney were splitting on future Spider-Man movies. The move instantly sparked the hashtag #SaveSpiderMan, with Disney fans tweeting their displeasure over the split. At D23 Saturday, several fans could be heard chanting “Save Spider-Man” briefly after Holland took the stage.
“It’s so good to be at D23. It’s the best day of the year,” Holland said.
In 2017, Holland and Pratt took the stage to promote Avengers: Infinity War, in which Pratt played Guardians of the Galaxy character Star-Lord.
“Last time we here, we were space buddies fighting on Titan. Now we’re elf buddies, fighting in L.A.,” said Holland.
In Onward, the pair play two teenage elf brothers who embark on a quest to find the last remaining magic in the world in the hopes of spending time with their dead father.
Sony, which controls the film rights to Spider-Man, struck a landmark deal with Marvel Studios in 2015 that allowed the character to appear in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and also called for Marvel to produce Spider-Man films for Sony. The deal has ended after Marvel and its parent company, Disney, requested a bigger piece of Spider-Man movies going forward, a suggestion which Sony turned down in preference for an extension of the existing agreement, which sees Marvel receiving a modest five percent of first-dollar gross, as well as all merchandising revenue.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige took part in Friday’s Disney+ presentation as well as Saturday’s panel looking at Disney’s big screen properties. While he did not acknowledge the split on stage, he spoke with Entertainment Weekly at D23.
“I’m feeling about Spider-Man gratitude and joy,” Feige told EW. “We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films and three with the Avengers. It was a dream that I never thought would happen. It was never meant to last forever. We knew there was a finite amount of time that we’d be able to do this, and we told the story we wanted to tell, and I’ll always be thankful for that.”
On Tuesday, Sony blamed the breakdown on Disney in a statement, suggesting that Feige’s duties overseeing characters acquired from 21st Century Fox made him too busy to continue producing for Sony.
“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,” read the statement in part. “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.”
Holland has played Spider-Man in five films.
Aug. 24, 2:30 p.m. Updated with Feige’s comments.
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Venice Film Festival