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Sony and Disney kiss and make up over Spider-Man’s Marvel movie future

Avenger assemble

Tony Stark hugs a resurrected Peter Parker in Avengers: Endgame. Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Sony and Walt Disney Studios have come to an agreement over a potential third Spider-Man movie featuring Tom Holland’s version of the character. And that means that Spider-Man is back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The two media conglomerates have announced that Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, will return to produce a sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. The new flick will hit theaters on July 16, 2021.

A little over a month ago, news broke that Sony and Disney had reached an impasse in their negotiations over the future of the Spider-Man franchise. Sony owns the movie license to the character — arguably Marvel’s most successful superhero — and may legally keep it so long as it continues to produce Spider-Man movies.

Sony and Disney’s 2015 renegotiation of that deal paved the way for a sort of shared custody: Disney and Feige would help produce an new Sony Spider-Man franchise that would take place in the same world as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To date, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has appeared in three Marvel Cinematic Universe films and two of his own tied-in standalone movies.

Now, after a bit of a parental spat, he’ll definitely appear in more.

“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue,” Feige said in a statement.

“Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe,” he continued. “He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

Sony’s plans for a broader Spider-Man universe are extensive, to say the least, including Jared Leto’s Morbius the Living Vampire, sequels for Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and a lot more. But, unlike the core Spider-Man films, those movies have largely not attempted to definitively locate themselves within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they have not featured Holland’s Spider-Man.

Feige’s words would seem to imply that that might change.