When Sony wanted to remove Spider-Man from the Avengers
This isn’t like the last time. Back in summer 2019, after the immense success of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, the silent war between Sony and
Marvel fans were very vocal at the time, and they ultimately showed Sony and Disney the way. The two giants reconciled their differences, ensuring that Spider-Man continues to play nice with the other Avengers. As a result, Tom Holland returned to the big screen as Peter Parker in No Way Home, which will be an MCU story.
Also, there’s no sign that the two parties will ever want to divorce. Given what rumors say about No Way Home, there’s already a way to have all these separate Spider-Men coexist successfully out there. Not all MCU Avengers stories need Spider-Man in them. And Sony’s Spider-Man universe does not require the Avengers as long as the MCU and SSU are loosely connected. Even if Sony and
The new copyright battles
The new battles over control of character rights are different than the Sony vs.
On one side, we have the heirs of comic book geniuses. The administrators of those estates want to take over control of the characters because the MCU movies are incredibly successful. Marvel made
Then there’s Disney. The company showed its ruthless side when it comes to MCU profits earlier this year. Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson sued Disney, alleging the giant breached its contract by releasing the movie on
It’s no surprise that
What happens now?
With that in mind, there’s absolutely no reason to panic about the future of the Avengers and Spider-Man in MCU movies. It’s not up to fans to save
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has sued the heirs of some late comic book creators, including Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Gene Colan. Marvel seeks declaratory relief that the characters these authors created are ineligible for copyright termination.
In August, the Ditko estate administrators filed a notice of termination on Spider-Man. THR explains that authors or their heirs can reclaim the rights after a set period under the termination provisions of copyright law. Marvel could lose the rights to Ditko’s characters in June 2023, including Spider-Man.
Marvel is seeking relief by claiming that it paid the comic book creators a per-page rate for their work. As a result, the creators never had any claim to these characters in the first place.
This sort of battle over rights happens all the time. One such instance occurred almost a decade ago when the estate of Jack Kirby sought to terminate a copyright grant on Spider-Man, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, and The Mighty Thor. The case reached the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2013, which affirmed a lower court’s ruling. Kirby’s heirs could not get back the rights, as Marvel hired Kirby to create those materials. The two parties settled before the case could reach the Supreme Court.
Per THR, if
Again, no matter what happens next, it’s unlikely that Disney, Marvel, and Sony, will stop making Avengers and Spider-Man movies anytime soon.