Just when you think a millionaire football player holding out and venting against billionaire football team owners wouldn’t polarize a fan base… we get, um, “SpideyGate“?!
(Candidly, I abhor folk adding “gate” as the dreaded suffix of controversy but I don’t know what else to call this web of kerfuffle and crap. Oh, there’s an idea…crap!)
In summary, as first reported by Deadline, the cinematic divorce rippling through the nerdverse was due to disputes between Sony (which still holds the rights to the character of Spider-Man) and Marvel’s parent company Disney (which owns, well, everything else) over revenue sharing from films starring the web-slinging hero.
Of course, it’s all about the Benajmins, and no one gives two turds about the fans caught in the middle of angst-filled vitriol and money grubbing.
- Disney reportedly asked future Spider-Man films be 50 / 50 co-productions between Disney and Sony
- The current deal is reported to give Marvel (and Disney) only five percent of gross box-office revenue
- To wit, Sony Pictures, is “disappointed” but believes the ballyhoo about Kevin Feige has been “mischaracterized” alluding to him still being involved in the franchise
Whatevs. That leaves us to a mighty rift in the Marvel Studios’ sandbox because Sony and fans alike have been peeing all in it.
First, Hawkeye Hits a Target
Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye, loves Tom Holland and his character, the MCU-version of Spider-Man. Upon hearing about the pissing contest between the two polytheatrical hosts, he tweeted and grammed the following:
— Jeremy Renner (@Renner4Real) August 21, 2019
So, there’s that… maybe if dude sang a few other tracks in his jeep they’ll get along, but not until then. He also grammed it, which, well, see if you can tell…
That is 1.6 million likes on Instagram, and 50K retweets, 129K likes, and 3.5K comments on Twitter. That’s an ess-ton of engagement for a picture that’s not even featuring Tom Holland. (Narcissistic, just a bit?)
Of course, geeks and freaks, nerds and blerds have lit up Twitter (along with Renner) with rancor and irascibility. People threatening to boycott Sony to begging Tom Holland to boycott Spider-Man. As we know, few boycotts ever work because people forget to be mad in search of entertainment. And, the actors? Please, they want their money.
Nonetheless, a solid bullseye for Hawkeye. But wait…
Stan Lee’s Daughter, Her Daddy, and Spidey
Okay Joan “JC” Lee. The floor is yours. Proceed.
“Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view,” she said…
Sony has owned Spidey for about two decades. Aside from still owning a good portion of Marvel underdeveloped characters, this is their cash cow. (See Venom.)
It’s like there isn’t a lot to your own financial name — a few PS4 games, your clothes, and some questionable DVDs. But, let’s say there’s this prize necklace that’s been passed down from generations and it’s been appraised at a few thousand bucks.
Now pretend, that is owned by someone else but it’s in your closet.
That is Spider-Man. Yes, Marvel wants it back but Sony is pulling a Rick Astley, “Never gonna give you up…” (Yeah, you have been Rick-Rolled. You’re welcome.)
Turns out there is something Exclesior’s baby girl doesn’t want to give up either. Bitterness.
“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me,” Lee said. “From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”
Disney is the 700-pound gorilla in cinema. They own so many profitable properties, as in guaranteed to surpass $1 billion each time. Many people are jealous. Some cry “monopoly” and want the Federal Trade Commission to look into illegal practices. But for JC, she thinks this mess is just fair…
“Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy.”
Now before you go off on your opinion, admit it…you’re just a fan. You know absolutely nothing about Stan Lee compared to what she knows. Sure, we’re butthurt because Spidey belongs in the MCU. Sure, we’re really upset because Sony hasn’t been known to having a Midas Touch with Marvel properties.
Nonetheless, you have no right to say JC is right or wrong.
We all have opinions, and despite what a nerd wants with Marvel canon, this is about what a daughter wants for her daddy, which trumps anything we may or may not believe about this heinous mess. Let’s use our Spidey senses on that one and just hope this all works out for D23 Expo or whenever.
(Possibly beginning with a huge apology from Kevin Feige to Stan Lee’s baby girl? Who knows.)