Just because Spider-Man was in Captain America: Civil War, that doesn’t mean that all is well between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios. It’s become clear that the deal that was made between the two studios is that Spider-Man would appear in Civil War—a film that would do the heavy lifting on getting people to like Tom Holland as the new Spidey—and then the solo Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, would get Marvel’s heaviest hitter, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).
So where does that leave Spider-Man and his relationship to the MCU after Homecoming? Holland told WWD, “My next project, I can’t tell you about, but we’ve just finished ‘Spider-Man’ and we’re talking about the second one and who the villain is going to be and where we’re going,” so clearly Sony is showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to making new Spider-Man movies, which isn’t surprising.
What is a bit surprising is where the character functions within the whole of the MCU. Speaking to Variety, Holland said that when it comes to Avengers: Infinity War, “It’s all up in the air. I believe some sort of deal is in the mix, but I’m unclear as to what that deal is,” which means that the studios are renegotiating the use of Spider-Man within the confines of the MCU.
Keep in mind that Tom Rothman, who now runs Sony Pictures, wasn’t in charge of Sony when the studio struck the Civil War deal. Rothman, who’s trying to keep costs down at the studio, may be wary of striking a new deal with Marvel Studios and feel that now that the new Spider-Man has been established, Sony can take care of things from here. At the very least, he may want more money for allowing Spider-Man to appear in other MCU movies like Avengers: Infinity War.
To me, that would be shortsighted. Marvel has shown that they know how to take good care of their superheroes. While I’m sure the deal would require language like, “We promise not to kill off Spider-Man in our MCU movies,” bringing the character outside of his own franchise will increase his popularity.
To put it another way, if Sony had decided to do a total reboot of Spider-Man and cast Tom Holland, and never put him in Civil War, then people probably wouldn’t be as excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming because it would be just another reboot, and a reboot of a character who had been re-launched as recently as 2012. Instead, this new Spider-Man ties in with the larger MCU, which people seem to really like. Having Spider-Man appear in Avengers: Infinity War doesn’t diminish his value any more than having other superheroes appear in those movies. If anything, it makes those characters more popular and more likely to get audiences in to see their solo movies.
Hopefully, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios will be able to work something out. I’d hate to see Spidey consigned to only appearing in Spider-Man movies.