Spider-Man, Spider-Man, negotiates however a spider can.
When Kevin Feige and his incredible MCU captured the joint rights of Spider-Man from Sony, they crafted some of the best big-screen outings for the web-slinger. From his impeccable entrance in Captain America: Civil War, to the recently mega-charming Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tom Holland took the role from Andrew Garfield and ran with it. And shot webs with it. And climbed up buildings with it. You get what we’re saying.
Then, abruptly, it looked like Holland’s MCU ride was over, as Disney and Sony couldn’t come to an agreement to their joint deal, and the rights reverted solely to Sony. Then, double-abruptly, the two Spider-Studios came to an agreement, and Holland was back in the MCU, baby! How on earth did that happen?
We’ve heard that Holland himself did some sweet-talking, proving that charm ain’t just a big-screen act. But on October 3, Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, sat down on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to go over his side of the Spider-Story. And, um, to talk about his sneaker collection. But we’re gonna focus on the Spider-Man stuff, which Iger asserts happened “miraculously.”
We had an event called D23, which is a big Disney fan event, and Tom was there because he’s a voice in a new Pixar movie called Onward with Chris Pratt… It was clear that the fans wanted Tom back as Spider-Man made by Marvel and our Marvel production team. And after D23, Tom reached out to folks who work for me and said, ‘Could I please have Bob’s email address or phone number?’ Of course I’m very protected so they were very careful. And I said, ‘Sure, have him contact me.’ And he did, we spoke. And he basically made it… he cried on the phone.
At this point in the story, the audience let out a perfect “Awww!” Jimmy Kimmel asked, surprised, “Did he really?” And Iger revealed himself to be quite the comedian: “No, not really.”
While Holland didn’t shed a tear, Iger could tell “that he cared so much. And actually we care a lot about him. He’s a great Spider-Man, isn’t he?” And after that phone call, Iger says he called up Sony and “[figured] out a way to get this done. For Tom and the fans.” It’s a sweet story of creatives, studio heads, and fans working united for the good of all. Or, as Kimmel put it eloquently: “Like two divorced parents coming together and figuring it out.”
Iger was there to promote his new book The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company, so if you’re needing some more Iger insights, give that a read. And check out the full Kimmel interview below. Spoiler alert — he’s mostly a Nike guy.