Spider-Man actor Tom Holland has broken his silence on the reported divorce between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, but be forewarned it’s a heart-breaker. The actor inhabits the role of Peter Parker in standalone Spider-Man movies for Sony Pictures, but they’ve been creatively produced by Marvel Studios as part of the Marvel-Sony deal that also led to Holland’s appearances in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
That deal came to a halt this past week in the wake of Spider-Man: Far from Home’s billion-dollar box office performance, as negotiations between Sony and Disney broke down. While Disney previously received a tiny percentage of the gross on the two standalone Spider-Man movies in exchange for producing them, they proposed co-financing future Spider-Man movies with Sony and going 50/50—which would also mean Disney would get 50% of the box office. Sony rebuffed and countered with… something else. To be honest, the reporting has been all over the place on this one, and while Disney maintains it has bowed out of negotiations and will not be producing any further Spider-Man movies—which means Holland also won’t be appearing in any additional MCU movies—it’s hard to imagine this whole thing is completely over.
But all of this has had to be hard on Holland, who was welcomed into the MCU as part of the family and formed a genuinely heartfelt relationship with Robert Downey Jr. both onscreen and offscreen. The guy clearly loved being part of the Marvel family, and he has thus far been silent on the potential split. However, appearing at Disney’s D23 convention to tout his voice role in Pixar’s Onward, Holland began to tear up as he addressed the rough week he’s had:
“It’s been a crazy week but I want you all to know from the bottom of my heart I love you 3000”
That emotional nod to the Tony/Peter relationship just kinda breaks your heart, doesn’t it? Yesterday, Holland shared on Instagram that he and Downey Jr. had been hanging out, quoting yet another line from Endgame—the final parting words between Peter Parker and a dying Tony Stark.
Holland has said in interviews prior that Downey has been something of a mentor to him, so it’s not hard to imagine that in the wake of all this negotiating between the two studios in the press, Downey messaged Holland and invited him over to talk things out.
Another MCU cast member has also spoken up about the potential Disney-Sony split: Jon Favreau. He of course plays Happy Hogan in the Spider-Man movies, but also is deeply entrenched in the Marvel Cinematic Universe having helmed Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and serving as an executive producer on the Avengers movies. Speaking to Variety on the red carpet at D23, Favreau says he’s holding out hope that this isn’t the end:
“As an actor I had so much fun working with Marisa [Tomei] and Tom Holland, and as a fan and as an actor and as somebody who’s been part of the Marvel story for so long, we’ve all read rumors and press releases, but you never know what’s gonna happen and I’m holding out hope and being optimistic that this isn’t the final chapter of that story between those characters, because I would love to see them continue to share the screen together. I don’t just mean Happy and Aunt May, I mean Spidey and the other heroes from the MCU.”
There may still be negotiations to come, or we may well have seen the last of Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I personally hope that’s not the case—not only do I love seeing Holland interact with the other MCU castmembers, but I don’t really trust Sony not to screw up that major cliffhanger from Far from Home. But perhaps the notion of pulling Spider-Man out of the MCU in order to put him in a Venom sequel will prove irresistible to Sony.
Stay tuned, folks. This ain’t over just yet.
— Variety (@Variety) August 23, 2019