Yeah, I know it was unlikely. But as I plunked down my $12.99 monthly fee for Disney+ (I sprung for the Hulu/ESPN+ bundle, ’cause YOLO), a small piece of my heart asked a hopeful, hopelessly naive question: “Can I stream either of the MCU Spider-Man movies on Disney+?” Now, thanks to reporting from The Verge, the answer is a cold, heartless, J. Jonah Jameson-esque “No!”
If you’re not familiar with the Spider-Man/MCU/Disney/Sony drama, I’ll give you a quick recap. Sony used to own the live-action motion picture rights for Spider-Man, yielding a 2000s Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire trilogy, and then a 2010s Marc Webb/Andrew Garfield aborted franchise reboot. As the MCU started picking up steam around the same time, fans wondered the same thing: “When the heck will Peter Parker show up?” And then, thanks to some canny behind-the-scenes Hollywood negotiating between Sony and Disney (Sony still technically owns the character and films centered on him, but Disney gets creative control), he totally did! Captain America: Civil War boasted a phenomenal entrance for the web-slinger, and a powerhouse performance from the endearing Tom Holland. Then, we got two damn solo MCU Spider-flicks (Homecoming and Far From Home) and some incredible moments in ensemble pictures like Avengers: Infinity War (“I don’t feel so good”? I’m crying already!). Then… Sony was like “Never mind.” And Spider-Man was yanked away from the MCU… for all of, like, a week. Thanks in part to some pleading between Holland and Disney CEO Bob Iger, Parker swung back to the MCU in a similar deal with Sony. All’s well that ends well, right?
Mostly. For despite all of (because all of?) this drama, we still can’t watch any solo Spider-Man MCU movies on Disney+, and we likely never will. Disney+ head of content Ricky Strauss put it bluntly:
We love our friends at Sony, but we don’t have any plans to have the live-action Spider-Man movies on Disney+. We will have all the Spider-Man animated shows that we did so they’ll be on there under the Marvel banner. But who knows what can happen in the future?
So, despite the inherent cloudiness of this announcement, there are some silver linings. One: You can and must stream the ’90s animated Spider-Man series because it friggin’ RULES. Two: “Who knows what can happen in the future?” offers some hope that the two will strike a deal — especially since they have in the past, and Disney seems to hold all the leverage. And three: Once Sony releases their inevitable streaming service, you can just subscribe to that and watch Holland to your heart’s content! Right? Ugh, I can feel my heart losing its innocence already…
For more Disney+ drama, check out the best literal dramas you can watch on Disney+.