For a while there it looked as if a characteristically stupid Hollywood decision was about to be taken. Sony and Marvel appeared to be taking their toys home in a flounce and breaking up a highly successful partnership.
Then, at the eleventh hour, all was saved! Rumors abound that it was star Tom Holland that talked some sense into the woolly-headed executives. Sony Pictures Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios announced they had come to an agreement to keep Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This week, as part of a roundtable interview at The Hollywood Reporter, five major studio heads joined Netflix and Amazon bosses to talk about all things entertainment.
In this interview session, it turned out maybe the companies weren’t as far away from each other as we had been led to believe.
Disney Studios chief Alan Horn and Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman spoke about the negotiation, agreement, and rumors of a feud. Rothman saying:
“This was a classic win-win-win. A win for Sony, a win for Disney, a win for the fans. The only thing I would say is that news cycles and the rhythm of negotiations do not necessarily overlap. And this is, in the words of Shakespeare, a consummation devoutly to be wished. We would have gotten there, and the news got ahead of some things.”
Horn did say that the fan reaction added important pressure:
“The fan base, which is important to all of us, seemed to really respond to what Tom [Rothman] and his folks have done before with our people They like the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Kevin Feige were involved [in the two Spider-Man films]. We heard feedback out there that suggested that joining forces once again was probably really a good idea.”
Outside of Marvel and Spidey, Horn was also asked when they’re going to run out of remakes at Disney as their live-action programme remains a centerpiece of their upcoming slate:
“There is no question that we, at some point, are going to run out of the kinds of films like Aladdin or Lion King. We have taken a step past that now, so Maleficent is a step away from Sleeping Beauty, and Cruella is a step away from 101 Dalmatians. But there is no question it’s a finite universe.”
So there you have it. Disney and Marvel were always going to get there. Negotiating in the press?