The portrayal of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming by Tom Holland is perhaps the most accurate portrayal of the character we’ve seen on the big screen. And it’s nothing short of a miracle that Kevin Feige was able to bring him home to the MCU. Even though we finally got the perfect Spider-Man, there are several things that fans should be aware of going into Tom Holland‘s next few appearances. Thanks to Holland’s candid nature, we know that he’s contracted for 3 solo films and 3 team-up appearances. The first of these solo films we’ve already seen with Spider-Man: Homecoming. And having played a part in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, next May will be the third time Spidey appears outside of his own films in Avengers 4. And Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently in production which will be his second solo film.
So if you’ve been keeping track, after Spider-Man: Far From Home is released there’s only one more contracted film with Tom Holland as Spider-Man. That means, as of right now, there are only 3 more confirmed appearances for this iteration of the character. Of course, this may be outdated information since Marvel and Sony could have potentially renegotiated. But if we look at what Sony has planned and their track record with handling the character, it’s all a bit worrying. Back when Andrew Garfield played the character, Sony tried to kick-start a Sinister Six franchise. But that failed before it even began because they were trying to start a franchise rather than make a good movie. And now that the world has fallen in love with Tom Holland they’re sabotaging themselves again by taking the attention away from what’s actually working. Sony executive Amy Pascal says it herself in the infamous interview with her and Kevin Feige:
I think one of the things that Kevin has done with Marvel that was so brilliant is by bringing the fans along and making each movie feel like a chapter in a book that you have to read in order to go forward. And I think the investment that the fans get to feel in being part of a larger story and understanding what’s happening is something that I know Sony would want to emulate.
Here we can see how drastically Pascal (and other studio executives) misunderstand what makes a good cinematic universe. Kevin Feige has always said that it’s not about making everything tie together in a larger story, but making one film at a time. If one of the films isn’t working then that brings the entire franchise down a notch. So with Venom set to release this fall, Sony is continuing the trend of shooting themselves in the foot by mishandling some of their most popular characters. Even if Venom is great and praised by audiences/critics (and that’s a huge”if”), they’re still cementing the removal of one of the greatest Spider-Man villains from his own successful franchise. So it’s unlikely we’ll ever see Venom in a film with Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man. And that’s a shame.
Of course, the reason for all of this is that Sony is a business. They see an opportunity with Venom to make a film themselves without having to work with Marvel. But as we’ve seen, they don’t have a good track record with creating Spider-Man franchises. That’s why they agreed to work with Marvel in the first place. They’ve also announced several other films that exist (presumably in the Venom-verse) with a stand alone Black Cat film. And this means that more characters are being taken away from the actual Spider-Man franchise. Of course, a lot of this rides on how Venom does at the box office. If it’s widely successful I’m sure Sony will push ahead with their plans for more stand-alone films. If it’s a monumental flop they may be forced to go back to Marvel and negotiate more films with Tom Holland. But if it does moderately well (which is perhaps the most likely) then Sony may feel more confident about moving forward alone and without Marvel’s guidance.
Regardless of what may be the outcome down the line, we gotta enjoy Tom Holland’s Spider-Man while we’ve got him!