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New Rumor For A Mega Disney Spider-Man Deal Is Turning Heads

Spider-Man's ejection from the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be short-lived.

According to a new rumor, Marvel Studios parent company Disney and Spidey film rights holders Sony Pictures are back at the bargaining table, trying to hammer out the details of a new deal that would keep the wall-crawler in the MCU for a long, long time.

The unconfirmed report comes courtesy of YouTuber TVO, who presides over the Lords of the Long Box video series. He says that inside sources at Marvel have given him the skinny on new negotiations between the studios, which were recently reported to have failed to reach an agreement to extend their shared custody arrangement for Spidey, initially brokered in 2015.

While we feel compelled to stress that this report is wholly unconfirmed, it would be incredibly exciting if it's accurate — and assuming, of course, that the alleged talks don't simply blow up again. According to TVO, the new deal being discussed would involve no fewer than six feature films starring current Spider-Man actor Tom Holland, and would include an option for a seventh. 

One of the proposed features would presumably serve as a direct sequel to this year's Spider-Man: Far From Home, and would conclude the story of Peter Parker's high school years. An additional three solo vehicles would also be in the offing, and would focus on Parker navigating the ups and downs of college life while contending with a growing array of supervillains intent on taking him down. 

The other two films guaranteed in the deal, according to TVO's sources, would be the fifth and sixth Avengers movies, which have not yet been confirmed by Marvel Studios. However, these sources also report that the plan is for one of these team-up flicks to depict Parker meeting up with one of his oldest allies from the comics for the first time: Johnny Storm, also known as the Human Torch.

This would be possible thanks to Disney's recent acquisition of the film and television assets of Fox Studios, which held the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. As the youngest member of Marvel's First Family, Johnny Storm was the first hero in the Marvel universe to offer counsel to Spidey when the latter was first embarking on his crime-fighting career.

Their friendship began all the way back in The Amazing Spider-Man #3, when Storm gave a speech during an assembly at Parker's high school. During the speech, the hero espoused the virtues of never giving up, no matter how difficult one's road might become. It was a message that hit home with Parker, who had just suffered the first defeat of his young career — a resounding, humiliating defeat — at the hands of Doctor Octopus, who made his first-ever appearance in the issue.

Inspired by Storm's words, Parker saddled up for a rematch with Doc Ock — and this time, he wiped the floor with the villain. As Spider-Man, he then tracked down Storm to offer his thanks for giving him the kick in the tights he had needed to overcome his foe, leaving the Torch (who was, of course, unaware of Spidey's secret identity) understandably confused as to exactly what in the heck he had done. (We feel like we must point out that in Fox's 2005 flick Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel, Storm was portrayed by none other than Chris Evans — who, as Captain America, was one of the first heroes to tangle with Spidey in the MCU.)

Extending the two heroes' friendship to the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be a fantastic nod to fans (pun definitely intended), and we submit that the specificity of the report in including this detail lends it a bit of credence. TVO's sources also offered up one final tidbit which makes us optimistic that there may actually be something to this rumor — namely, that Marvel has come back to the table with a couple of significant bargaining chips that would incentivize Sony to get the deal done.

First, the deal would reportedly stipulate that Disney — which actually holds the television rights to Spider-Man — would allow Sony to move forward with their TV universe based around the wall-crawler and his ancillary characters, which was recently announced to have been in development. Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who co-produced the Oscar-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for Sony Pictures Animation, have been tasked with developing the slate of live-action series, which presumably would be dead in the water if Disney and Sony should ultimately fail to hammer out the new deal. (via Deadline)

Second, Disney is said to be dangling the possibility of integrating the cinematic Sony Universe of Marvel Characters — which thus far includes 2018's Venom and the upcoming Morbius and Venom 2 — into the MCU, an offer which would undoubtedly perk up the ears of Sony Pictures' brass in a hurry. The Tom Hardy-starring Venom, while it didn't exactly score with critics, was a resounding commercial success, raking in $856 million dollars at the worldwide box office. Considering that the MCU-set Far From Home recently became the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever — not to mention Sony Pictures' best box office performer of all time — the idea of folding Venom into the MCU has got to be a tantalizing one. It would virtually guarantee an even more stellar global take for the Lethal Protector's second solo vehicle, which could conceivably, you know, feature Spider-Man this time around.

Once again, do keep in mind that the report is in no way confirmed. But if the insane fan outcry over the failed talks between Disney and Marvel hasn't completely escaped the involved parties, it's not too difficult to imagine that talks have resumed. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that TVO's sources aren't yanking our webs, and you can be sure that we'll be here to report on any official announcements that may come down the pike.