Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Drunk Phone Call That Helped Spider-Man Swing Back Into The MCU

Apparently, Spider-Man can even get the job done when he's a few sheets to the wind.

Tom Holland, who portrays the web-slinger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently revealed to Jimmy Kimmel on his late-night talk show that a fateful phone call in which he helped convince rights-holder Sony Pictures and Marvel parent company Disney to come back to the bargaining table happened to occur when he was a wee bit tipsy.

It had been widely reported (including by us) that while attending the D23 Expo in August, Holland had become a little melancholy due to the fact that Sony had recently decided to take its Spidey and go home after talks to renew its shared-custody with Marvel Studios had stalled. We knew that Holland had ended up on the horn with Disney CEO Bob Iger, and that as a result of that conversation, the involved parties had come back together to hammer out a deal. What we didn't know, however, was that said phone call took place several days after D23 had ended — and at a rather inopportune time.

Holland displayed his boatloads of charm for Kimmel's audience while relating the story of how he "saved Spider-Man" (a lofty statement which the star quickly retracted, making clear that he was just having some fun). Holland said that during D23, he was "devastated" to see all of his Marvel buddies taking pictures and having a great time, and he ended up asking someone for Iger's email — not with any grand goal in mind, but with the intention of simply thanking the CEO for the life-changing opportunity to play Spidey in the MCU.

The star said that he was a bit surprised when Iger responded quickly to his email, asking if perhaps they could chat on the phone for a bit, and inquiring as to when he would be free. "You don't give Bob Iger, like, a schedule," Holland deadpanned. "You're like, 'whenever, Bob.' So like, two, three days go by, and then my family and I went to the pub quiz."

Of course, it was during the Holland family's night at the pub that Iger decided to reach out. "I'm, like, three pints in," Holland said to chuckles from Kimmel's audience. "I haven't eaten much. And I get a phone call from an unknown number, and I have a feeling, I'm like, 'I think this is Bob Iger... but I'm drunk.' So my Dad says, 'Just take the call, you'll be fine!'"

Holland went on to jokingly explain how he enlisted Iger to help him answer a trivia question (what year Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was released) before settling back into his story. "I basically just said 'Thank you for the opportunity,' and then he said, 'There is a world in which we can make this work,' and then there was a bunch of phone calls back and forth [with Sony Pictures chairman] Tom Rothman, he was really instrumental in the process... and it was really interesting for me to have these two studio heads, like, 'What do you think?'"

It must have been particularly interesting considering that Holland was half off his face in his local pub while having this conversation with two of the most powerful people in the world of entertainment. The star went on to explain that he did, in fact, become quite emotional on the call (what a shocker), and that he was extremely relieved when the two studios miraculously managed to come to terms.

"We had a really good plan for what we were going to do with Sony, the future of Spider-Man was still very bright," he said. "But it would have been a shame to take him out [of] the MCU. That's where he belongs, and we built such a strong character in that world, and it would have been a shame to lose that. But I'm just really glad that we managed to [work it out]."

Is Spider-Man back in the MCU for good?

Of course, the whole ordeal serves to illustrate that the relationship between Sony and Disney is not exactly rock-solid, and we don't know at this time just how long Spidey's continued residence in the MCU will last. The agreement between the two studios was only extended for two pictures — one Sony-produced, MCU-set solo flick, and one Marvel-produced team-up — and beyond that, anything could happen.

Sony is still moving full steam ahead with its own slate of films based on ancillary Spider-Man characters, an endeavor which nobody expected to amount to much until 2018's Venom — the first of these Spidey-less films of the "Sony Universe of Marvel Characters" — grossed over $850 million dollars at the worldwide box office. The studio will field the Jared Leto-starring Morbius (a solo vehicle for the titular "Living Vampire" and legacy Spidey villain) in July 2020, followed by Venom 2 in October — and it may very well be that by this time, we'll get a better idea of just how closely Sony and Disney intend to continue working together in the future.

Since the studios mended fences, speculation has run rampant that the SUMC might cross over with, or even be absorbed into, the MCU — using Spider-Man as a bridge between the two universes. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige poured gasoline on the speculative flames with his comments shortly following the announcement that the shared custody arrangement for Spider-Man had been extended.

"I am thrilled that Spidey's journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it," Feige said. "Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse, you never know what surprises the future might hold." (via Variety)

No, we sure don't — but based on that incredibly provocative statement, we're betting that Feige does. Here's hoping that the two studios will continue to play nice, and that we'll all be clued in to just what surprises they have in store for us sooner rather than later; also, let's all take a moment to thank Drunk Tom Holland for accomplishing what a room full of studio executives couldn't.