Did Holland appeal get Spider-Man back into MCU?

The young actor made multiple appeals to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Sony film chairman Tom Rothman to reach a resolution. Credit: Reuters file photo

With a 11th hour appeal, it may have been Tom Holland who saved the day by convincing Disney-Marvel and Sony to keep Spider-Man from leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the young actor made multiple appeals to Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Sony film chairman Tom Rothman to reach a resolution less than six weeks after a very public breakup.

It looks like Holland's perseverance did help the final result as on Sept. 27, the two companies announced that a deal was struck to bring out a third Spider-Man film together, and for the character to appear in at least one additional Disney-Marvel film.

The 23-year-old actor made a surprise appearance at Disney's D23 Expo days after the divorce to promote the animated movie Onward. He earned big cheers by thanking fans for support and quoting Tony Stark: "I love you 3,000."

The hashtag #SaveSpiderMan started trending as a way to lobby Sony to make a deal with Disney.

Holland began flexing his diplomacy after D23 wrapped on Aug. 25.

The actor, who is set to star in Sony's Uncharted, urged Rothman to re-engage with Disney and also reached out to Iger, one of Hollywood's most powerful executives, to renegotiate.

The two studios were engaged in discussions to renew the deal that enabled the web slinger's appearance in the money-minting MCU.

Disney, which owns the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Studios, had demanded that it wanted to split future Spider-Man movies in a 50/50 co-financing arrangement, that also meant a 50/50 split in the profits.

In August, after Sony declined to agree on the new terms, Disney removed MCU head Feige and Marvel as producers of the future projects.

As per insiders, when their latest release Spider-Man: Far From Home raked in USD 1.13 billion, both sides were adamant about coming out on top.

While Sony gained confidence about its handling of 2018's Spider-Man spin-off Venom, Disney was on cloud nine after Avengers: Endgame became the all-time top grosser, standing at USD 2.79 billion, not adjusted for inflation.

It finally worked out in the end, with Disney getting a major stake in a new movie, up from a nominal producing fee that sources claim amounted to less than 5 per cent of the gross for each of the first two Spider-Man films (Homecoming).

Feige said that he was "thrilled" to have Spider-Man back in the MCU, pointing out that the future might hold more surprises as Sony continues to work on its "own Spidey-verse".

Sony added it was pleased that a deal had been reached.

Holland celebrated the news by posting a scene from 2013's The Wolf of Wall Street, in which Leonardo DiCaprio's character gives an impassioned speech about "not leaving".

"I'm not leaving. I'm not leaving. I'm not f***ing leaving. The show goes on," DiCaprio said to a room full of overwhelmed co-workers in the Martin Scorsese-directed film.

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