While Disney has yet to officially respond to Spider-Man's exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, two of the primary individuals involved in the partnership — actor Tom Holland who plays Spidey, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige — addressed the biggest entertainment news of last week at Disney's D23 Expo over the weekend, where they appeared to promote or announce their upcoming ventures. Holland said he's “going to continue playing Spider-Man” and told the D23 crowd “I love you 3000”, referencing Tony Stark's daughter's line from Avengers: Endgame. Feige, on the other hand, admitted that the “dream” that was having Spider-Man in the MCU “was never meant to last forever”.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly after he appeared at Pixar's D23 presentation — he plays one of the leads in Onward, alongside fellow MCU star Chris Pratt — on Saturday, Holland said: “Basically, we've made five great movies. It's been five amazing years. I've had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? But all I know is that I'm going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It's going to be so fun, however we choose to do it. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we'll find new ways to make it even cooler.”
That's a highly positive attitude from an actor who just lost the opportunity to continue working in the biggest movie franchise that exists today. That said, Holland is trying to make the best of the situation, and possibly the best of what he knows. Actors aren't always kept in the clue regarding financial deals between Hollywood studios — Disney and Sony Pictures, in this case. Moreover, Holland is still Spider-Man, easily the most recognisable superhero around, especially after the exit of some of Marvel's old guard in Endgame.
Feige also spoke to EW after he announced Black Panther 2, Kit Harington's Eternals character, and more MCU casting bits: “I'm feeling about Spider-Man gratitude and joy. We got to make five films within the MCU with Spider-Man: two standalone films [Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Spider-Man: Far From Home] and three with the Avengers [in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame]. It was a dream that I never thought would happen. It was never meant to last forever. We knew there was a finite amount of time that we'd be able to do this, and we told the story we wanted to tell, and I'll always be thankful for that.”
Holland and Feige's public statements add to Sony's response from last week, which essentially pointed the finger at Disney — the studio reportedly wanted a much bigger share of the revenue pie — but left room for a potential U-turn on the situation. It remains to be seen if Disney and Sony can come to a new agreement in the interest of the fans. For now, Sony has at least two standalone Spider-Man films in development, in addition to possible cross-overs with spin-offs such as Venom and Morbius. While Holland has confirmed he will continue, director Jon Watts has yet to lock down a new deal.