Spider-Man’s neighborhood has been decidedly unfriendly this week. A private and contentious battle over the onscreen future of the beloved Marvel
superhero has spilled out into the public square over the past few days. After making nice for two wildly successful films, Sony Pictures
, which holds the licensing rights to the Marvel character, will go it alone. As every fanboy and girl out there now knows, it will no longer partner with the Disney
-owned Marvel Studios
on producing sequels.Fallout
from the creative divorce has revealed a callous truth about Hollywood’s obsession with the bottom line: Studios don’t like to cut big checks, particularly when the recipient is a rival studio.
On Wednesday, Sony
confirmed reports that the producing deal between the company and Disney employee and Marvel chief Kevin Feige
would end. That leaves the franchise without Feige’s guidance and effectively removes Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.