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I have just watched the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, and I'm confused. If this is an MCU-connected film, does Disney/Marvel own the rights? Or does Sony Pictures?

I thought Disney/Marvel owned the MCU films/stories, but the trailer is put out by Sony Pictures, which I didn't think Disney owned. Am I mistaken?

Who actually owns this film?

marked as duplicate by mattiav27, TheLethalCarrot, sanpaco, Paulie_D, A J Jan 16 at 4:36

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  • Spiderman is licensed to Sony. Through an agreement Spiderman has been allowed to take part in the MCU. – user25738 Jan 15 at 15:44
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Sony Pictures has film rights to the character.

Marvel has owned Spider-Man since his inception. They do, and have always, owned Spider-Man.

If you’re asking about the film rights specifically, that’s more complicated.

Disney owns Marvel. Marvel owns the Spider-Man character. Every time someone purchases a Spider-man backpack or lunchbox or T-shirt, Disney is making money on that sale.

What Disney does not have are the film rights to the character. Sony Pictures does. What this means is that Marvel Studios cannot just go and create a Spider-Man film or have spider-Man appear in another film by itself. They did negotiate a deal with Sony to allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Films. That is why you see him in Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War, & Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Marvel had sold film rights for a number of its characters to various studios over the years. Most of those have lapsed or returned to Marvel Studios / Disney. If the acquisition of Fox is completed - Spider-Man will be about the last major character that Disney/Marvel does not have the film rights.

Beyond film rights, Marvel had sold the rights to their characters to be used in theme parks to Universal Studios. The Universal Orlando has a super hero land that includes a Spider-Man ride. Universal never created similar lands or rides outside of Florida so the use of the rights lapsed elsewhere. What this means is that Disney is free to use Marvel characters in all of its theme parks EXCEPT the ones located in Orlando. There’s an Iron Man ride in Hong Kong and a Guardians of the Galaxy ride in California for example. The rules are a bit nuanced - so EPCOT is getting a Guardians of the Galaxy ride, presumably because the rights that Universal has are only for characters they already had in use (so no Avengers, X-men, or Spider-Man). Universal can also only use the comic book/cartoon versions of the characters. They do not have rights to show Robert Downey, Jr as Iron Man in their theme park, for example.

Source

  • That would also explain why the X-men haven’t shown up in the MCU although I suppose it wouldn’t make sense for them to even if Disney gets the rights to them – MissouriSpartan Jan 15 at 19:09
  • @MissouriSpartan I really hope that Disney will get rights of Fantastic Four — can't wait to see this. – Ver Nick Jan 15 at 19:10
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    Truth. Granted I’ve often wondered how they would integrate the F4 into the MCU. It’d have to be post-EndGame for sure – MissouriSpartan Jan 15 at 19:12
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    @MissouriSpartan They can just turn to dust and keep silence until Avengers defeat Thanos :) – Ver Nick Jan 15 at 19:14
  • lol good point! – MissouriSpartan Jan 15 at 19:14

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