Since the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ten years ago, Marvel Studios have managed to bring characters who were for years considered B-List and make them into household names who can bring in millions of dollars of revenue at the Box Office. Some of the most obvious examples of this are Iron Man, Ant-Man, Thor and Black Panther – whose debut solo film is projected to open to $180 Million Dollars this weekend.
A revelation from a newly released book has revealed this very nearly never happened.
The new book The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz features a section on Sony’s acquisition of Spider-Man nearly twenty years ago. In the section Fritz goes on to reveal that when contacted by Yair Landau, a young Sony Executive, about acquiring Spidey, the near bankrupt Marvel Studios offered them the additional rights for Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Black Panther, The Avengers – all for only $25 Million. Sounds like one hell of a deal if you ask me! So what went wrong?
Landau took the new offer back to his superiors at Sony expecting them to take it. However they refused with one apparently telling Landau ‘Nobody gives a sh—about any of the other Marvel characters. Go back and do a deal for only Spider-Man’. This then led to Sony acquiring Spider-Man for $10 Million.
Whilst the deal was in no way a loss for Sony, with their Spider-Man films bringing in just over 4.8 Billion Dollars, you can’t help but think that the executive in question must be kicking himself after that response, especially since those characters they turned down have brought in nearly 7 Billion Dollars so far with Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man & The Wasp still set to hit theatres this year.
Of course, it’s hard to say whether these films would have been as successful under Sony’s control, whilst Sam Raimi’s trilogy are generally considered to be some of the finest in the genre, their follow up reboot series from Marc Webb doesn’t exactly fill people with confidence. A lot of the success has definitely come from Marvel’s guiding hands, but still it would have been interesting to see what type of shared universe Sony could have created.
You can pick up The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz in stores now.
What do you think? What do you think Sony would have done with the rights? How different would things be now? Let us know below!