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It's official: Spider-Man keeps his job at Marvel

Sony-Disney truce webs up his future on the big screen with third film due in 2021

NEW YORK -- Have no fear, true believers. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is still here.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios revealed Friday that Disney-owned Marvel Studios will continue the "Spider-Man Homecoming" film series and that the superhero will also appear in a future Marvel Studios movie. This eased fans' worries over Peter Parker's alter ego vanishing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will produce the third entry in the "Homecoming" series starring Tom Holland. The film is due out on July 16, 2021.

"I am thrilled that Spidey's journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it," Feige said in a statement. "Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold."

Talks between Sony Pictures and Disney had broken down last month as Disney sought a 50-50 co-financing scheme for the next "Spider-Man" film. Industry watchers speculated that Disney would walk away with Feige after the Sony side balked, concerned about losing income.

Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009, with Marvel Studios and such comic book characters as Spider-Man as part of the deal. But Sony Pictures controls his movie rights under a licensing arrangement predating that acquisition by years.

The "Homecoming" series' previous installment, this summer's "Spider-Man: Far From Home," grossed $1.13 billion worldwide in Box Office Mojo data. Disney's proposal followed the success of this movie.

Sony shares a portion of the revenue with Marvel Studios when other Marvel superheroes appear in "Spider-Man" movies.

Feige's Marvel films have grossed well over $20 billion worldwide from 20-plus movies since the first "Iron Man" came out in 2008. Feige joined the "Spider-Man" series to reboot the franchise.

The live-action "Spider-Man" franchise underperformed before Iron Man enlisted Spidey in the grand airport battle in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War." The 2014 sequel "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" grossed a bit over $700 million worldwide in Box Office Mojo data. Marvel Studios quickly revitalized Spidey with Holland and added him to the Avengers superteam, pushing the character's popularity back on track.

The 2017 reboot "Spider-Man: Homecoming" grossed over $880 million worldwide to become the third-most-popular "Spider-Man" movie, after "Far From Home" and 2007's "Spider-Man 3," according to Box Office Mojo. Spidey's appearances in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" also contributed to the stellar box-office performance of "Far From Home" in 2019.

Spider-Man's fortunes affect those of Sony as a whole. In its first-quarter report for the year ending March 2020, the Japanese entertainment and electronics giant said "Far From Home" has become its "highest grossing wholly-owned film of all time."

Amy Pascal will also produce on the "Homecoming" series through Pascal Pictures, as with the first two.

"Peter Parker's story took a dramatic turn in 'Far From Home' and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes," she said in a statement. "This has been a winning partnership for the studios, the franchise and the fans and I'm overjoyed it will continue."

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