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‘It was awful’: When Tom Holland was denied taking pictures with Marvel co-stars amidst Sony-SpiderMan controversy


 In 2019, Tom Holland talked about his experience at Disney’s D23 Expo in August during an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. This was shortly after hearing that Spider-Man might no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) because Disney and Sony couldn’t agree on money matters. Here’s what the actor shared. 

Tom Holland expressed how he felt when the Spider-Man franchise’s fate was uncertain

Tom shared that he felt really sad when he heard this news. He said, “I was really upset, and all my Marvel friends were there, and they were taking, like, Marvel pictures, and I was, like, not allowed to be in them,” he continued. “It was awful.”

He also mentioned that it wasn’t a great day for him. Tom was at the D23 Expo to promote a movie called Onward, where he voiced a character along with his Marvel co-star Chris Pratt. Other Marvel stars like Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, and more were also there to promote their projects.

In late August, there was news that Sony and Disney, who own Marvel Studios, couldn’t agree on Spider-Man’s future. This meant that Spider-Man might not appear in the MCU anymore, and Marvel Studios wouldn’t make more Spider-Man movies. Tom Holland even thanked the fans saying, “It’s been a crazy week, but I want to let you know I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart. I love you 3,000,” referencing a line from Avengers: Endgame.

Tom feels the MCU is where he belongs

But in September, it was reported that Sony and Disney had resolved their issues. They decided to work together on the third Spider-Man film, which was set to release on July 16, 2021.

During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Tom mentioned that he played a role in bringing Spider-Man back to the MCU. He got a call from Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, while he was at a pub with his family. Tom was emotional and thanked Bob Iger for the opportunity to be part of the MCU. This led to more discussions and eventually, the studios reached an agreement.

Tom emphasized, “I was really emotional because I felt like it was all coming to an end, we had a really good plan with what we were going to do with Sony. The future of Spider-Man was still very bright, but it would have been a shame to take him out of the MCU. That’s where he belongs, and we built such a strong character in that world, and it would have been a shame to lose that.” 

Watch the whole episode here

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.