Sony & Disney Split Reveals Further Tensions

Last week we saw the surprise split between Disney and Sony studios. Now, Joan Lee, daughter of the late comic book mogul Stan Lee, who sadly passed away in November 2018, has spoken out in relation to the rights over one of Lee’s creations: Spiderman.

Stan Lee

Speaking to TMZ, Joan expressed that Marvel and Disney (who bought Marvel for a hefty $4 billion in 2009) “need to be checked and balanced” in their quest for complete control of her father’s lifework.

“Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view,” she explained.

Last month, Joan filed a lawsuit against her father’s former manager, along with two others, with allegations of elder abuse.

She has stated that in the following of Lee’s death, Disney’s lack of compassion was alarming.

“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me.

“From day one, they have commoditised my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”

Lee was responsible for the webslinger for Marvel back in the 1960’s, but Sony did purchase the rights to the character Spiderman two decades ago.

A new deal was implemented in 2015, which allowed Spiderman to make appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Films, and for Avengers characters to make appearances in Spiderman films.

This deal has allowed Kevin Feige, Marvel president, to take a leading producer role in returns for 5% of ticket sales from the first day of the films release, and for all merchandising receipts.

Since taking over, Disney has been eager to change the terms and conditions of the deal, following the latest success of Spiderman Far From Home, teamed with the departure of many key characters in Avengers: Endgame.

The studio has proposed a 50/50 split for both finance and profit, alongside a reduced role for Feige, but this has been rejected by Sony.

Many figures in the public eye, including Kevin Smith and Jeremy Renner have backed Disney via social media, but Lee’s condemnation of the company lends support towards Sony.

About the Author
Leah is a former student of film, media and culture studies and English literature at the University of Huddersfield. When not in uni or writing for magazines she is pulling pints in the local pub, drinking an excessive amount of tea or reading up on the latest philosophical theories.

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