Disney and Sony deal solves Disney Plus' Spider-Man problem

Disney and Sony deal solves Disney Plus' Spider-Man problem
(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

One of the most annoying gaps in the Disney Plus vault has been the Spider-Man films from Sony Pictures. It's true: The Tom Holland films that take place in the MCU are not available to watch on Disney Plus. But they may soon be swinging their webs to get there posthaste.

Disney and Sony Pictures just announced a huge licensing pact that will bring Sony movies to Disney Plus during the 2022-to-2026 window (this does not include December's Spider-Man: No Way Home). This deal also solves the aforementioned gaps in the MCU library at Disney Plus. Many of Sony's properties will now appear on a wide range of Walt Disney Corp.-owned distribution platforms, including ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX and Hulu.

This deal isn't just for upcoming Spider-Man movies, such as Morbius (starring Jared Leto). As the press release says:

"The deal also grants rights to a significant number of SPE’s iconic library titles, ranging from the Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania franchises to Sony Pictures’ Universe of Marvel Characters films, including Spider-Man."

We're unclear on where Spider-Man films slated to debut in 2021, such as the Venom sequel, will land. 

The Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland Spider-Man movies will likely all live on Disney Plus through at least 2026. We'd like to see Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse as part of that package, though, as it disappeared from Netflix late last year.

When will these movies arrive on Disney Plus? The press release didn't specify. But it noted, "the agreement provides Hulu access to a significant number of library titles beginning as early as this June."

What does this mean for Sony's deal with Netflix? The process looks like this: Netflix will get Sony Pictures after they appear on paid video-on-demand services (usually after their theatrical runs). Then, after a certain amount of time, those movies go to Disney Plus. Netflix owns what's called the "Pay 1 window" for Sony movies, while Disney has acquired the "Pay 2 window."

This deal covers only the U.S. market. Variety reports that Sony can expect to pull in somewhere around $3 billion for the combined Netflix and Disney deals. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.