Back in November of 2019 when Disney+ launched, many were disappointed to discover that MCU Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland wouldn’t be available for streaming. That’s because Spider-Man is technically owned by Sony, and it would take a lot of convincing to let the films reach audiences through Disney’s own direct-to-consumer subscription service.
Fortunately for everyone, it looks like Disney was able to pull off whatever was necessary to get Sony to relax its hold on the web-slinger, at least slightly. The two companies today announced a “content licensing” deal which will eventually mean MCU Spider-Man films, including Homecoming and Far From Home, will be streamable on Disney+.
That’s the most obvious read of this deal, but it gets juicier. As it turns out, the deal also means Sony’s backlog of films will be available through both Disney+ and Hulu. And in case you’re wondering, yes, this means Sam Rami’s Spider-Man trilogy (starring Tobey Maguire) and the two films directed by Marc Webb (starring Andrew Garfield) will also make it to either streaming service… eventually.
I say eventually because it doesn’t look like this deal will kick in for a little while. Sony says all of its theatrical releases from 2022 to 2026 are included in the deal, but they’ll first reach Netflix after premiering in theaters. That ties back to a previous deal Sony made to give its movies a home after they’re available for in-home viewing.
So here’s the timeline of a Sony movie: it debuts in the theaters, then hits Netflix about nine months after, then gets dropped and lands on either Disney+ or Hulu around the time the movie becomes available on cable (~1-3 years after its initial release).
Luckily, this won’t affect movies the company puts out by 2022. It seems like the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home film could be put on Disney+ whenever both Sony and Disney deem it time. That also means past Spider-Man films could randomly show up on Disney+ at any given point. Really, it’s just a matter of time.
Of course, Sony doesn’t just make Spider-Man films. Other franchises like Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania will also be available through Disney’s streaming platforms in the future.
Sony titles will begin rolling out to Disney+ and Hulu subscribers this June. It’s unclear what the first round of movies will be, but rest assured: at some point, you’ll get to enjoy all of the Spider-Man movies you want right alongside the rest of the MCU and Marvel’s Legacy films.
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