If it's crap ... We'll tell you
It's always interesting when the business practices of major corporations happen to overlap with geek interests, and today's news should attract the attention of the financial and geek worlds alike. It appears that Sony's board is considering a proposal to sell off some of their current entertainment properties, which includes the 'Resident Evil' franchise as well as the film rights to Spider-Man. The proposal was put forward by Daniel Loeb, whose hedge fund Third Point is a major investor in Sony. Though not in dire straights, it appears Sony is considering selling off portions of its entertainment division to focus more on its electronics. If the deal goes through, 15 to 20 percent of Sony's film and music division would be spun off into a public offering.
The details are pretty dull, I'll admit, but the potential implications of this move by Sony should be pretty clear. In 2009, Marvel was purchased by the Walt Disney corporation. While this gave them access some of the world's most recognizable heroes, it did not mean that all the characters who had appeared in Marvel comics were now fair game. Among those whose rights resided elsewhere were The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and X-Men (owned by Fox) as well as Spider-Man and Ghost Rider (owned by Sony). Recently, Daredevil's rights reverted back to Marvel so now we're really only talking about four major Marvel properties whose film rights rest with outside studios. So now Spider-Man may end up on the selling block? I feel like Marvel would be out of their minds not to snatch him up, and would have the capital to purchase those rights at any price. After all, since 2008, even prior to Disney purchasing Marvel, the focus of the Marvel hero films has been to create one unified cinematic universe. This makes sense not only in the lead-up to 'The Avengers,' but also because it's more mimetic of the actual comic book universe. Spider-Man coming back to Marvel (film-wise) would not only mean Spidey movies with appearances by other heroes, but also his potential enlistment into The Avengers for a future sequel. My guess is that, if Sony agrees to sell the rights to Spider-Man, that no one will be able to outbid Marvel; not with Disney backing them.
What do you guys think? Do you believe Sony would actually sell the film rights to Spider-Man? Do you think there is any chance Marvel won't make a play for them?
Source: The Register