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Disney and Sony Pictures have signed a multi-year “content licensing agreement” that will bring new Sony theatrical releases, starting with its 2022 films, to Disney-owned platforms. The deal also gives Disney the rights to many of Sony’s older films, including Spider-Man titles — meaning that movies starring the web-slinger, which are notably absent from Disney Plus’ collection of Marvel films, could eventually make their way to the streaming service.
Sony’s theatrical releases from 2022 through 2026 are included in the deal, and Disney will get access to them following their “Pay 1 TV window.” Starting in 2022, that window, which follows a film’s theatrical and home video runs, will be owned by Netflix, thanks to a deal announced earlier this month. (That means new Sony films will hit theaters first, then paid rentals and purchases, then Netflix, and then finally head over to Disney platforms, possibly including Disney Plus.)
So even though Disney and Sony’s deal means that Disney won’t have new Spider-Man films right after their theatrical runs, the company will get to include them in its streaming catalogue over the long term — something that Disney arguably values more.
Giving people access to yet another set of movies in its ever-growing collection of Marvel properties could give people more reason to subscribe to Disney Plus. The company continues to connect the many Marvel films and shows to each other so you’ll always want to watch the next new MCU thing, and it’s continuing to invest heavily in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, courting big names for future series to give you even more reasons to keep your subscription.
That all said, if Spider-Man films do make their way to Disney Plus, that won’t make Disney’s infinity gauntlet of films complete: 2008’s The Incredible Hulk (the one starring Edward Norton as the Hulk) would still not be available on the service. Unless Disney strikes some sort of deal with Universal, that is.
Other Sony Pictures properties, such as Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania, are also included in the deal, according to a press release. Disney’s Hulu will also have access to “a significant number of library titles” as soon as this June, according to the release.