Planet Money
Planet Money
Jun 7, 2023
The Spider-Man Problem (update)
Play • 31 min
(Note: This episode originally ran back in 2022.)

This past weekend, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse had the second largest domestic opening of 2023, netting (or should we say webbing?) over $120 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada. But the story leading up to this latest Spider-Man movie has been its own epic saga.

When Marvel licensed the Spider-Man film rights to Sony Pictures in the 1990s, the deal made sense — Marvel didn't make movies yet, and their business was mainly about making comic books and toys. Years later, though, the deal would come back to haunt Marvel, and it would start a long tug of war between Sony and Marvel over who should have creative cinematic control of Marvel's most popular superhero. Today, we break down all of the off-screen drama that has become just as entertaining as the movies themselves.

This episode was originally produced by Nick Fountain with help from Taylor Washington and Dave Blanchard. It was engineered by Isaac Rodrigues. It was edited by Jess Jiang. The update was produced by Emma Peaslee, with engineering by Maggie Luthar. It was edited by Keith Romer.

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