Following the news that Disney and Sony have severed ties over project Spider-Man, Deadline is reporting that the two franchises are currently engaged in a "tug of war" over director Jon Watts.
Watts, who directed both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, is apparently valued by both companies and it appears that neither one wants to part ways with him. Unlike star Tom Holland, who's slated for at least two more Spider-Man films, Watts only signed on for two movies and there's no word yet on whether or not he will be back for a third.
Deadline is claiming that Watts is being courted by Marvel, while Sony would very much like him to remain on board as Spider-Man director. He hasn't made a decision as yet but is said to have "enviable leverage" with whatever he opts to do. There's also the possibility of the 38-year-old saying no to both studios and venturing into other projects elsewhere.
Directors seldom stick around for all the installments of a superhero series but Spider-Man movies have seen some consistency on that front. Sam Raimi directed all of the movies from the original Spider-Man trilogy before leaving due to creative differences, despite having plans for a fourth movie. Marc Webb was at the helm for both Amazing Spider-Man films and there were plans for a third before Sony's deal with Marvel killed it off.
Sony would rather Watts stick around for a third and possibly a fourth movie. But in the event that he does leave, they will have to bring in someone new quickly, given Spider-Man's popularity.
The discord between Sony and Marvel stems from Sony refusing to cut the latter a 50/50 co-financing deal on future movies. Disney owns all Spider-Man merchandising rights and had been collecting five percent of the first-dollar gross on all of the live-action movies, but they wanted to change the terms of the deal for an even financing split. Sony heads are said to have balked at the proposal and insisted on keeping things the same.
Later reports claim Disney initially offered a 25 percent co-financing stake but raised its offer to 50 percent when Sony failed to respond.