When the news of the Sony/Marvel dispute broke many fans were heartbroken over losing the beloved character in the MCU. The Disney/Marvel side of the discussion with Sony stated that they wanted a 50/50 split with any of the profits that future movies made. Sony on the other hand offered 5% of first dollar gross. With all the drama going on at the studio level, Joan Celia Lee decided to put in her two cents and clear the air in a TMZ exclusive.
“Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy. Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view. When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”Joan Celia Lee speaking to TMZ
Joan Lee has been an advocate for her father for a long time. Or at least has tried to be as best she could. When the trouble with Stan’s manager started she inserted herself into the situation. She didn’t have to, but for the sake of her father she did. Many people thought that was about the money but really she just wanted her father to be safe. His capacity for understanding what was going on was diminishing and Keya Morgan used this against him. Often setting up elaborate ploys to make Stan feel like he was being pursued and was unsafe, in order for Keya to keep him under a sort of house arrest.
So when Mrs. Lee says that Marvel/Disney only cared about total control she has a point. Without owning the Spider-Man property they are lacking one of the elements that seems to be earning them quite a bit of recognition. The current Spider-Man film Far From Home brought in over $1 billion so the thought of only taking home 5% of first gross would be a stunning loss for Marvel.
The discussion then moves to the fans. Should Marvel take the cut in order to keep us happy? If they ever cared about what we wanted to see then yes. But for the House of Mouse profit is number one. And when it comes to what we will watch, well we will pretty much take anything at this point. Especially because they have proved time and time again that they will make a good movie with high entertainment value. Even with all the pushback for Captain Marvel they still squeeked out $1 Billion. So they must think they can do whatever they want at this point.
Counterpoint, watch more DC movies. Shazam! was flippin’ amazing.