The daughter of the late Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee has accused Disney of never showing “respect or decency” to her father’s legacy and said she supports Sony in the ongoing row over Spider-Man.
Joan Celia Lee told TMZ that her father’s catalogue of superhero characters “deserves multiple points of view” as the genre continues to dominate Hollywood.
Disney and Sony are currently embroiled in a dispute over the future of Spider-Man, played in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2016 by Tom Holland.
The fragile compromise between the two studios reportedly collapsed over Disney’s demand that future Spider-Man films be financed on a 50/50 basis, rather than the current arrangement, under which Marvel Studios receives 5% of the gross.
This year’s solo effort for the webslinger, Spider-Man: Far From Home, has earned $1.1bn (£900m) at the global box office, becoming Sony’s highest-grossing movie of all time.
Lee has weighed in on the dispute, telling TMZ that she believes it would be wrong for all of the Marvel Comics characters to exist under one roof.
She said: “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.”
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The 69-year-old also had strong words for Disney’s treatment of her father, saying no one from the studio reached out to her after his death in November 2018.
“From day one, they have commoditized [sic] my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency,” she said
“In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney's executives.”
The revelations around Spider-Man’s future have sent shockwaves through superhero fans, with passionate Marvel supporters starting a #BoycottSony hashtag on Twitter.
Marvel actors have also jumped into the discussion, with Jeremy Renner taking to Instagram to urge Sony to return the character to Marvel Studios.
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If an agreement between the two studios cannot be reached, many expect Spider-Man to join Sony’s established universe of Spidey-adjacent properties.
The studio has already announced a sequel to surprise 2018 hit Venom with Andy Serkis in the director’s chair and a follow-up to the Oscar-winning animation Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is also in development.