Sony evidently backed a dump truck of money into Tom Holland’s driveway, because days after the actor expressed some uncertainty about his “Spider-Man” future, franchise producer Amy Pascal indicated that more films are on the way.
Ahead of the December release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the final film under Holland’s current contract, Pascal told Fandango that Sony is already planning “the next three” movies alongside Disney and Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios, with the 25-year-old British star back in the title role.
“This is not the last movie that we are going to make with Marvel ― [this is not] the last Spider-Man movie,” Pascal said Monday. “We are getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland and Marvel, it just isn’t part of... we’re thinking of this as three films, and now we’re going to go onto the next three. This is not the last of our MCU movies.”
While Pascal’s comments project certainty about the future of the franchise, insiders told The Hollywood Reporter that there are currently “no official plans” for the next Spider-Man trilogy, though the studio hopes to continue its “strong relationship” with Holland and Feige.
Holland himself struck a decidedly different tone in a recent interview, hinting he was unsure whether he’ll play Peter Parker again.
“Maybe it is time for me to move on. Maybe what’s best for ‘Spider-Man’ is that they do a Miles Morales film,” Holland told GQ earlier this month, referring to the character who eventually assumes the mantle of “Spider-Man” in the comics. “I have to take Peter Parker into account as well, because he is an important part of my life.” But, he told the magazine, “If I’m playing Spider-Man after I’m 30, I’ve done something wrong.”
Holland also discussed the extreme toll that filming and promoting “Spider-Man” movies virtually nonstop over the past several years have taken on his mind and body.
He described his struggles with anxiety, insomnia and regular bouts of sleepwalking, and told GQ that he was so fatigued at the end of the press tour for his first “Spider-Man” film that he walked off the stage and threw up.
“I was really ill,” he recalled. “But I didn’t say no. I was like, ‘I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.’”
The web of intellectual property rights surrounding Spider-Man has been notoriously complex. Disney owns the character, but Sony acquired the film rights in the late 1990s, and has released five live-action projects starring the hero since 2002. But the studios struck an unprecedented five-film deal in 2015 that allowed Holland’s Spider-Man to appear in Marvel’s slate of films, while also starring in solo outings co-produced by both Marvel and Sony, beginning with “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016.
The partnership was reported to have broken down after the 2019 release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” as Disney wanted a co-financing stake in future films with Sony. Eventually, the studios agreed to a new deal that gave Holland the green light to finish his trilogy and appear in one more MCU film.
“Spider-Man is always very special and different from everything else, but I think the beautiful thing is you had two big corporations that decided to work together for the good of the story and the character, and I don’t think that’s always the spirit that you see,” Pascal told Fandango.
As for the third film, Pascal described the highly anticipated blockbuster as the culmination of “the story of Tom Holland becoming the Spider-Man that we’ve all been waiting for him to be.”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which also stars Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch and quite possibly a few other Spideys from past films, swings into theaters Dec. 17.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.