Much of the comic book industry is taking a "wait and see" approach to Disney's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, but we could already be seeing our first casualty of the recent merger.
When IGN spoke with "The Spectacular Spider-Man" supervising producer Greg Weisman about the show's future, the veteran producer dropped the bombshell that Sony will not continue producing the series, which currently airs on Disney XD and is waiting for the go-ahead on a third season.
According to Weisman, Sony relinquished all television rights to the Spider-Man character in exchange for "some concession vis-a-vis the live action 'Spider-Man' features" from Disney/Marvel.
The news offers a clear indication that the House of Mouse is already doing everything in its power to put the Marvel brand under one roof, or as much of it as possible. While it doesn't sound like Disney/Marvel is any closer to securing Spidey's film rights from Sony, it might just be a matter of time.
As for "The Spectacular Spider-Man" itself, Weisman offered interesting insight into the potential fate of the beloved cartoon series, which already has two successful seasons behind it, in light of Disney's recent acquisition.
"If Disney XD decides they don't want any episodes, it's no longer likely that we'd shop the series around to XD's competitors," warned Weisman. "So any decision [about future episodes of 'Spectacular'] begins at XD, I would think. And before you ask, no, nobody at Disney has talked to me about the series."
In other words, "The Spectacular Spider-Man" is hanging by a thin web—a web held firmly in the gloved palm of Mickey Mouse.
What do you make of the news that Sony has given up the television rights to the "Spider-Man" franchise? How long until the webhead joins Disney's friendly neighborhood? Will "The Spectacular Spider-Man" continue at Disney XD or has the show spun its final web? Let us know what you think in the comments section!