Yesterday, Deadline effectively broke the Marvel fandom by reporting that Marvel and Sony were unable to reach an agreement on Marvel Studios’ and Kevin Feige‘s involvement in future Spider-Man movies.

According to Deadline, Disney asked for a 50/50 stake in the movies to continue the partnership. Sony reportedly refused this offer, unwilling to give up so much of what has become its highest-grossing franchise of all time.

However, dissolving this partnership means that Spider-Man will no longer be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While there are apparently two more Spider-Man movies in the works at Sony — with Tom Holland remaining as Spider-Man and with director Jon Watts still on board — these movies wouldn’t be part of the official MCU canon.

Fans were quick to express their anger and frustration at the situation online, urging Sony to reconsider. The hashtag #SaveSpidey became a trending topic on Twitter, with more than 34,000 tweets as of this morning. Other related hashtags, such as #SpiderManFarFromTheMCU, #SaveSpiderManFromSony, and #SpiderManBelongsInTheMCU also picked up traction.

Even celebrities got in on the conversation. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot director Kevin Smith Tweeted at Sony to “give Disney what they want” so fans would continue to go see the studio’s movies, while Hawkeye himself (Jeremy Renner) took to Instagram to say that Spider-Man should come back to Marvel.

Early this morning, Sony Pictures broke its silence on the issue, posting the following statement to its Twitter account and clarifying some details about the situation. Sony does say it “hope[s] this might change in the future,” which is in line with reports that the studios returned to negotiations in response to the online backlash.

“Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film. We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.”

Many fans are calling to boycott any future Sony Spider-Man movies if the deal isn’t resolved, while others continue to express their frustration — especially because Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home poised Spider-Man to be a major focus of the MCU going forward.

And, of course, there was no shortage of memes about the whole mess. I’ll close with a few to help ease the pain of this major MCU loss.

Photo: Sony Pictures