This Week in Fandom, Volume 120

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, thanks to everyone for the congratulations on AO3’s Hugo win. There’s been more squee than we can keep up with. If you’d like to see some of the press coverage about the award, check out the Press Room on our website.

One of the big stories this week is the news that Marvel and Sony have decided to no longer collaborate on Spider Man movies. The story was broken by Deadline in this article last week. It’s kind of a complicated situation (Jeff Goldblum is confused about it), but it seems to be mostly about money.

According to the Deadline article, Marvel wanted to renegotiate the division of investment and profits for the movies. In the arrangement up to this point, Marvel received 5% of box office earnings for Spider Man movies, along with all merchandise earnings. The new deal they proposed involved them contributing 50% of the finances for the film and also getting 50% of box office earnings. Sony, who owns the movie rights to Spider Man, turned down that offer, and ultimately the two studios decided to no longer work together at all on the franchise.

So what does this actually mean? Long story short, it means that Spider Man is no longer going to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are two more standalone Spider Man movies in the works, and actor Tom Holland has confirmed he will continue to play Peter Parker in them, but it remains to be seen what the plots of those movies will be, since they will not be under the creative direction of Marvel President Kevin Feige. This also means that Spider Man will not be appearing in any ensemble MCU films going forward.

Fans are not happy about this development. Forbes published an article about the influence of the fandom in this deal, saying that “Disney [the company that owns Marvel] has the advantage of having public support on its side through MCU fans, because there is no real “other side” in this situation in terms of fandom.” Indeed, with trending hashtags such as #SaveSpidey and #SpiderManBelongsInTheMCU, fans are being vocal about what they want.

What do you think? Will you miss Spidey being in the MCU? Are you unhappy with Disney or Sony? Do you already feel bad for the tag wranglers? Let us know in the comments!

In other news, in case you missed it, Tumblr has been sold. According the The Mary Sue, the site was purchased by Automattic (the owners of WordPress) for 3 million US dollars. That’s an incredibly low price, given that Yahoo purchased the site in 2013 for 1.1 billion and Verizon acquired it in a 4.5 billion dollar purchase of Yahoo in 2017. But after the purge of NSFW material in December 2018, site activity dropped significantly. Despite this, Automattic plans to keep the adult content ban in place.

This development is being viewed by some as yet another nail in Tumblr’s coffin, and that’s inspiring some nostalgia. The Mary Sue‘s article has this to say:

In 2019, Tumblr might seem like a joke that’s gone on for too long for those of us who survived Oncler fandom and various discourses that crawled straight out of hell (including one about whether grave robbing was bad), but back in the 2010-2016 days, it was the source of fandom culture. As Livejournal declined, many fans flocked to Tumblr to build fandom communities. There were the good, the bad, and the bizarre, but they’re all part of fandom history in the same way that the zines and online fanfiction archives are.

Then again, some other fans are feeling a bit more cynically amused:

Lastly, did you catch the 30-50 feral hogs meme? Well, there’s now fanfiction of it, according to SyFy Wire. This is why fandom is awesome.

We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

This Week in Fandom
  1. melianthegreat commented:

    As a content contributor in the Top Gear/Grand Tour and Doctor Who fandom, I feel honored and astounded at winning a Hugo. Though honestly I don’t think I’m as imaginative as how many of the articles have painted our work. Thanks for offering us such a uniquely safe place to create.

  2. PvOberstein commented:

    It’s worth remembering that if Disney hadn’t lobbied so hard to change copyright law in the 1990s (CTEA), Spider-Man would’ve entered public domain in 2019 and they could’ve avoided this problem entirely. Just keep in mind that as annoying as Sony’s moves may be, it’s Disney who wrote the rules.

  3. Pfannkuchenpferd commented:

    I wonder, where has fandom shifted to now? I’m very out of the loop and still hang out at livejournal.