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Why is Spider-Man not on Disney Plus?

Who owns the film rights to Spidey? Where can you watch the web-slinger? We've got you covered.
By
February 13, 2022
Spider-Man No Way Home
Sony

Disney Plus is home to pretty much the entire Disney catalog, including films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). So, the big question is, why is Spider-Man not on Disney Plus?

There are three MCU Spidey outings, but they aren’t available alongside Iron Man, Captain Marvel, or The Avengers. Read on for an explanation of why you can’t watch Spider-Man movies on Disney Plus, and a list of places to watch your favorite Spider-Man movies.

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The streaming service is the home of all Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars movies. It’s also got a bunch of exciting originals like The Mandalorian, The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and more.

Why is Spider-Man not on Disney Plus? Marvel vs. Sony

Peter Parker has his back to his Spider-Man suit, which is in the trash in an alley, in Spider Man 2 - why is spider-man not on disney plus
Sony

Despite the three Spider-Man movies in the Disney-owned MCU, the character’s standalone movies aren’t controlled by Disney for a very simple reason. Marvel sold the film rights and hasn’t got them back.

Since 1999, Sony has been the only company allowed to produce Spider-Man films. Since buying the rights, all they need to do is release one Spider-Man movie every five years to hold onto them for as long as they like.

Sony can pretty much hold onto the Spidey film rights for as long as it wants.

So why is Spider-Man now part of the MCU? Simply enough, Sony saw a chance to make a bunch of money and satisfy fans by playing ball with Marvel and Disney. They retain the rights, and Marvel gets to borrow the character. There are limits to the partnership, though. While Disney is the sole distributor of most MCU films like Avengers: Endgame, Sony distributes the Spider-Man movies and can put them on any streaming platforms it chooses.

The Incredible Hulk is similarly unavailable on Disney Plus because Paramount owns the distribution rights. Unlike Sony, Paramount doesn’t own the full film rights to the Hulk, so Marvel continues to use him in other parts of the MCU and even has a She-Hulk series lined up at Disney Plus.

Which Spider-Man titles aren’t on Disney Plus?

The main most glaring Spider-Man titles you won’t find on Disney Plus are the MCU films. They stand out mainly because that version of the character exists in the same narrative universe as the other MCU characters whose films are on Disney Plus.

Related: Everything you can watch on Disney Plus

You also won’t find the non-MCU Spider-Man films on Disney Plus. The Sam Raimi trilogy is nowhere to be found on the Disney streamer. Nor are The Amazing Spider-Man or The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And despite some thematic overlap with the MCU’s multiverse, the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is not streaming on Disney Plus.

Finally, Spider-Man spin-off films like Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and the upcoming Morbius are Sony properties that won’t be making their way to Disney Plus in the foreseeable future.

Which Spider-Man titles are on Disney Plus?

While standalone Spider-Man movies aren’t on Disney Plus, the MCU crossover titles that include Spidey are all on the streamer. That means you can catch the web-slinger in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, all on Disney Plus.

Besides movies, Disney Plus is home to a lot of animated Spider-Man content. You can watch the iconic 90s TV series Spider-Man, the earlier 80s Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, newer series like Ultimate Spider-Man and Spider-Man, and numerous other shows and animated shorts, including the 1979 spin-off series Spider-Woman.

Will Spider-Man be on Disney Plus in the future?

Spider-Man Far From Home best spiderman movies
Sony

It’s hard to say whether Spider-Man will ever be on Disney Plus. We’re firmly in the realm of speculation here, as Sony and Disney Plus have not suggested any upcoming partnership on that front.

It’s unlikely that Disney would buy Sony outright. However, the House of Mouse was able to fold other third-party Marvel properties into its streaming library when it bought Fox, which owned titles including the X-Men film franchise and Fantastic 4 movies. What is more likely is that the company would buy back the rights to Spider-Man specifically. Sony is making lots of money off of the property and is actively developing more spin-offs, so that seems unlikely too.

Check out: Every Spider-Man movie ranked

Short of a dramatic change along those lines, it’s not unreasonable to expect Disney and Sony to form some kind of partnership that would see the three MCU Spider-Man movies available on the streamer with the other MCU titles. What that might look like is unclear. It could be a long-term streaming partnership or just a short-term window. Would earlier Spidey movies be included in the deal? Would R-rated spin-offs like Venom be available on Disney Plus Star in international markets?

We can’t offer a definitive answer, but it’s not unreasonable to hope for some kind of agreement down the line.

Where can I watch the Spider-Man movies right now?

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse best spiderman movies - why is spider-man not on disney plus
Sony

So, what is a Spider-Man fan to do? Before you panic, most Spider-Man feature films are available to watch online. Disney Plus won’t give you access, but many other services will. Below is a breakdown of where to stream Spider-Man movies:

The MCU Spider-Man

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming is streaming on Starz.
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home is streaming on FXNow.
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently in theaters and not streaming anywhere.

The Sam Raimi trilogy

  • Spider-Man is streaming on Crackle.
  • Spider-Man 2 is streaming on Crackle.
  • Spider-Man 3 is streaming on Crackle.

The Amazing Spider-Man

  • The Amazing Spider-Man is available to rent or buy on VOD.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is available to rent or buy on VOD.

Spider-Verse

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is available to stream on FXNow.

Venom

  • Venom is streaming on Starz.
  • Venom: Let there Be Carnage is available to rent or buy on VOD.