Marvel and Sony confirm Tom Holland's Spider-Man will return to the MCU

(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

It's official: Spider-Man is back in the MCU!

Sony and Marvel have jointly announced that Tom Holland's iteration of the character is back under the Marvel Studios banner. The two companies also confirmed that the third Spider-Man movie will reach cinemas July 2021 and form part of Marvel Phase 4.

"I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue," head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige said in a statement (via Variety) "I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it. Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe."

Feige also teases a few potential crossovers in Spidey's future: "He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

Does that potentially mean a live-action Spider-Verse? All we know for sure is that the third Spider-Man movie will release on July 16, 2021 and that Holland's Peter Parker will appear in a "future Marvel Studios film."

So, what exactly happened between Sony and Marvel that led to Spider-Man temporarily leaving the MCU earlier this year? Sony initially released a statement suggesting that the split happened due to head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige’s increasing workload. The statement reads: “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.”

Feige's workload has certainly increased over the last year: not only does Marvel now have access to all of Fox's superhero characters (X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool), but Feige is developing a new Star Wars movie for LucasFilm. Still, somewhere in his packed schedule, the MCU mastermind has found room to produce a third Spider-Man movie, and we couldn't be happier.

For more Marvel goodness, check out our list of the best superhero movies of all time.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.