The Marvel-Sony contract requires the studio to begin production of a Spider-Man feature quickly; the actual deadline could not be obtained. It also places Columbia on a short leash in scheduling sequels, requiring in some cases that financing for a sequel be arranged within months of the release of the previous feature.
Second Chance for Columbia?
Those terms were dictated by Marvel, whose sloppy past contractual arrangements were at least partly responsible for the protracted litigation. The ambiguous wording of one deal, for example, allowed MGM to claim it owned a perpetual license to produce a Spider-Man film whenever it pleased.
The rebirth of Spider-Man is an important development for Columbia. Many Hollywood observers believe the studio's efforts to turn last year's "Godzilla" into a major franchise were disappointing.
Calley disputed that, arguing that the film's $375-million worldwide gross and the success of a Saturday-morning cartoon spinoff show the franchise has plenty of life. He argued that Columbia had suffered instead from an inability to exploit potential franchises because of a lack of experience, including a system to manage merchandising spinoffs. Those shortcomings have been rectified, he said.