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Tom Holland stars as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures' 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Image Credit: Marvel Studios

With ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ swinging its way towards making box office history, the makers of the superhero film have now confirmed a fourth installment in the current franchise is already in active development.

The news comes as a sigh of relief for fans of the webbed wonder who were unsure of what the future holds for Spider-Man at the end of ‘No Way Home’. Speaking to the New York Times, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Sony’s Amy Pascal put all uneasiness to rest.

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President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige Image Credit: AFP

“Amy and I and Disney and Sony are talking about - yes, we’re actively beginning to develop where the story heads next, which I only say outright because I don’t want fans to go through any separation trauma like what happened after ‘Far From Home’ (the previous Spider-Man movie, in 2019). That will not be occurring this time,” Feige told the New York Times.

The separation trauma Feige is referring to dates back to the history of the character. Sony has long controlled the film rights to Spider-Man, making five films with the superhero from 2002-14. Three of these were directed by Sam Raimi while two were made by filmmaker Marc Webb.

Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man Image Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

In 2015, a year after Webb’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ (2014) underperformed at the box office, Marvel and Sony announced a partnership that would allow Spider-Man to appear in Marvel’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016) and see Feige and Marvel produce a series of Spider-Man films that would be released by Sony.

The deal not only put Spider-Man in the MCU, but it also made him a central figure in the MCU, including a major role in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018).

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Producer Amy Pascal Image Credit: AP

Unfortunately for fans, the Sony-Marvel deal fell apart not too long after the release of ‘Far From Home’. While the future of the Spider-Man remained in the air, with Holland even calling then-Disney CEO Bob Iger to work something out with Sony, the two studios returned to the table for talks and in September 2019, announced that they had reached a new deal that would allow Holland to complete his trilogy and appear in one more MCU film.

In the lead up to ‘Far From Home’ releasing, Pascal had stated they wanted to keep working with Holland, Disney and Marvel. “This is not the last movie that we are going to make with Marvel — [this is not] the last Spider-Man movie,” Pascal said an in interview with Fandango. “We are getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland and Marvel. We’re thinking of this as three films, and now we’re going to go on to the next three. This is not the last of our MCU movies.”

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A scene from 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Image Credit: Marvel/Sony Pictures

While Pascal later back-tracked on the comments made last month, she told the New York Times that she holds out on hope to see this through. “At the end of the movie [‘Far From Home’] we just made, you see Spider-Man make a momentous decision, one that you’ve never seen him make before. It’s a sacrifice. And that gives us a lot to work with for the next film.”

Yet, even as the power players talk about the character’s future, Holland has said that he is ready to “take a break” from his acting career to “focus on starting a family” and figuring out his priorities.

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Tom Holland and Zendaya Image Credit: Reuters

The 25-year-old told People magazine it was time for a change. “I’ve spent the last six years being so focused on my career. I want to take a break and focus on starting a family and figuring out what I want to do outside of this world,” he said.

Holland, who is dating his ‘Spider-Man’ co-star Zendaya, shared while he “will” wait to start a family, he is excited at the idea of being a parent in the future. “I love kids. I can’t wait to be a dad — I can wait and I will, but I can’t wait! If I’m at a wedding or a party, I’m always at the kids’ table hanging out. My dad’s been such a great role model for me,” he said.

In the same interview, Holland also suggested it could be time to pass the torch and give someone else a chance to put their own spin on the character.

“I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve been so grateful to Marvel and Sony for giving us the opportunity and keeping us on and allowing our characters to progress. It’s been amazing. And that’s why for me, I don’t want to say goodbye to Spider-Man — but I feel like we might be ready to say goodbye to Spider-Man,” he revealed.

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Zendaya and Tom Holland in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Image Credit: Marvel/Sony Pictures

If he does move on, he would like to see the role become “more diverse” after being portrayed by himself, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire. “I would love to see a future of Spider-Man that’s more diverse — maybe you have a Spider-Gwen or a Spider-Woman. We’ve had three Spider-Mans in a row; we’ve all been the same. It’d be nice to see something different.”

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’, out now in UAE cinemas, is being touted as the biggest MCU film since ‘Avengers: Endgame’. According to projections, the film’s weekend debut was set for $220 million or more at the US box office alone.