Disney Plus' Marvel movie library may finally get Sony's Spider-Man

A new deal will license Sony Pictures library titles like Spider-Man, Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania to Disney's services and channels, plus new big-screen movies.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Sarah Tew/CNET

Disney cleared the path for Disney Plus to round out its streaming catalog of Marvel Cinematic Universe  movies  thanks to a new licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment, announced by the companies Wednesday. The deal means Sony-made Spider-Man films will be available on Disney's streaming services and TV channels. The agreement also allows  Disney  to eventually stream  Sony  movies that are released in theaters between 2022 and 2026.  

The deal is for a time frame known as the "post-pay-one window." That means Disney's services and channels will get to stream and televise the new movies well after they've made their theatrical debuts -- and even after Netflix has streamed them for a long time.

But crucially for Marvel fans, the deal also unlocks "a significant number" of Sony's library titles, which the companies said will include Sony's "Marvel Characters" films including Spider-Man , as well as the Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania franchises. 

"This gives Disney enormous programming potential across its platforms and makes them key destinations for a robust collection of Spider-Man films," the companies said. 

But the companies' characterization of their pact leaves a question mark over Spider-Man: No Way Home. Currently, No Way Home, the third in the trilogy of films starring Tom Holland as the mild-mannered superhero, is slated for theatrical release Dec. 17, putting it outside the scope of the deal that grants Disney access to theatrically released Sony movies starting two weeks later at the start of 2022. It's unclear whether No Way Home would be considered a library title that Disney can stream. 

The deal applies to Disney's streaming services Disney Plus and Hulu , as well as its traditional entertainment channels including ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX and National Geographic. Disney didn't confirm which of its services or channels would be getting specific programming, other than to note that some Sony library movies would be hitting Hulu in June. 

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. 

The agreement comes the same month Netflix scored a deal with Sony to be the first place to show Sony's new movies after they've run in theaters and in home formats like online rentals. Disney's deal with Sony on Wednesday essentially explains where you'll be able to stream those Sony movies once they leave Netflix, plus those extra selections from the vault of Sony's past titles. 

Watch this: 5 ways to get more out of Netflix