Spider-Man is a Marvel character, and since Marvel is owned by Disney, many fans expect that all existing Spider-Man films are available on Disney+. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as there are some legal restrictions in place that prevent Spider-Man films, particularly the new ones, from being added to the Disney+ library right after their theatrical release.
Why are not all Spider-Man films available on Disney Plus?
Some Spider-Man films are not available for streaming on Disney+ because the film rights are owned by Sony Pictures, not Disney. This means that Sony Pictures is the one who gets to decide where it wants its Spider-Man flicks to stream online.
Marvel Comics sold the rights to Spider-Man to Sony back in 1999 for $7 million. At the time, Marvel was struggling financially and was looking for ways to raise money. Sony was interested in making a Spider-Man movie, and they saw this as an opportunity to acquire the rights to one of Marvel’s most popular characters.
The deal between Marvel and Sony was controversial at the time, and many fans were upset that Spider-Man would no longer be part of the Marvel Universe. However, the deal has since proven to be a success for both companies. The Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield have been some of the biggest box office hits of all time, and they have helped to revitalize the character’s popularity.
But how come Spider-Man got to appear in several recent Marvel movies? That’s because Disney and Sony reached a deal in 2015 that allowed the popular wall-crawler to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This agreement was renewed in 2019 and is believed to have lasted until 2021. Under this deal, Marvel Studios got to produce MCU-set Spider-Man films and Sony got to distribute them.
What Spider-Man films are on Disney Plus?
As of May 25th, 2023, there are currently five Spider-Man movies and one Venom film available for streaming on Disney+ in the U.S. These are:
Spider-Man tells the story of student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and the spider-like ability to cling to any surface. He vows to use his abilities to fight crime, coming to understand the words of his beloved Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
A sequel to 2002’s Spider-Man, this movie opens with a failed nuclear fusion experiment that transformed Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) into Dr. Octopus, a cyborg with deadly metal tentacles. Dr. Octopus blames Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) for the accident and seeks revenge. Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker, faces fading powers and self-doubt. Complicating matters include his best friend’s (James Franco) hatred for Spider-Man and his true love’s (Kirsten Dunst) sudden engagement to another man.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
In the third installment in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) seem to finally be on the right track in their complicated relationship, but trouble looms for the superhero and his lover. Peter’s Spider-Man suit turns black and takes control of him, not only giving Peter enhanced power but also bringing out his dark side. Peter must overcome the suit’s influence as two supervillains, Sandman and Venom, rise up to destroy him and all those he holds dear.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
In this Spider-Man reboot directed by Marc Webb, teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a.k.a. Spider-Man, is trying to sort out who he is and exactly what his feelings are for his first crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). When Peter finds a mysterious briefcase that was his father’s, he pursues a quest to solve his parents’ disappearance. His search takes him to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), setting him on a collision course with Connors’ alter ego, the Lizard.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Set in the MCU, this Spider-Man movie follows Peter Parker (Tom Holland) who returns home to live with his Aunt May after a life-changing experience with the Avengers. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Venom follows journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) as he tries to take down Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark, and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating.
According to The Verge, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, and The Amazing Spider-Man all arrived at the streaming on April 21st, 2023, while Spider-Man: Homecoming and Venom were added to the streamer’s library on May 12th, 2023.
The arrival of these Spider-Man films on the Disney-owned streaming service is part of a multi-year content licensing agreement between Disney and Sony Pictures that was finalized in April 2022. In addition to the old Spider-Man films that have already dropped on Disney+, the deal also brings new Sony movies released from 2022 through 2026 to Disney-owned platforms.
Disney, however, will only get the streaming rights to them following their so-called Pay 1 window. That means new Sony films will hit theaters first, then paid rentals and purchases, then stream on Netflix, and then finally arrive on Disney platforms, possibly including Disney+.
So even though Disney won’t be able to get the new Spider-Man films for its streaming platforms readily after their theatrical release, the entertainment giant will still get to include them in its streaming catalog over the long term.
What Spider-Man films are not on Disney Plus and where can you watch them?
The following Spider-Man films are currently not available to watch on Disney+:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
In this sequel to 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) embraces his new role as a hero and spends time with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in between protecting New York from criminals. However, he finds himself in his greatest battle yet with the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), an enemy far more powerful than he is. And when his old friend Harry Osborn, a.k.a. Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) returns, Peter comes to realize that all his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.
Where to watch: Starz and DirecTV
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
This animated Spider-Man movie centers on Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), a Brooklyn teenager who suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him Spider-Man after being bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway. When he meets Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, web-slinging talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin (Live Schreiber), a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.
Where to watch: Fubo, FXNow, DirecTV, and Sling
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
A sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far from Home starts with Peter Parker’s European vacation taking an unexpected turn when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) shows up in his hotel room to recruit him for a mission. The world is in danger as four massive elemental creatures — each representing Earth, air, water, and fire — emerge from a hole torn in the universe. Parker soon finds himself donning the Spider-Man suit to help Fury and fellow superhero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) stop the evil entities from wreaking havoc across the continent.
Where to watch: Starz and DirecTV
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
In the latest Spider-Man movie starring actor Tom Holland, Peter Parker enlists Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) help to restore his secret identity. Doctor Strange’s spell, however, tears a hole in the world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse.
Where to watch: Starz and DirecTV