Spider-Man Staying in MCU: Tom Holland 'Cried on the Phone,' Disney CEO Bob Iger Says

Tom Holland is the hero we deserve and need: The Spider-Man star personally lobbied Disney CEO Bob Iger to salvage the working relationship between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to keep Spidey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Iger confirmed reports Thursday on Jimmy Kimmel Live that Holland personally reached out to him to keep Peter Parker part of the Marvel family. This after Disney-owned Marvel Studios and Sony parted ways in a dispute over financial terms for a third Spider-Man film following 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and this summer's $1 billion-grossing Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Iger, appearing on Kimmel to talk about his new memoir The Ride of a Lifetime, was coaxed by Kimmel to reveal how the month-long standoff was resolved, and asked if it was true that Holland was part of the conversation—and called Iger personally. "He was, he was," said Iger.

The Disney boss explained that after August's D23 fan expo, where Holland appeared to promote his voice role in Pixar's Onward, the British actor asked Iger's people for his phone number. "I said, 'Sure, have him contact me,'" said Iger. "We spoke and he basically made a ... he cried on the phone."

This prompted Kimmel to ask, "Did he really?" Iger replied: "No, not really."

Though Holland's plea wasn't actually tear-filled, "it was clear that he cared so much," Iger said. "Naturally, we care about him so much. He's a great Spider-Man, isn't he?"

Iger continued: "I felt for him and it was clear that the fans wanted all of this to happen. After I got off the phone to him, I made a couple of phone calls to our team at Disney Studios, and then I decided to call the head of Sony. I said, 'We have to figure out a way to get this done, for Tom and for the fans.'"

Disney and Sony confirmed in late September that they will reunite on a third Spider-Man film. Holland's Spidey will also appear in one more Marvel Cinematic Universe movie produced by Disney and Marvel Studios.

In August, it was reported that Marvel had walked away from co-producing a third film and lending the creative services of Marvel boss Kevin Feige. The rift stemmed from a financial dispute, with Disney wanting a bigger percentage of the profits of a third Spider-Man film; Disney earned 5 percent of first-dollar gross on the first two films, but will now earn 25 percent on the third movie.

"I am thrilled that Spidey's journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it," Feige said in a statement.

The untitled third Spider-Man movie is slated for release on July 16, 2021.