It looked like Marvel and Sony had reached an impasse in their contract negotiations, and Spider-Man was trapped, like Ant-Man at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp, in a limbo state between universes, doomed to wander forever on the outskirts of the MCU. Then, suddenly, the tide turned. Last week, Marvel and Sony announced they had signed a deal to continue their Spidey collaboration, with both more solo Spider-Man films from Sony and more Spider-Man appearances in Marvel Cinematic Universe films from Marvel.

So what changed? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spidey himself, Tom Holland, deserves a big chunk of the credit by making “multiple appeals” to both sides to resume negotiations:

Holland began flexing his diplomacy after the D23 wrapped Aug. 25. He leaned on Rothman to re-engage with Disney (the actor was able to leverage his clout because he also is set to star in Sony's Uncharted) and also surprisingly reached out to Iger, beseeching one of Hollywood's most powerful executives to return to the table.

Damn, Tom Holland really is a superhero. Thankfully, whatever he said to these executives worked, and Marvel and Sony found a way to make both sides — and Spider-Man fans everywhere — happy. I don’t know how he pitched them exactly, but probably it had something to do with great power and responsibility.

Holland’s third Spider-Man film opens in theaters on July 16, 2021.

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