Updated October 4, 2019: Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed a report crediting Spider-Man actor Tom Holland for bridging the gap between Disney and Sony over Spidey's film rights, leading the two media companies to come to an agreement allowing Spider-Man to appear in two more Marvel Studios films.
“We had an event called D-23 ... and Tom [Holland] was there because he’s a voice in a new Pixar movie called Onward. He said something onstage and it was clear that the fans wanted Tom back as Spider-Man, made by our Marvel production team.” Iger said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, explaining that Holland reqested his personal contact info, leading Iger to agree to a conversation. “It was clear that he cared so much. He’s a great Spider-Man. I felt for him and it was clear that the fans wanted all of this to happen.”
"He cried on the phone," joked Iger. "He's a great Spider-Man, isn't he?"
After his conversation with Holland, Iger says he eventually contacted the head of Sony.
“I called the head of Sony and I said, 'We've gotta get this done, for Tom and for the fans,” Iger said. "Sometimes companies, when they are negotiating ... they forget that there are other folks out there that actually matter.”
"There's a whole Parker family out there to consider."
Here's the clip, with the Spider-Man portion starting around the 7:28 mark:
Original Story: Spider-Man actor Tom Holland may be the one to thank for Disney and Sony reaching an agreement in sharing Spidey's film rights for at least two more films, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
THR cites an unnamed source who said that, as of August 20, negotiations between Disney and Sony on how to use Spider-Man were "dead" - until Holland made personal appeals to Disney CEO Bob Iger and Sony Pictures Chairman Tim Rothman to find a way to let Peter Parker remain in the MCU.
The unnamed source says Holland's outreach began at Disney's D23 expo, just days after the split between Sony and Disney was made public. The split, which would have kept Spider-Man out of MCU continuity, came down to money, with Disney demanding a share of profits of Spider-Man's Marvel Studios films. The final agreement includes Disney sharing in both production costs and profits.
On September 27, Disney and Sony announced Spider-Man would return for a third MCU sequel following this summer's Spider-Man: Far From Home, and one more MCU appearance (for now) in a film yet to be named.