The late Stan Lee's daughter Joan Celia Lee has accused executives at Marvel and Disney of having "never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency" in the wake of the row over the rights to "Spider-Man", the comic book superhero he co-created back in 1962.
Sony Pictures bought the film rights to the iconic Marvel Comics character - who was co-created by Stan and writer/artist Steve Ditko in 1962 - in 1999 but in 2015 made a deal with Disney, who own Marvel, to allow Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter ego to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, resulting in him featuring in five films, including blockbuster "Avengers: Endgame" and most recently "Spider-Man: Far From Home".
But this week Sony Pictures hit a stalemate with the studio over the financing and profit-sharing of the future "Spider-Man" movies, leading to the exit of Marvel boss Kevin Feige from the franchise, and the breakdown means that Spider-Man will no longer feature in the MCU.
Now, Stan's daughter Joan Celia Lee claims that the deal fell apart because bosses didn't show enough respect for her father's work and legacy.
Speaking to TMZ, she said: "Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father's creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy. Whether it's Sony or someone else, the continued evolution of Stan's characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view."
Joan, 69, has also claimed that no one at Marvel or Disney contacted her or the rest of the family following Stan's death in December 2018 at the age of 95 and she has accused
She added: "From day one ... they have never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney's executives."
Sony Pictures issued a statement revealing that studio bosses are "disappointed" Marvel boss Kevin Feige will no longer be involved in their "Spider-Man" films.
The statement read: "We are disappointed, but respect Disney's decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film. We hope this might change in the future ... Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue."
There has been several months of negotiations between the Disney-owned Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to change the original deal, which saw Marvel collect five per cent of the profits of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Spider-Man: Far From Home". Going forward, Marvel seemed sure they could find a deal as the character - which is currently played by Tom Holland - was billed to be "the next Tony Stark" in the Marvel franchise.
The stalemate between Sony Pictures and Disney reportedly came when the latter asked for financing and profits to be split 50/50, which would mean Disney and Marvel would have a huge increase in profits, with the previous film grossing a whopping $1.1 billion worldwide.