A couple of significant things happened in Sony’s corner of the Marvel universe last week: The studio set a 2018 release date for a standalone Venom movie and hired a new screenwriter for its long-developing female-centric Spider-Man spinoff — two developments which seem to indicate that Sony is once again preparing to try their hand at building a Spidey cinematic universe. According to a new report, that’s exactly what’s happening, but things may be decidedly darker this time around.
Sony’s Spideyverse is expanding. After negotiating for joint custody of Peter Parker with Marvel-Disney, the studio started planning a Venom spinoff, which today Sony is fast-tracking to an October 2018 release date.
Ah, our old friend, the Spider-Man cinematic universe. It seems like just yesterday that pundits were absolutely certain that the upcoming box office success of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would lead to separate Venom and Sinister Six spin-offs. Then Marvel swooped in with their darn Captain America: Civil War and the future of Spider-Man seemed back up in the air.
Before The Amazing Spider-Man 2, uh, sucked, Sony had planned to use the movie to launch a whole cinematic universe of Spider-Man movies. In addition to a third Amazing Spidey, there was going to be a Sinister Six movie starring some of the Wall-Crawler’s most notorious villains, and a movie for Venom, his black-suited adversary who previously appeared in Spider-Man 3, where he was played by Topher Grace. At various points, Gary Ross and Josh Trank were in position to direct the film from a script by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
It’s been a really rough time for Sony as the studio’s e-mails and sensitive materials have been hacked by a mysterious group, and confidential details have been leaking left and right. The latest pieces of information picked up from Sony’s hacked internal e-mails have to do with Spider-Man—a character that’s in a bit of flux right now as Sony has been trying to sort out what to do next following the critical and commercial disappointment of ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2.’ As it turns out, Sony has indeed spoken with Marvel about a potential crossover, and that’s not all they’ve been planning to salvage the character.
ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, the new Batmobile and 'Avengers 2' plot synopsis are revealed, the Howling Commandos return (on TV), and Andrew Garfield calls out Sony on the failure of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2.'
Despite being one half of the duo that wrote the fairly awful 'Amazing Spider-Man 2,' Alex Kurtzman has been handed the reins of the upcoming 'Venom' movie, which will be the first time he's ever directed a project of this size (his directorial debut was the Chris Pine drama 'Please Like Us'). So yeah, it's okay if you're feeling a little wary about this one. Venom is a controversial character among comic book fans, but no one wants to see another bad Spider-Man universe movie in the wake of the most recent disaster.
With 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' underperforming at the box office, Sony may not be able to keep with their current timeline for sequels, and word is that 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3' is being pushed off of its June 10, 2016 release date and in to 2017.
By now, superhero fans have long since accepted that the chances of seeing Spider-Man appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are slim at best. As long as Sony holds the rights to the character, they're going to keep making Spidey movies until the day the Earth stops spinning and the human race quietly fades into nothingness. At least you'll be able to create your own Spider-Man/Avengers team-up with the upcoming Disney Infinity 2.0, which will include a cool Spider-Man playset. You can watch the super-goofy trailer for it above!
I met Webb at his SoHo hotel room -- or, if not his room, the room Sony had him sitting in at that particular moment -- to talk about the future of Spider-Man, what exactly Shailene Woodley's role would have been in the final movie had she not been cut, and Webb offers some, let's say, coy hints at the possible return of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.