Spider-Man recalls that there was a point in time when Sony had the ambitious plans of creating a cinematic universe on the back of the fairly weak Amazing Spider-Man movies. Those plans never came to fruition, and the studio was forced to scale back on the plans, even resorting to sharing the Webslinger with their Marvel competitors over at Disney.
However, that deal worked out in both of their favors, and with Spider-Man: Homecoming being such a huge success, Sony can look forward to building a Spider-Man-less cinematic universe using supporting characters like Venom, Silver Sable, and Black Cat. The studio has already announced that there will be two films based on those characters, and they intend to announce a few more in the coming months. More on this story below.
Variety says that we can expect to hear even more spinoff titles in the near future. We already know that Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is directing the Venom movie, which is set to star Tom Hardy as the titular anti-hero. And that Gina Prince-Blythewood (Beyond the Lights) will be behind the lens for Silver and Black, the Thelma and Louise-esque film featuring Black Cat and Silver Sable.
So far, Fleischer has described Venom, if it ends up being called that, as a Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of film. Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch says David Cronenberg and John Carpenter are among some of the influences for the film.
As for Silver and Black, Prince-Blythewood a story about “two damaged women who are at war with each other but need each other to survive.” She is interested in telling why Sable became an assassin while Cat became a cat burglar.
Now, you may be wondering how this might work considering that Spider-Man’s support system isn’t as far-reaching as that as Marvel Studios. However, they do have about 900 characters at their disposal, and Panitch wants to make sure that they do “the absolute best for each individual property.”
To make sure that happens, Sony won’t be putting it on any single person to build and oversee their universe. They’d rather have each movie and franchise have its own distinct style. Basically, Sony doesn’t have a Kevin Feige, Kathleen Kennedy, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg.
However, the report adds that these films won’t be straight-up superhero films. Instead they will be genre films, much like what Marvel Studios is doing with their MCU.
It still remains to be seen if Sony has learned from their previous mistakes. Setting up an entire cinematic universe on the heels of one success does seem to be a bit premature. Looking back, it feels like Sony is merely repeating their mistakes by announcing titles and putting them into production. And it’s still not clear how this universe could work without Spider-Man in it. After all, everything about those characters works because he’s in it. Or maybe Sony will just have Ben Reilly as their Spider-Man in this spinoff universe that they are creating.
And just because one universe is successful doesn’t mean it can work for others. Look Spider-Man: Homecoming suffered one of the worst box office drops last week, and he’s considered the crown jewel of Marvel. Then there’s WB, whose DCEU didn’t really take off until after Wonder Woman was released. That’s three films after the DCEU was initially launched. And we all know how Universal’s Dark Universe is off to a very rocky start.
There are no release dates for Venom and Silver and Black, but we will keep you posted on when they are announced.