Venom is considered to be the starting point for Sony’s Spider-Man-less Universe. It’s a superhero world where Spider-Man supporting characters, villains, and anti-heroes exist, but without the Webslinger. Don’t worry, many are still trying to wrap their heads around the idea that such a shared universe could work. But the studio believes they have something on their hands, as noted by the announcements of titles like Morbius, starring Jared Leto, and Kraven The Hunter, which is being penned by Richard Wenk.
But Sony has even bigger plans for this developing universe. According to new reports, they are making an effort to bring in more diversity and inclusiveness to it. This includes splitting Silver and Black, the Black Cat and Silver Sable spinoff from Love and Basketball director Gina Prince-Bythewood, into two standalone films. Additionally, the studio has announced plans for Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch films that would feature a Korean-American webslinger and an African-American superhero on the big screen. More on the story below.
According to Variety, Sony plans to release a series “sequels and standalone films featuring heroes and villains who populate the Spider-Man universe.” The aforementioned Morbius and Kraven The Last Hunter are some of the bigger titles we’ve already reported on. However, the studio has announced plans to put a Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch films into development and is looking for writers to pen those scripts.
But the biggest development is that Silver and Black will now be split into two films — “Black” referring to Black Cat aka Felicia Hardy, a cat burglar and love-interest to Spider-Man; “Silver” referring to Silver Sable, an assassin who hunts down war criminals. It was unclear how the pair would have been able to co-exist in a film without Spider-Man, but now the characters will be going their separate ways.
“We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, in the report from Variety.
While a final decision has yet to be made, Sony still wants to work with Prince-Bythewood, who departed from the project after it was put back into development a few months ago. Prince-Bythewood will stay on as a producer for both films. And if she does leave, Sony says they will look for a female director to replace her. Additionally, the studio is reportedly eager to work with Prince-Bythewood again on another project.
And Sony is making an effort to have diversity within some of their titles. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse will see Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino teenager, take the mantle of Spider-Man. That film will be a part of its own universe and not shared by its live-action counterpart. Sony’s effort to be inclusive can also be seen through some of their casting, as seen in Tessa Thompson’s role in the Men In Black reboot, and Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott’s casting in the new Charlie’s Angels. Silk, a Korean-American webslinger, would help in Sony’s effort to diversify.
So as this universe continues to develop, Sony is still making moves to make it accessible to everyone. This includes Venom going from a R-rated film to a PG-13. According to the same report, some members of Sony’s brain trust say that Venom should be PG-13 that pushes the limits of that rating without having to cross over it. Apparently, the request comes at a time where selected audiences saw Venom bite someone’s head off in a scene that has been deemed too graphic. So now director Ruben Fleischer will have to do some reshoots in Los Angeles after shooting in Georgia.
On top of all of this, Sony is interested in sharing some of its spinoff characters with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here’s an excerpt from that report:
Sony is open to having other characters from its Spider-Man films pop up in Marvel movies that are produced under the Disney aegis, and would presumably also like to see an Avenger or two cameo in its own movies.
While the move would be welcomed by any Marvel fan, we have to remember that this might create too much chaos within the MCU. For one thing, Marvel and Sony are separate entities, with Marvel Studios having oversight on the characters of Spider-Man: Homecoming and subsequent sequels. However, the same cannot be said for Venom, where Marvel does not have creative oversight.
We will see how all of this plays out, but the exciting part of all of this is that Sony wants to bring more diversity to the superhero films, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and films about Black Cat, Silver, Sable, and Silk would be a great way to see more representation on the big screen.
We will keep you posted on any new developments as they come in.