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Producers say Spider-man spin-offs will be challenging yet character-driven

Mar. 12, 2014by:

If you are anxious about the announced villain spin-offs from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 including a VENOM and SINISTER SIX film, you are not alone. Without many other heroes to their Marvel mythos, Sony is doing everything they can to maximize what they can get out of Peter Parker and the rogue's gallery that populates his universe. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 is beginning by planting the seed of not one or two bad guys but a whole slate of them. The trailers have teased Electro, Rhino, Green Goblin, Vulture, and Doctor Octopus while not ruling out the still surviving Lizard from the first film.

Producer Matt Tolmach is on the same side as fans and knows that there are a lot of risks with what Sony is undertaking. He spoke to SFX and shared the approach they are taking.

Its a challenge in every sense. Obviously questions of traditional hero/villain dynamics have to be looked at. At the same time its an awesome challenge, because some of the greatest characters are in fact villains, and how you construct that is so much fun. People love those bad characters if theyre good bad characters, and love to watch them.

It is very true that Spider-man has one of the deepest rosters of villains of any comic book out there, all of whom are very cinematic. But, bringing them to the screen may be difficult. The SINISTER SIX movie idea is intriguing, but if you aren't putting Spider-man at the forefront, who will provide the antagonist for the villains at the center of the film? Producer Avi Arad referenced that the Marvel villains, specifically Spider-man's foes, are all victims of circumstance which makes them much more character-driven. This helps when translating for the big screen.

Arad even offered some insight as to how writer-director Drew Goddard can use that to his advantage with the impending VENOM movie.

Venom hated only one guy Spider-Man. He wasnt innately bad, he was a shortcut guy, not really into fighting hard for achievement. Thats the Venom story. Can he also be a good guy? As you know, Venom was also called lethal defender of the innocent. We had a great history with him, especially caring for the homeless, which is a very sensitive issue and something that many of us are very concerned with. Our villains all represent a different side of the misunderstood, and some of them unfortunately turned to the dark side. Venom happened to be a phenomenal character. With Eddie Brock, or if you do Flash Thompson, it doesnt matter who is going to be inside the suit whats important is that a man like him is going to realise there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say How did I get here? There must be a better way.

Unlike what Fox has with X-MEN and THE FANTASTIC FOUR or Disney with everything else, Sony has a very unique situation with such a large number of bad guys and limited heroes. Can they pull it off successfully? Time will tell, but you have to give them credit for trying something unique.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 opens in theaters on May 2, 2014.

Source: SFX

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9:29AM on 03/13/2014

Bleeding Spidy Dry

They are going about it all wrong. Sony has to make movies in order to keep the rights. But giving villains movies is lame (unless your Venom). So why not branch out into the Spider Clone Saga, Spider-man 2099, Maximum carnage saga. Come on, Dolts!
They are going about it all wrong. Sony has to make movies in order to keep the rights. But giving villains movies is lame (unless your Venom). So why not branch out into the Spider Clone Saga, Spider-man 2099, Maximum carnage saga. Come on, Dolts!
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8:00AM on 03/13/2014
I guess "elevated" didn't catch on as a movie buzzword like they'd hoped.
I guess "elevated" didn't catch on as a movie buzzword like they'd hoped.
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1:40AM on 03/13/2014
"Character-driven" is getting to be right up there with "dark and gritty".
"Character-driven" is getting to be right up there with "dark and gritty".
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1:12AM on 03/13/2014
It could work quite well, back in the 90"s marvel a had series called the deadly foes of spiderman without spiderman in it. The identity disc had a bunch of marvel villians meanaced/blackmailed by even worse legendary villians and that was fun read. Heck look at how the real hobgoblin forced ned leeds to be the hobgoblin, that would make an interesting film. Vermin would be the creepiest marvel/horror hybrid flick so would morbius the living vampire.Flowers for the rhino from tangled web or
It could work quite well, back in the 90"s marvel a had series called the deadly foes of spiderman without spiderman in it. The identity disc had a bunch of marvel villians meanaced/blackmailed by even worse legendary villians and that was fun read. Heck look at how the real hobgoblin forced ned leeds to be the hobgoblin, that would make an interesting film. Vermin would be the creepiest marvel/horror hybrid flick so would morbius the living vampire.Flowers for the rhino from tangled web or gentlemans agreement(fall out from spidey stopping one of the kingpins henchmen.) would be good flics also. The toxin story line. Lots of good material to mine really with out the need for or just a taste of spiderman involved.
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11:00PM on 03/12/2014

I could see a standalone VENOM movie working

if they go straight to the Carnage storyline. Eddie Brock is essentially honourable (if obsessed with gaining revenge on Spider-Man) and pitting him against a total psychopath like Cletus Casady would work well.
if they go straight to the Carnage storyline. Eddie Brock is essentially honourable (if obsessed with gaining revenge on Spider-Man) and pitting him against a total psychopath like Cletus Casady would work well.
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9:34PM on 03/12/2014
I don't really see the Sinister Six movie as a stand alone movie as much as a lead in for Amazing Spider-man 3. We've had tv shows (like Lost) where episodes focus on just 1 character or villain without the main hero, and it seems they're doing the same things with movies. So it could work. Whether or not it will be any good and will anybody want to see it is the main question.
I don't really see the Sinister Six movie as a stand alone movie as much as a lead in for Amazing Spider-man 3. We've had tv shows (like Lost) where episodes focus on just 1 character or villain without the main hero, and it seems they're doing the same things with movies. So it could work. Whether or not it will be any good and will anybody want to see it is the main question.
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7:53PM on 03/12/2014
Sounds like it's going to be a bit like The Dirty Dozen set in Spider-Man world, yet no Spider-Man.
Sounds like it's going to be a bit like The Dirty Dozen set in Spider-Man world, yet no Spider-Man.
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7:06PM on 03/12/2014
I would rather see Flash Thompson as the focal point in the spin-off Venom movie, Eddie Brocks Venom needs to be introduced with Spider-man given how much of a disappoint Spider-Man 3 Venom was. Sinister Six is a more complex scenario not many of the characters are "tragic villiains" which would be difficult for the audience to sympathize with them as an anti-hero of some kind. Sony is just trying to make their own "X-men" or Avengers. and i feel it wont turn a profit for Sony to simply make a
I would rather see Flash Thompson as the focal point in the spin-off Venom movie, Eddie Brocks Venom needs to be introduced with Spider-man given how much of a disappoint Spider-Man 3 Venom was. Sinister Six is a more complex scenario not many of the characters are "tragic villiains" which would be difficult for the audience to sympathize with them as an anti-hero of some kind. Sony is just trying to make their own "X-men" or Avengers. and i feel it wont turn a profit for Sony to simply make a Sinister Six without Spider-Man. just so they can go toe-to-toe with Fox and Marvel/Disney. Can you really market a group of villians to a bunch of kids like Spiderman. and expect to sell just a much merchandise and toys. yet alone a movie? think of the big picture. and financial impact. Who;s gonna united these villians to do good. to have morals. or is just being good for the sake of money and power.
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6:37PM on 03/12/2014
I still don't understand how they're going to do this without having Spider Man in it. It'll be interesting to see the process, but I'm just not buying the idea that they know what they are doing with all of these iconic villains in one film.
I still don't understand how they're going to do this without having Spider Man in it. It'll be interesting to see the process, but I'm just not buying the idea that they know what they are doing with all of these iconic villains in one film.
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6:15PM on 03/12/2014

This seems like a big gamble

Making movies around these villains with little or no spiderman seems like a huge risk. I mean, I know that a number of spidey villains are fan favorites that would probably be badass if done right. Like Venom. But still, these are very expensive films to make with a lot of room for error, and a studio that has botched these things in the past. A movie with a crazy villain as the lead? I'm in, after I read positive reviews and see multiple trailers.
Making movies around these villains with little or no spiderman seems like a huge risk. I mean, I know that a number of spidey villains are fan favorites that would probably be badass if done right. Like Venom. But still, these are very expensive films to make with a lot of room for error, and a studio that has botched these things in the past. A movie with a crazy villain as the lead? I'm in, after I read positive reviews and see multiple trailers.
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5:37PM on 03/12/2014
Can they pull it off successfully? Given what happened with Spider-Man 3...and the Amazing Spider-Man (the latter was a much better effort though)..I have to say no. All these villains have one thing in common...and several came about because of Spider-Man...so to have movies about them...without him...i'm both intrigued to see what they do...and scared to see what they do. Still, a Sinister Six movie without Spider-Man can work...if Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 3 sets them up on an individual
Can they pull it off successfully? Given what happened with Spider-Man 3...and the Amazing Spider-Man (the latter was a much better effort though)..I have to say no. All these villains have one thing in common...and several came about because of Spider-Man...so to have movies about them...without him...i'm both intrigued to see what they do...and scared to see what they do. Still, a Sinister Six movie without Spider-Man can work...if Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 3 sets them up on an individual basis. The next film, say, called the Sinister Six, is about them getting together to take him on - Spider-Man need not be present for that...which sets us up for Amazing Spider-Man 4...or 5...depending on when the villains realise they can't take him single handedly. How they do Venom without Spider-Man...f**k knows. Better if they bring him in through the Amazing Spider-Man movies and then spin him off....but they've got a big enough job dealing with the Sinister Six...a Venom story shouldn't be sharing time with anything else other than Spider-Man....until he's been established.
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