UPDATED: Is Sony preparing to create spin-off films from their Spider-Man franchise?

UPDATE: Deadline has followed up the report of Amy Pascal's comments of expanding the Spider-Man universe with a quote from Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton, who says that there are scripts in the works and that they are working closely with Disney and Marvel on the venture. To what degree is anyone's guess. From Deadline:

“We do very much have the ambition about creating a bigger universe around Spider-Man. There are a number of scripts in the works” involving characters and villains in the series,  told analysts in a Q&A session wrapping up his operation’s first meeting with investors. But he didn’t offer details, except that Sony is “working closely with Marvel and Disney.”

Well, this isn't all that surprising.

After the massive box office success of their SPIDER-MAN franchise (both director Sam Raimi's trilogy and the current reboot) it was kind of inevitable that the studio would be looking to expand the brand. In an investor presentation today, Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal teased the studio's plans to make ample use of their stable of Spidey characters, saying:

“We are going to access Marvel’s full world of Spider-Man characters, so be on the lookout for new heroes and villains."

Although Disney owns the rights to the character, Sony owns the film rights and they are keeping a firm grip. After recently announcing not one, but TWO more sequels to the upcoming THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, it's become readily apparent that the studio has big plans for the ol' webhead and his merry batch of supporting characters. Although Pascal didn't elaborate on which characters they'd be spinning off (or if they'd just be lumped in with the sequels), the longest-running candidate has been the villainous Venom. However, Spidey has a large cast of characters and back-up players that are ripe for exploration, including: Black Cat, Silver Sable, Paladin, Solo, Prowler, Cardiac, Carnage, and many, many more, including a laundry list of villains.

The problem is that most of these characters are mostly third tier and completely unknown to the public, so it would take some serious creative effort to make a solo film worthwhile. It's not impossible (IRON MAN is a success story in that department), but it's an uphill climb. Either way, it appears that Sony is ready to do battle with the likes of Marvel and Fox in terms of their invidivually licensed characters. Fox has X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST on the way and the recently announced sequel to THE WOLVERINE, so the big-screen battle for comic book movie dominance appears to be continuing.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 swings into theaters on May 2, 2014.

What do you think? Do Spider-Man's supporting characters merit spin-offs?

Extra Tidbit: I still want to see a Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt movie. It'll never happen, because no studio would have the balls to pull it off, but man, it would be something else.
Source: The Wrap



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