Sony reveals post-Venom Spider-Man Universe plans; More Marvel crossovers?

After a tumultuous run with THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2 and a few e-mail troubles courtesy of North Korea, Sony found its footing again with one of their prime properties when they struck a deal with Marvel to see the web slinger come back to life in a place that felt genuine. Making his debut in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, then in a new solo effort jointly produced with Marvel (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING) and another appearance in a non-solo film (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR), as well as another solo pic (SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME). The next big gamble, of course, is VENOM, which has Tom Hardy playing the role of Eddie Brock/Venom, in their first big solo push outside of the main webhead. But, what happens after that?

In a new report from Variety, it's been revealed that Sony has a number of characters they're trying to launch on the big screen and a few changes to some existing plans. First up, SILVER & BLACK is no more. It was determined that both characters, Black Cat and Silver Sable, respectively, were strong enough to lead their own films. SILVER & BLACK director Gina Prince-Bythewood is expected to stay on as producer of the solo efforts, but may not stay on to direct either.

Next, Sony is pushing to develop movies based on Kraven The Hunter, Silk, Jackpot and Nightwatch (along with MORBIUS, which is currently moving forward with director Daniel Espinosa and Jared Leto in the lead). “Spider-Man connects to a lot of the characters. There are villains, heroes, and antiheroes, and a lot are female characters, many of whom are bona fide, fully dimensionalized, and utterly unique," says Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, adding that “We feel there’s no reason the Marvel characters shouldn’t be able to embrace diversity." Silk aka Cindy Moon is a Korean-American teenager who is bitten by the same radioactive spider that gave Peter Parker his powers, while Jackpot is a lesbian superhero that originally wanted to be like Spider-Man and pretended to have a thing for him to mask her sexuality. Nightwatch is a Spawn-looking character that uses "cloaking" technology. Kraven The Hunter is a "maniacal big game hunter" who sets his sights on Spider-Man as the ultimate prize. If none of those are setting off your spidey sense, well, it's likely because they're all pretty low tiered characters in the comics. Then again, IRON MAN wasn't exactly a household name pre-2008 either.

Another key takeaway from the report is that one of the reasons VENOM is being pushed as an edgier PG-13 is that there are hopes that he could crossover into other films that carry the same rating (or vice versa), including the wide roster of characters in Marvel's stable. VENOM director Ruben Fleischer commented at Comic Con during the VENOM panel that he believed Sony had to be at least considering how to get Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Tom Hardy's Venom together on the big screen and it appears Sony is indeed giving that some serious thought. With their strengthened ties, Sony is open to having more MCU crossovers with their Spider-Man Universe characters, as well as hoping for some guest appearances in their own efforts. Time will tell how that plays out.

This is an interesting move on Sony's part, as them playing nice with Marvel most definitely makes things more accessible and inclusive for both parties and, given the recent Disney-Fox merger, opens the floodgates to basically all Marvel characters operating under the same cinematic umbrella. How often or how much the characters from each respective universe will be cross-pollinated is unclear, but the possibilities seem to be endless. I predict that VENOM will open huge and, if satisfying enough and with good word of mouth, could be a major hit for the studio and really help propel their plans to fruition.

VENOM opens in theaters on October 5th, 2018, while SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is set to swing into theaters on July 5th, 2019.

Source: Variety



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