Sony made a hell of an announcement earlier today. They’re expanding their Spider-Man Cinematic Universe with a couple of spin offs, and those spin offs are all about the villains.
Basically Sony has hired Drew Goddard, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner and Ed Solomon to work together to expand the Amazing Spider-Man universe they’ve already created.
Amazing Spider-Man 3 will be written by Kurtzman and Orci and Sony wants Webb back to direct with a planned release date of June 2016.
Then Kurtzman, Orci, and Solomon will write, and Kurtzman will direct, a Venom film.
Goddard will be writing and hopefully directing a Sinister Six movie at the same time.
Soooooooo yeah. With Kurtzman and Orci on board I basically have no hope for Venom however Drew Goddard is a smart writer and director so Sinister Six I’m pretty hopeful about.
Still, while Sony is certainly seeking to copy Marvel’s cinematic universe idea I think they’ve kind of missed the mark. Marvel’s films are stand alone, at least for now, with links to a greater universe. This sounds a lot more like they are just going to be a series of films. Further, for better or for worse I think part of the reason that Marvel is succeeding is that they have one guy making the decisions for the universe right now. Sony’s hired a committee. Name one thing designed by committee that worked out well?
Andrew Garfield has said that he’s only in the third Spider-Man and a fourth has nothing to do with him, that makes me wonder what they are going to do here. I’m going to guess for now that Venom becomes and anti-hero and fights the Sinister Six, potentially with Spider-Man’s help (even if played by another actor).
No matter what happens I’ve give Sony a bit of credit for the idea of running with the bad guys instead of the heroes however given how much I didn’t like The Amazing Spider-Man and depending how much involvement Kurtzman and Orci have I’m not sure how much hope I can muster.
Here’s the full release (PDF) from Sony:
CULVER CITY, Calif., December 12, 2013 – In a move to forge a new legacy in the story of Peter Parker on screen, Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, is developing several new projects in the Spider-Man franchise, with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad,president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio.
The five writers, along with the two producers and Marc Webb, have formed a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films. Under the deals, the studio announced that Kurtzman & Orci & Pinkner are writing the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which the studio hopes Webb will return to direct; the film will go into production next fall for release on June 10, 2016. In addition, the team will build on the cinematic foundation laid by Webb, Arad, and Tolmach in the first two movies. They will expand the franchise as Kurtzman & Orci & Solomon will write the screenplay for Venom, which Kurtzman will direct; also, Goddard will write, with an eye to direct, The Sinister Six, focusing on the villains in the franchise. Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor will oversee the development and production of these films for the studio.
In tapping these five writers, the studio and the producers are guiding the future of the franchise with the writer/producers who have each played significant and key roles in developing such highly successful franchises, films, and series as Star Trek, Transformers, “Alias,” “Fringe,” Men in Black, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, World War Z, “Lost,” Cloverfield, The Cabin in the Woods, and Marvel’s upcoming “Daredevil” series.
Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “The Spider-Man film franchise is one of our studio’s greatest assets. We are thrilled with the creative team we have assembled to delve more deeply into the world that Marc, Avi and Matt have begun to explore in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We believe that Marc, Alex, and Drew have uniquely exciting visions for how to expand the Spider-Man universe in each of these upcoming films.” Arad and Tolmach added, “This collaboration was born out of the great experience we and Marc had working with Alex, Bob, and Jeff on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With more than fifty years’ wealth of stories in the comic books to draw upon for inspiration, the Spider-Man universe is truly boundless; in addition, the Spider-Man comics have the greatest rogues gallery of any series, and to have the chance to explore that on film is truly thrilling. Until now, we have approached each film as a separate, self-contained entity, but with this move, we have the opportunity to grow the franchise by looking to the future as we develop a continuous arc for the story. That is what Alex, Bob, Jeff, Ed, and Drew will do in this unprecedented collaboration, and we’re excited about the directions they are taking the character and the world.”