And there I was, only discussing this matter last night during a brilliant interview with Drew Lawson and Andrew Bates, the guys behind the brilliant The Death of Spider-Man motion-comic. I guess now it’s official.
Sony Pictures Entertainment have confirmed that they are working on several new projects within their current Spider-Man franchise. Their official line behind these developments is “to forge a new legacy in the story of Peter Parker on screen.” A big part of this development is the confirmation that a Venom solo film IS one of these new projects. Work on a screenplay is already underway on this, with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Ed Solomon currently busy taking care of that. Kurtzman is also signed on to direct the flick. At this point, the Eddie Brock tale is just simply titled Venom. Personally, any time I say the name Venom in my head, I have to do it in a swirling, slobbering, echo-y voice. Just me? Right, moving on then…
As well as Venom, one other project that has now been confirmed is The Sinister Six. Yes, Sony are developing a new movie that will be based around the actual villains of the Spidey-verse. Again, this particular movie even has a writer signed on already: Drew Goddard. Goddard is also writing and directing Marvel’s Netflix exclusive Daredevil show. Current plans call for Goddard to direct The Sinister Six too, but this isn’t confirmed at this stage
It’s said that these two projects will be developed by Kurtzman, Orci, Solomon, Goddard, and Jeff Pinkner, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach overseeing the productions. Marc Webb, director of The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will also be very hands-on with The Sinister Six and Venom in a consulting capacity. Webb is still not officially signed on for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 at this time, but it’s presumed that his return is a given at this point. Also, the screenplay for that film is currently being worked on by Kurtzman, Orci, and Pinkner. Current plans call for Spidey 3 to go into production during the second half of next year, with a 10th June, 2016 release date already confirmed.
Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor are both involved to oversee the development and production of this plethora of Spidey-filled goodness.
In terms of comments on these projects, Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures 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.”
Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach released a statement, proclaiming, “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.”
So there you have it: we’re officially get a solo film for Venom and a team-up spin-off for the Sinister Six.
After having talked about it for weeks on my podcast, I’m genuinely surprised that Sony have made the ballsy move to run with a villain-centric project. Will general audiences care to see a film based around bad guys or possibly certain characters they are not familiar with? I guess we’ll see. If all else fails, and all’s looking bleak, I’m sure they can throw some Spidey action into the mix, right? I mean what is going to be the driving force of The Sinister Six? Will the team be out to take down a hero; will they be looking to pull of a huge bankjob; will there be in-fighting; or is the M.O. just simply world domination?
Also, it’s worth looking at just who may be on the Sinister Six roster. So far in Sony’s relaunched Spidey-verse, we’ve seen The Lizard. Up next, there’s Electro, Rhino, and the Green Goblin. The recent trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has given us a look at certain components that are key to the outfits of Doctor Octopus and The Vulture. Add to that, the promotional push over at The Daily Bugle’s faux Tumblr account has given us reference to the likes of Spencer Smythe, Shocker, Hobgoblin, and a certain Eddie Brock. Then there’s those Jim Carrey as Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, rumours.
Could it be possible that The Sinister Six film features the group going after Venom? Could very well be. If handled correctly, I could see Venom being one of the villains of The Amazing Spider-Man 3, becoming an anti-hero of sorts by that film’s end. That would lead nicely into the Venom movie, with him now seen as a hero of sorts. The Sinister Six team is not too happy about this, leading to The Sinister Six movie revolving around the villainous team-up setting their sights on Eddie Brock.
Expect to hear a whole lot more on these projects as we get it.