With Disney and Warner Bros. raking in the cash thanks to their movies based around Marvel and DC characters, respectively, it only makes sense that other studios with similar privileges follow suit. To Fox’s credit, they’ve found much success with the X-Men because, let’s be honest, that’s one of the few properties out there that’s a universe unto itself.
When it comes to Sony, well, they’ve tried doing all they can with what Spider-Man brings to the table. Sure, he may boast one of the richest rogues galleries in all of comics, but it’s hardly what we’d say qualifies for a cinematic universe. Still, try telling that to errant studio executives that aren’t well-versed with the source material and are seeing nothing but dollar signs.
As you may recall, they were planning on doing something like this a few years ago when they turned The Amazing Spider-Man 2 into a backdoor pilot for a Sinister Six movie, which, instead of being Ocean’s Eleven with superpowers like it should be, would’ve been a redemption story. In other words, it was Sony’s half-baked attempt at duplicating The Avengers.
But now that Spidey is firmly planted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper, Sony is making another go at it by developing Venom and Silver & Black, which, while they sound cool, won’t occupy the same world as Webhead himself, much to the chagrin of fans everywhere.
Recently, Variety put together a report on this bold endeavor, offering this nugget:
Marvel has empowered Kevin Feige to oversee its film output, while Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy calls the shots on the “Star Wars” movies. Sony is going in a different direction. The studio isn’t tasking any single exec or producer with building the web of “Spider-Man” characters. Instead, it wants each picture to have a distinct style. That means the characters might be featured in R-rated outings or in lower-budgeted offerings. Sony also isn’t interested in producing just conventional comic-book movies. It sees “Venom” as a spin on a horror film, for instance, while director Gina Prince-Bythewood likens “Silver & Black” to buddy films such as “Thelma & Louise” and “Midnight Run.”
While I’m all for giving filmmakers free rein because doing so gives us things such as The Dark Knight Trilogy, not having someone dedicated at the top of the food chain sounds like a ten-car pileup waiting to happen. Sure, Venom could live up to its potential with an R-rating, but Sony has already showed us they’re in danger of repeating their own mistakes by possibly shoehorning as many characters as possible into Silver & Black.
Our advice: Find a Kevin Feige or Geoff Johns of your own if you have designs on building a shared continuity, and then maybe the Spider-Man film franchise won’t implode.