Though Spider-Man is part of the MCU due to a rare co-production deal with Marvel Studios, Sony’s still working on its own cinematic universe built around the other heroes, anti-heroes and villains that populate Peter Parker’s corner of the Marvel world. First up, of course, is October’s Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy as the symbiote-infected Eddie Brock. Exactly what kind of plans Sony has for this franchise isn’t totally clear at present, but Vulture’s done their best to get to the bottom of it by talking to numerous individuals who’ve been involved behind the scenes.
First off, one anonymous writer clarified Sony’s approach to creating a successful cinematic universe: make good movies first.
“At the core of the endeavor to make a universe lies a deep cynicism. The audience thinks you’re just trying to take their money. It’s not unfounded. You have to prove them wrong. And Marvel has set a high bar.”
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Longtime Spider-Man producer Avi Arad was on hand to tease Venom as well, a project he’s been trying to get off the ground since the character first appeared in 2007’s Spider-Man 3. In the process, he might’ve suggested how Sony will decide on which characters to go with: those that have kid appeal.
“This is an origin story and we have to try and make it the beginning of a long journey. Kids love Venom. It’s something about it that attracts the anti-hero sensibility. So we are very excited.”
Emily Carmichael, meanwhile, stated that she was courted to helm Silver & Black, now under Gina Prince-Bythewood’s direction, for a period. She revealed that the studio has a massive “compendium” of the characters they have the rights to, confirming that they have major plans for the future.
“I was one of the directors called in to pitch on Silver & Black. At one of my early meetings on the project I got a peek at the phonebook-sized compendium of characters Sony has the rights to, all characters tangentially related to Spider-Man. It’s a cinematic universe, all right.”
Finally, comic book legend Brian Michael Bendis told Vulture that, before his recent switch to DC after a career spent at Marvel, he spoke with Sony about their plans. In particular, he teased that he knows some of the films the studio has in the pipeline that’ve yet to be announced.
“I happen to have heard some of the plans that have not been made public. You’re asking if they’re cool? I thought they were very cool. Fans wouldn’t be annoyed with what they’re doing.”
Let’s hope Bendis is right. So far, Sony’s Spider-Man-less Spider-Man universe has drawn mixed reactions. Sure, we’re all interested to see what Hardy does with the role of Eddie Brock, but it’s a little sad that it denies us a proper fight for the villain with Tom Holland’s Spidey.
Anyways, assuming Venom‘s successful enough not to derail things for the studio, it’ll be followed by Morbius, starring Jared Leto as the living vampire, which is set to go before the cameras later this year.