[WARNING: This post contains spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and potentially Sinister Six.]
Back in May, Sony released their reboot sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on the heels of one of the most omnipresent marketing campaigns in recent memory. Multiple clips and featurettes saturated media outlets in the months leading up to the film's release, with the various trailers infamously teasing several scenes (and plot points) which were then missing from the theatrical cut.
According to conventional wisdom, the final product, while worth seeing, still can't hold a candle to 2014's other superhero offerings like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy. The curious excision of what seemed like key scenes and the seemingly confused attempt at world-building (not to mention the notorious Multiple Villain Syndrome) has led many to believe that a far superior cut of the movie must exist, with the promise of several deleted scenes on the home video release lending credence to this.
Well, the Blu-ray has now been released, and as a recent /Film post points out, a bonus disc included with some editions contain a great deal of extra features which hint at certain key sequel and spinoff plans Sony has for this interconnected movie universe - notably, the supervillain team-up Sinister Six.
The kicker here is that some of the interviews with key personnel like director Marc Webb and subsequent details revealed suggest that these special features might be outdated, or at least contradict Sony's current blueprint for all things Spider-Man.
Here's /Film's breakdown of some key points revealed in the Something Sinister This Way Comes bonus video:
"Marc Webb explicitly talks about the cryogenically frozen head of Norman Osborn 'so we can bring him back for the sequel.'
"Webb talks about the man seen in shadows at the end of 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' explaining that he was originally conceived as Electro, but was reworked to be The Gentleman. That’s the wealthy benefactor introduced in a 'Spider-Man' novel who brings the Sinister Six together.
"Webb discusses having Blur Studios design and animate the masks and hardware seen in the end credits of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2.' But 'we’re not exactly sure if all those people are going to be in the Sinister Six, or even in the next movie.'
"The mask seen (below) is indeed Mysterio, rather than Chameleon, and the cat-looking symbol is actually a spear, likely meant to represent Kraven the Hunter."
We know that the man of mystery featured at the end of the first Amazing Spider-Man is named Gustav Fiers (played by Michael Massee) and that the sequel's original post-credits scene featured Fiers walking through the OsCorp 'Special Projects' level, a scene which revealed that Norman Osborn's head was indeed severed and preserved - the sequence was teased in several trailers but cut from the film.
As for all the time spent on Marc Webb's ideas on what may or may not appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, everything he says here could be completely inaccurate. He refers to "the next movie" as if it will be a sequel, when we know for sure that Sinister Six will release in 2016, two years ahead of TASM3's planned 2018 roll-out.
This leads us to believe that at the very least that interview and maybe everything else on this bonus disc was conceived, recorded and the discs authored and printed well before any of the changes to Sony's plans and the release schedules occurred, such as the hiring of Drew Goddard to write and direct Sinister Six. This points to a clear disconnect between the development team behind the inter-connected film universe and Sony's distribution department.
With The Amazing Spider-Man 2 co-writer/producer Roberto Orci having publicly cast doubt on the future of the second sequel and Orci's former creative partner Alex Kurtzman claiming that the proposed Venom spinoff will shoot before The Amazing Spider-Man 3 - a claim backed by a report that Sony aims to release Venom in 2017 - nothing in the Blu-ray extras pertaining to the future of the extended franchise sounds accurate.
Is the studio intentionally misleading people? Probably not. Still, this is a glaring oversight, and clear disservice to fans hoping that the home release extras would clear up the myriad conflicting updates regarding the future of the Spidey-verse. Since all we're getting is even more dispiriting confusion, the future of this franchise might be murkier than ever before.
Sinister Six opens in U.S. theaters on November 11th, 2016, possibly followed by Venom in 2017. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is arriving in 2018.