2014 may already be safely known as the Year of Marvel. Blockbuster sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier has broken box office records, and it's only the first of four Marvel-based releases this year - X-Men: Days of Future Past is coming later in May and Guardians of the Galaxy will release this August.
Next up, though, is Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which has seen a massive PR push, including a seemingly endless stream of trailers and featurettes. The big news today is not so much about Spidey, however, but about his enemies.
THR reports that Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard has been tapped to helm the Spidey spinoff Sinister Six. Goddard had already been hired by Sony last year to pen the screenplay, and the deal to direct is reportedly in the final stages of negotiation. Sony also brought in a deep "brain trust" of talent to map out their own interconnected Spider-Man movie universe: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner - who will also script The Amazing Spider-Man 3, along with Goddard and Ed Solomon (Now You See Me).
We've known since roughly late last year that Sony planned to expand their Spidey universe with Sinister Six and Venom, and as the release of TASM2 approached, we've had several broad hints that director Marc Webb's sequel to his highly lucrative reboot will be a direct lead-in to the spinoffs focusing on Spider-Man's most dangerous foes: a telling image from the first trailer teased Doctor Octopus and Vulture, producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad discussed the spinoffs in greater detail, and just a few weeks ago, Sony co-chair Amy Pascal went ahead and confirmed that the end of TASM2 will set up the Sinister Six, saying:
“At the tail end of this movie we set up some of the other characters that will probably end up being in the Sinister Six,” says Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal. “We’re going forward on all fronts.”
We still don't know the full roster of this big screen Sinister Six - we know that Spidey will have his hands full with Electro (Jaime Foxx), the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and the Green Goblin/Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), with an apparently-dying Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) in the shadows. The inclusion of Doc Ock and Vulture is strongly suggested, with franchise star Andrew Garfield saying he'd like to see Venom and Kraven added to the mix.
As for Goddard, before proving his feature directing chops with his meta-horror classic Cabin in the Woods, he worked on Alias, Lost, wrote the script for Cloverfield and was brought in to help restructure last year's World War Z. And, interestingly enough, he's also writing and producing the Daredevil Netflix series for Marvel Studios.
This news leads to a few questions. The most obvious is just what the Sinister Six line-up will be, but the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should prove enlightening on that subject. Now that Sony has taken the step of naming a director, will the film take the May 4th, 2018 release date previously thought to belong to The Amazing Spider-Man 4? And - perhaps most pressing of all for hardcore fans of all things Marvel - will Goddard's commitment to Sony conflict with Daredevil, which will reportedly begin shooting this July?
Expect more details to emerge very soon.
What do you think about Goddard taking the helm on Sinister Six? Sound off in the comments!
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016 and (possibly) Sinister Six on May 4th, 2018.
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