Sony Pictures is reportedly scrapping their Silver and Black movie from Gina Prince-Bythewood in favor of solo Silver Sable and Black Cat films. Sony holds the movie rights to hundreds of Marvel Comics characters, and though they've launched a couple film series based on Spider-Man, they're now looking to the webslinger's related characters for their next franchise. Kicking off with Ruben Fleischer's Venom later this year, starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, the studio has a number of projects in various stages of development focused on Marvel characters.
One such project was the Silver Sable and Black Cat team-up film being written by Prince-Bythewood, who was also expected to direct. Sony originally slated Silver and Black for a February 2019 release date, but when little else was heard about the project - including casting of the two female leads - many began to wonder what was going on. Prince-Bythewood offered updates, saying she was reworking the script. But now the latest report indicates the project has been taken in an entirely new direction, with the characters set to lead solo films instead.
Variety reported a status update on Sony's entire upcoming Marvel franchise, starting with Venom and expanding to include the likes of Morbius the Living Vampire and Kraven the Hunter. As part of the overall story, Variety reports Silver and Black is being scrapped in favor of Silver Sable and Black Cat solo movies, with Felicia Hardy's Black Cat the first of the two to receive a standalone outing. Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch, who Variety reports has been overseeing Sony's new franchise (called Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters, or SUMC, in-house), said of the Black Cat movie:
"We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film."
Variety further reports that Prince-Bythewood may depart both Black Cat and Silver Sable projects as writer and director, remaining on board only as a producer - though the final details have yet to be fully worked out. If Prince-Bythewood does exit, Sony maintains they'll hire another woman to direct. Additionally, the studio is open to working with Prince-Bythewood in the future, so if she doesn't direct either Silver Sable or Black Cat, she may helm a different Sony Marvel project.
The loss of Prince-Bythewood would be unfortunate for Sony since the director has proven herself adept in the superhero genre with her work on Marvel's Cloak and Dagger, the YA-geared show that premiered on Freeform earlier this summer. Still, since it seems Sony and Prince-Bythewood haven't yet reached a decision about what her exact involvement will be in either movies, fans can hope she may remain on board at least one project.
As for splitting the team-up into two solo movies, it seems to indicate Sony has a great deal of confidence in its female characters. Hollywood studios with rights to female superheroes are no doubt inspired by the success of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman last summer. As such, it comes as little surprise that Sony would want to shine the spotlight on some of their more popular female Marvel characters. Thankfully for fans of Silver Sable and Black Cat, that means each character will receive a solo movie. And, now that Sony's plans are firming up for the pair, hopefully we'll get more updates soon on the Black Cat film as it moves forward.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018