Sony's starting their own Spider-Man villain shared universe: here's the upcoming movies they have in store. Spider-Man: Homecoming firmly established Tom Holland's Peter Parker within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to a deal between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, but Sony is also developing a sprawling side-universe filled with Spider-Man villains. The studio is prepping Venom, which will star Tom Hardy in the titular role while Silver & Black and Morbius are also in the works. Fans are eagerly hoping that at least some of these movies will be R-rated, especially given the recent success of R-rated superhero outings Deadpool and Logan.
Sony has controlled the rights to Spider-Man and his friends (and enemies) since 1999, and we've already seen incarnations of some Spider-Man villains - including Green Goblin, Venom, Doctor Octopus - as antagonists in the main Spider-Man movie entries. However, the new plan is to take some of those villains (and anti-heroes) and feature them in their own solo movies, which presumably will not include Spider-Man, since Marvel won't want a competing version of the web-slinger swinging around.
Here's a rundown of the Spider-Man villain spinoffs on the cards at Sony - listed in order of how far along the production pipeline they are.
Last Updated: June 27, 2018
The first of Sony's Spider-Man spinoffs, Venom stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. The film is due for release on October 5th, 2018, and is apparently inspired by the Lethal Protector comics. These see the tongue-slavering symbiote launch his career as an antihero / vigilante, while the Life Foundation attempt to create new symbiote agents. The first teaser trailer was roundly criticized, but the more recent full trailer is actually the most-viewed in the entire Spider-Man franchise.
Producer Matthew Tolmach is currently dodging questions about whether or not the film will feature a nod to Spider-Man. Meanwhile, fans are particularly excited to debate whether or not Michelle Williams's character, Eddie's ex-wife Anne Weying, will transform into She-Venom.
The Morbius project seems to be taking shape, and there are reports Power Rangers scribes Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama have finished a script for this vampiric spinoff. Daniel Espinosa (Life) has been booked as director, and Jared Leto has been hired to play Michael Morbius. The movie is expected to start filming later this year, making a 2019 release date seem very likely.
In the comics, Michael Morbius was a biochemist whose experiments with electroshock therapy and vampire bats went badly wrong. In typical supervillain fashion, he became a victim of his own genius, transformed into a vampiric being who feeds on blood. Morbius was created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane back in Amazing Spider-Man #101, the first issue not written by Stan Lee.
Silver & Black
The most surprising of Sony's Spider-Man spinoffs is Silver & Black. Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) has been signed up as writer and director. Prince-Bythewood wasn't happy with the script, and as a result production was put on hold while Sony changed gears. Sony has hired Captain Marvel writer Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Chaos Walking writer Lindsey Beer to pen the latest draft of the script.
Not much is known about Silver & Black. The movie promises to bring two of Spider-Man's female nemeses, Silver Sable and the Black Cat, into head-on conflict. It's believed that Silver Sable, who runs a mercenary organization known as the Wild Pack, will be hired to capture sneak-thief Felicia Hardy after the Black Cat steals sensitive information. There are consistent rumors that the film will feature a number of nods to Norman Osborn, with Sony hoping Marvel will allow the movie to tie into the MCU.
Interestingly, The Splash Report claims this film will introduce a version of Jessica Drew's Spider-Woman. They cite an anonymous inside source, but this hasn't yet been confirmed. It's worth noting, however, that the same report first suggested Sony's interest in Kraven the Hunter, and this has since been confirmed by other outlets.
In June, there were reports that Sony is planning a Kraven spinoff. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1964, Kraven is one of the webhead's most enduring villains. He's an obsessive big game hunter who decided to move on to the ultimate prey - superhumans. The modern version of Kraven was redefined as a complex, tortured individual when J. M. DeMatteis styled him after a Dostoyevsky character.
Sony has refused to comment on the rumors, with Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch merely stating that he's "an awesome character."
A master magician who turned to crime, Mysterio was actually planned to appear in Sam Raimi's aborted Spider-Man 4. Another of Lee and Ditko's famous characters, Mysterio is still an active supervillain in the comics to this day. It's likely this spinoff has been dropped, given Mysterio is confirmed as the main villain of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The franchise hasn't even begun, and Sony reportedly has five movies in the works. The studio truly believe Spider-Man's rogues' gallery will be a winner; in October 2018, we'll find out whether or not they're right.