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 partway through production on 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.
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.
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.
Silver & Black
The most surprising of Sony’s Spider-Man spinoffs, Silver & Black is slated for release on February 8th, 2019. Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) has been signed up as writer and director, and the film is reportedly due to start filming in Atlanta in early 2018.
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.
Everybody seems to want to use Morbius, the Living Vampire. Shortly after the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jon Watts admitted that he’d love to introduce Morbius in the sequel. Unfortunately for Watts, it seems Sony has other plans. There are reports that Power Rangers scribes Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama have already finished a script for a spinoff film.
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.
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. In June, Mysterio’s name was mentioned alongside Kraven’s as the subject of a future spinoff film. Sony has yet to comment.
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.
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