Female superhero movies (or, rather, the lack thereof) are a hot discussion topic right now - just look at the comments in this related Marvel Studios/Kevin Feige article, if you don't believe it. The demand is very much there, and of late fans have been making bets about which studio will release a modern female superhero vehicle first - with either Marvel or Warner Bros. and DC (via Wonder Woman) being the favorites. Today however, in a surprise twist, we have an update suggesting that Sony may be the first out of that gate.
Sony appears to have changed its approach to building a Shared Spider-Man film-verse, in the aftermath of Amazing Spider-Man 2 having not scaled the same box office heights as its predecessors. The studio has Sinister Six officially scheduled to arrive in Fall 2016, while Amazing Spider-Man 3 shall wait in the wings until some as-yet unspecified date in 2018. We also know that Alex Kurtzman is working on a Venom movie, but first he'll be directing The Mummy reboot for release in 2016. Deadline is reporting that the Venom film (rumored to be titled Venom Carnage) may hit theaters in 2017.
Less expected, however, is the news that a female superhero from the Spider-man universe will likewise be getting her own movie in 2017. A script is currently being written by Lisa Joy Nolan, who's also developing a Westworld series for HBO with her husband, Jonathan Nolan (Christopher Nolan's brother and co-writer of The Dark Knight Rises). She has previously worked as a writer/producer on such TV series as Pushing Daisies and Burn Notice.
There are multiple possibilities for which female character from the Spider-Man will be getting her own movie (Spider-Woman, Silver Sable, etc.), but Black Cat - the Catwoman of the Spider-Man universe, so to speak - seems like one of the stronger possibilities. For one, it was indicated that the character will be properly introduced in the Sinister Six film in a previously-released teaser from Sony (see above). Spider-Man movie franchise producer Matthew Tolmach has also hinted that the cinematic version of the Sinister Six will include a super-powered woman - we've already broken down why Black Cat would fit the bill nicely - and thus, Drew Goddard's villain teamup feature could easily setup that character to headline her own movie vehicle, thereafter.
Of course, there are other possibilities - like, if the Amazing Spider-Man film series continued to follow the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book continuity and introduced the Gwen Stacy/Carnage character. That might seem like a stretch, but it would allow for Emma Stone to return to the current Spider-Man cinematic universe - and, frankly, a superhero movie headlined by Stone would have little to no problem bringing in a sizable audience.
Still, if the rumored Venom movie title is accurate, then it sounds as though Carnage is going to be saved for that Spider-Man spinoff; meaning, the stronger possibility for the female superhero feature is Black Cat - maybe brought to life by Felicity Jones, who was introduced as "Felicia" in Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Admittedly, having Felicia Hardy featured as the protagonist in her own film wouldn't be a reversal of the comic book movie trend where confident super-powered woman start out as evil (before she becomes, well, something closer to a "hero") - but hey, we gotta begin somewhere, right? Indeed, if rumors are true, then we could get both a Wonder Woman solo film and a Spider-Man female superhero movie in 2017 - meaning, both studios could end up beating Marvel Studio to the punch.
Why is this important? Well, among other reasons, in order for the superhero genre to continue thriving, it will need to further diversify and mix things up - and thus, offering better representation for half of the human population is certainly an effective way of doing just that. Similarly, the upside of Amazing Spider-Man 2 not grossing as much as its predecessors is that it's led Sony to rethink how it goes about expanding its Spider-Man movie universe (see: not like Marvel Studios). Maybe other studios will be inclined to follow suit, moving forward.
We'll keep you posted on development of the Spider-Man female superhero movie and Venom. Meanwhile, Sinister Six remains set to hit theaters on November 11th, 2016, while The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will arrive sometime in 2018.