After becoming one of the biggest comic book adaptations of all time, Sony’s initial Spider-Man trilogy left the studio in a precarious position, between the tepid response to Spider-Man 3 and rising costs required to make Spider-Man 4. The studio opened to reboot the series in 2012 with The Amazing Spider-Man, a film that aimed to offer a fresh take on everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spidey.
Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel, Amazing Spider-Man 2, attempted to set up a whole slew of spinoff movies, ranging from Sinister Six to Venom - and, if you believe the rumors, maybe even an Aunt May-centric film. All these installments, of course, were put on hold once the lukewarm response to Amazing Spider-Man 2 helped to encourage Sony to partner with Marvel Studios and develop a new version of Peter Parker who would be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Still, are any of those Spider-Man spinoff films still on the creative docket at Sony? A Venom movie is reportedly still in the works, but that begs another question: will Marvel Studios and/or the MCU have anything to do with these spinoffs? Collider recently got the chance to ask Tom Rothman, the Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, about when we might get some definitive answers to these questions - and the response the site got was intriguing, to say the least: we will receive “real news as opposed to speculative news before too long.”
Sony’s perpetual dilemma with the Spider-Man series seems to still be in full effect here. Obviously, such characters as Doc Ock, Lizard, and Venom are too potentially worthwhile to keep indefinitely sidelined; and should Marvel continue to find more and more success with its current version of Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland and introduced in this past summer’s Captain America: Civil War), the incentive for Sony to open up its cinematic vaults and start ramping up more productions will become too great for it to resist.
Then again, without the creative guidance from the brain trust at Marvel Studios, Spider-Man spinoff films start to sound less enticing. That isn’t even considering the consequences of not keeping those spinoffs as part of the MCU; there will be less incentive for MCU fans to check out those spinoffs if they don’t maintain continuity with Holland’s Peter Parker or the Avengers team that he’s soon to be part of. That would put the Spider-Man spinoff films in competition with the MCU, rather than making them part of the same meta-franchise.
At this stage, however, it remains to be seen how exactly Sony goes about creating Spider-Man movie spinoffs - to paraphrase Rothman, there's no "real news" on the matter (like, the spinoffs' MCU connections or lack thereof) right now. In the meantime, Sony and Marvel Studios have such upcoming projects as the solo film for Holland's Peter Parker, Spider-Man: Homecoming, to keep the many Spidey fans out there happy.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet-untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.