Fans have known for quite a while that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was intended to launch an expanded universe for the character, leading to spinoffs centered on both the Sinister Six and Venom as well as more Spidey-centric sequels. However, now that the webslinger's sequel failed to live up to expectations, amid largely negative reception and disappointing box office returns, the future of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise remains in question.
Sinister Six is the next project on the franchise's radar, but at the moment, it is unclear how much or little Spider-Man himself will even appear in the film. Since enthusiasm for the franchise appears to be on the wane, Sony's best chance to reinvigorate the brand could be by shifting sole focus to other beloved characters in that world, namely the popular antihero known as Venom.
MTV News recently caught up with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer/producer Alex Kurtzman, who is tentatively set to co-write and direct the Venom film. Here's what he had to say about how that Spider-Man spinoff will differ from the franchise's titular hero:
"The idea is that you can do things with Venom that you can’t do with Spider-Man. Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed. He’s a much darker character."
Word that a film about Venom will be "darker" than previous entries in the franchise is hardly a surprise to fans of the comics. The character was always meant to represent the dark side of Peter Parker's alter-ego, even in his ill-fated appearance in Spider-Man 3 back in 2007. However, it's likely that - for the long-term sake of the franchise - Venom will ultimately be somewhat redeemed of his villainous ways and enter an unsteady alliance with Spider-Man, essentially fulfilling a morally complex role similar to Loki's place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Despite the rough patch that the Spider-Man franchise finds itself in, Kurtzman believes that the character's longer history on the big screen, albeit in two different iterations, bodes well for his chances at earning back audience goodwill.
"You know, Spider-Man has the benefit of having so many more movies than even some of the movies that have 2′s and 3′s in front of them from Marvel. I think as long as it keeps staying true to character, and true to who Peter is, and putting him in interesting and complicated situations, it’ll survive. Because it’s so beloved – everybody loves Spider-Man."
It's reassuring to hear that Kurtzman - an integral part of the creative team behind the future of the franchise - has such faith in the character's future, despite the fact that his frequent collaborator (and fellow Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer/producer) Roberto Orci has his own doubts about what the future holds. Only time will tell if Sony will manage to spin the disappointment of this latest film into more promising installments.
Sinister Six is set to hit theaters on November 11, 2016, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 sometime in 2018. No official release dates have been announced for the announced Spider-Man female superhero movie and Venom. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates.