In case you haven't noticed, Hollywood is loving blockbusters at the moment. Superheroes, TV shows turned movies, remakes, fairytales—if you've got an idea, they'll listen, and if it's pre-packaged as a possibility to become a series, hell, that's even better. So, is it any wonder that Sony wants to exploit any Marvel properties they currently have the film rights to?
This shocking development was confirmed by Sony in a Q&A with investors today. “We do very much have the ambition about creating a bigger universe around Spider-Man. There are a number of scripts in the works,” Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton said. And again, this isn't exactly Earth-shaking news. There is already a "Venom" movie in the works with Josh Trank attached (though obviously, his first priority is "Fantastic Four" over at Fox), and with Sinister Six already teased pretty heavily and countless other Spidey characters from the canon to tackle, it's clear the studio is looking at the Marvel model...
...which raises a rather fascinating point by Deadline who note, "Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009, owns merchandising rights to Spider-Man and those related characters, so any further exploitation would have to involve Disney." In short? Even if Sony can make the movies, Marvel is going to get all the juicier (and arguably more lucrative) money when it comes to selling toys and games, which Disney are pros at.
It's an interesting position for a Sony to be in, and they already realize they have to be smart with their spend. CFO David Hendler (via THR) promises "more aggressive profit thresholds" and a "methodical examination of every line item" in addition to "further reductions in theatrical marketing." Basically every dollar spent is going to be scrutinized, and should you cost them money, they will "penalize talent for budget overruns." Damn.
It's a very tricky, but also potentially hugely profitable game. And if you have any doubt about Sony's followthrough, just remember they have "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" landing on May 2, 2014 with sequels every two year, with dates set for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" on June 10, 2016 and "The Amazing Spider-Man 4" on May 4, 2018.