Zoinks. With Marvel's "Avengers" franchises expanding, and "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" widening the X-universe over at Fox, it was only a matter of time before Sony looked at the world of "Spider-Man" and seized on a massive opportunity to
bombard us with brands and sequels tell new and exciting stories. Now, in one fell swoop, they've done changed the game, yo.
Sony's already got release dates for a second, third and fourth "Amazing Spider-Man" on the docket, but a press release located in elektroarrives.com revealed that two more projects confirmed include a "Venom" movie and "The Sinister Six." What's more is they've gotten a murderer's row of hitmakers onboard to execute this plan, naming Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon ("Men In Black") and Drew Goddard ("Cabin In The Woods") to what they're calling a "franchise brain trust" with director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Other heroes have writers. Spider-Man has a staff.
We already know what Kurtzman and Orci are doing, having been tapped to write the second and third 'Spider-Man' films (and presumably the fourth). Pinkner, a writer and producer on "Lost" and "Fringe," also carries a writing credit for the next couple of films too. Solomon, meanwhile, will team with Kurtzman and Orci to write "Venom," which will be directed by Kurtzman. "Venom" has been in development as a solo movie since the property was set up at New Line back in the early aughts, and the studio has been eager to get a re-introduction of the character onscreen since Topher Grace played the bruising monster in "Spider-Man 3" (which now seems like eons ago). Back in 2012, Josh Trank was handed the directing for the movie, but seeing as how he's tied up with "Fantastic Four" over at rivals Fox, Sony likely wanted to get things moving with someone invested in their inhouse development of the franchise, so Kurtzman kind of makes perfect sense to take over.
Goddard, who is running Marvel's Netflix "Daredevil" series, will be given sole authorship (if such a thing exists in this arrangement) on "The Sinister Six," and according to the press release the director's chair is his if he'll have it. While Venom has been something of an antihero in the comics, and the Venom symbiote has passed on to many owners making possibilities fairly limitless, a film about the Sinister Six would focus primarily on villains, a first for this genre. Webb has already teased a "team dynamic" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" seems to spotlight villains Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), with the tease of the Vulture's wings and Doctor Octopus' tentacles in the background of a recent trailer. Perhaps Sarah Gadon and Felicity Jones figure into that lineup given their "mystery" roles thus far. Not to mention Chris Cooper's Norman Osborne, Rhys Ifans' still-alive Lizard, and whomever that was teleporting in the post-credits sequence of the last film.
While the "Spider-Man" comics have a long history of varied, exciting adventures, it's unclear how a whole movie of villains is going to work. Even in the original medium, when the primary focus is on supervillains, it tends to be jokey in nature, a la the recent "The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man" comic. Frankly, Venom also isn't much of a character, something Sam Raimi fully knew when he tackled "Spider-Man 3." Given that Kutzman previously directed the disastrous "People Like Us," this "Venom" movie is immediately less promising that Goddard tackling the cream of the crop in Spider-Man baddies.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" opens May 2nd, 2014. Here are a couple new pics.