Roughly two months ago, it was announced that Sony had pulled ‘Silver & Black’ from their release schedule. This movie would have featured Spider-Man supporting characters Silver Sable and Black Cat and was to be directed by Gina Prince-Bythwood with a script by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. This was following Sony pushing back ‘Silver & Black”s release “indefinitely” in February, because of the script which was apparently lacking. Now comes word that ‘Silver & Black’ has been scrapped altogether! Instead, Sony is prepared to give the two lead characters their own movies. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Sony’s plans for the Spider-Brand.
Columbia Pictures’ president Sanford Panitch stated:
“We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film.”
As you may have guessed, a ‘Black Cat’ movie will probably arrive first, with ‘Silver Sable’ slated for later.
These two movies will be part of what Sony is referring to as “Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, or SUMC.” This initiative kicks off with ‘Venom’ which opens on October 5th and at this point, we already know that Sony is working on movies for ‘Kraven the Hunter’, ‘Morbius the Living Vampire’ and ‘Nightwatch’. A movie based on ‘Silk’ was previously announced but was believed to be part of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it was expected to showcase Tiffany Espensen’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ character Cindy. ‘Homecoming’ was set within the Marvel cinematic universe, so logically, that would mean that Cindy’s further exploits would as well. But as of right now, it seems that ‘Silk’ will not actually be set in the MCU, but in the SUMC, so it may not even star Espensen.
Another movie, based on ‘Jackpot’ was also mentioned. Previously, Jackpot was announced as being part of an all-female team that Sony expected to bring to the big screen, with Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Stunner and Dusk. (No, other than Spider-Woman, I’ve never heard of any of them either.)
Sony apparently holds the film rights to 900 characters as part of its ‘Spider-Man’ deal. So… out of 900 characters, they seem to think Jackpot and Nightwatch were the most bankable and worthy to star in their own movies.
Prince-Bythewood is expected to depart since her project ‘Silver & Black’ is being scrapped, but Sony would like her to direct another of their comic book movies. The studio is also adamant that whoever winds up directing ‘Black Cat’ or ‘Silver Sable’ is female.
According to Panitch:
“Spider-Man connects to a lot of the characters. There are villains, heroes, and antiheroes, and a lot are female characters, many of whom are bona fide, fully dimensionalized, and utterly unique… We feel there’s no reason the Marvel characters shouldn’t be able to embrace diversity.”
Unlike Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers’ DC film universe, there is not one person overseeing Sony’s Spider-Man spin-offs (if you can even call them that). ‘Venom’ was expected to be rated R, but with Sony’s plans to expand this brand, it is now believed to be edited down to PG-13.
You may recall that Sony had plans for a Spidey-based universe of movies back before ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ came out. ‘Venom’ was planned, along with ‘Sinister Six’ a heist movie starring some of Spider-Man’s worst villains and an undisclosed female-fronted picture. After ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ opened to weak reviews and general apathy on the part of ticket buyers, those plans were scuttled and Sony struck a deal with Disney to integrate a new Spider-Man into their existing Marvel Universe. But with ‘Homecoming”s success, it seems that Sony is once more banking on Spidey’s supporting cast… even if Peter Parker doesn’t appear in these films.
Keep in mind, Black Cat is basically Marvel’s rip-off of Catwoman and Catwoman had her own movie that tanked. And everyone knows who Catwoman is. Does anyone really want to see a movie about Black Cat? I’m not psychic, but I expect ‘Venom’ to flop hard. If that happens, I would expect to see Sony abandon plans for a ‘Kraven the Hunter’ movie pretty quickly.
But maybe that’s just me. Out of 900 characters, are there any ‘Spider-Man’ supporting cast members that you think should headline their own movies?
‘Venom’ opens on October 5, 2018.