When it comes to making comic book movies nowadays, the mantra for just about every studio out there is "be like Marvel." The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which ties together multiple superhero franchises into one large world, has been a revolutionary creation in blockbuster filmmaking, and as a result we will soon see Batman and Superman teaming up for the first time in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel, and eventually have both the X-Men and the Fantastic Four co-existing. This process is a bit trickier for Sony Pictures, as the studio currently only owns the rights to the characters directly related to Spider-Man, but today proves that they are doing what they can.
The studio has issued a press release announcing that they have brought together a five-man screenwriting team that will expand the Spider-Man Cinematic Universe and will result in films about both The Sinister Six and the fan-favorite villain/anti-hero Venom. In addition to Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who first worked with the superhero writing the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the studio has also worked out deals with Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon and Drew Goddard. Pinkner is best known for his work on shows like Lost, Fringe and Alias; Solomon's most recent credit was the magician action flick Now You See Me; and Goddard is best known for his collaborations with Joss Whedon - which includes the film The Cabin in the Woods. Together they will create "a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films."
Kurtzman, Orci and Pickner are all going to be working together to write the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 3, and right now the studio hopes that Marc Webb will return to complete the trilogy as a director. Then Kurtzman, Orci and Solomon will be getting to work on a solo Venom movie that Kurtzman will direct as his sophomore effort (his first being the family drama People Like Us). Goddard will be the man directly responsible for The Sinister Six, and in addition to writing the script the studio is also considering him as the director.
What makes this news extra interesting is how it overlaps personnel from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last month it was announced that Goddard will be serving as the showrunner for Marvel Studios' upcoming Daredevil television series that will be a part of the studio's deal with Netflix. That deal likely won't fall apart, as it's directly mentioned in Sony's press release. I suppose the studio recognized his wealth of comic book knowledge and wanted him to play for their team as well.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which already has a release date of June 10, 2016, is going to go into production next fall, but how the schedule will play out for Venom and The Sinister Six seems to be a bit up in the air. It's also hard to say what this means for The Amazing Spider-Man 4, which was announced back in June for a May 4, 2018 release date.
Until we learn more about Sony's exact plans for the Spider-Man universe... how are you feeling about this new development? Are you confident in the writers that have been hired? Are you excited by the idea of Venom and Sinister Six movies? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.