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Last year, a rumor began to circulate that Spike Lee might direct a superhero movie in the form of a Nightwatch film that was part of Sony's Spider-Man universe. Now, that project appears to be moving forward. In addition to Spike Lee apparently being on board the project, it appears that the movie also has a new writer, in the form of Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker.
When the rumor of a Nightwatch movie first broke, Edward Ricourt, the writer of Now You See Me, was attached to pen the script. However, ThatHashtagShow is now reporting that the script currently being worked on will come from Cheo Hodari Coker rather than Ricourt. They also confirm that Spike Lee is on board as director.
At this point, the Nightwatch movie is still, officially, a rumor, as Sony has never confirmed that the project is happening, however, with the news that the film is actually changing writers, it would seem to be a pretty solid confirmation that the project is real, if still early in development.
Nightwatch is another part of Sony's superhero universe that is focusing on ancillary characters related to Spider-Man, though not, as far as we're aware, including the wall-crawler himself. Venom is coming out later this year starring Tom Hardy and a Silver and Black film, following Silver Sable and Black Cat, is also currently in the scriptwriting stage.
In the comics, Nightwatch is African-American superhero Kevin Trench who, one day, finds an older version of himself dead in an alley, and steals the technology-enhanced costume from, well, himself, and becomes the hero.
The addition of Cheo Hodari Coker to Nightwatch, it true, feels like a good move. Luke Cage was a fantastic superhero series that predated even Black Panther as a strong black hero, and the fact that Black Panther has now become a bonafide billion dollar franchise shows that the audience for this material is there in force. It won't be surprising if Sony is looking to fast-track Nightwatch now. While seeing it do as well as Black Panther would be a long shot, doing a fraction of that business would still make the movie a massive hit. The added pedigree of Spike Lee as director would only help.
The other thing that a Nightwatch movie confirms is that Sony is serious about building out the Spider-Man universe on the big screen. While it's still unclear how connected these movies will be to the Spider-Man of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it looks like they will go forward existing together. Nightwatch is far from the best-known character from those comics, which shows Sony is willing to dig deep to find characters they think will make for good movies.