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Back in the Amazing Spider-Man film series days, Sony Pictures was planning on building its own Spider-Man cinematic universe, but due to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underperforming, those plans were tossed aside once that franchise was cancelled. Sony and Marvel subsequently teamed up to bring the Web-Slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and now Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is an important player in that ever-expanding world. In the years since, Sony has looked to have its cake and eat it too, because the studio is building a universe filled with characters from the Spider-Man mythology, but without Web-Head’s involvement (at least for now). It’s called the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters… seriously.
With Venom having kicked this franchise off off, other Spider-Man spinoffs have been officially revealed or reported on, and while it remains to be seen how connected these movies will be to one another, clearly Sony wants in on the superhero franchise game by itself. With that in mind, let’s go over all the Sony Spidey-related movies in the works. Full disclosure, we’re not including any Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-related movies. This list is reserved for live action projects.
Similar to Venom, Morbius the Living Vampire started out as a monstrous Spider-Man foe (albeit one more sympathetic) and morphed into an anti-hero. Born with a rare blood condition, biologist Michael Morbius tried to cure himself of his condition, but instead he became afflicted with “pseudo-vampirism.” Although he now boasted powers like super strength, enhanced speed, flight, hypnotism and accelerated healing, like a “regular” vampire, Morbius needed to invest blood on a regular basis to survive, which usually kills or severely injures his victims.
Jared Leto is bringing Morbius’ eponymous character to life, and the movie, which is directed by Life’s Daniel Espinosa, will see him clashing with Matt Smith’s Loxias Crown and being tracked down by Tyrese Gibson’s Simon Stroud, among others things. The first Morbius trailer also seemingly indicated that that the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters exists within the same continuity as the MCU, but that has yet to be officially confirmed. Previously slated for July 31, 2020, Morbius is now coming out on March 19, 2021.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
While it didn’t earn the warmest critical reception, Venom was a commercial powerhouse, so it’s unsurprising that Sony gave the green light to a sequel a few months after the movie’s release. As is so clearly indicated in the title, Venom: Let There Be Carnage will see Eddie Brock and his symbiote fighting Carnage, a.k.a. Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrleson. We met Harrelson’s Cletus in the Venom mid-credits scene, where he promised Eddie that when he escaped from prison, there’d be carnage. What an on-the-nose promise.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage will also introduce Shriek (played by Naomie Harris), Carnage’s love interest from the comics, although it remains to be seen if she’ll have her traditional sonic powers or be turned into another symbiote-powered character. Behind the scenes, Andy Serkis, whose other comic book movie credits include Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther and the upcoming The Batman, took over directing duties from Ruben Fleischer. Like Morbius, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see Let There Be Carnage, as it was moved from October 2, 2020 to June 25, 2021.
Introduced in 1993’s Web of Spider-Man #99, Dr. Kevin Trench was shocked one night to see a costumed man being killed while fighting some terrorists. What was even weirder, this man was an older version of Kevin. Taking the costume and futuristic technology his older self had used, Kevin tried to prevent his future death, but eventually he let destiny take its course so that a worse timeline wouldn’t come to pass.
Several years ago, the She-Hulk series retconned Nightwatch’s history and revealed that Kevin Trench had actually been Nighteater, a super villain who used magic to make everyone believe he’d been a superhero for years, but I doubt that the Nightwatch movie will incorporate those details, instead focusing on the original premise. There’s no word yet on when Nightwatch will come out, but at one time Spike Lee was eyed to direct, and it was reported in 2018 that Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker was working on the script.
Cindy Moon, a.k.a. Silk, is the newcomer of this bunch, having only been around since 2014. That said, in the comics, she shares a unique connection with Peter Parker, as she was bitten by the same radioactive spider that bit Peter. As a result, she gained similar spider-abilities; she’s not quite as strong as Peter, but she is faster and has a stronger Spider-sense. Cindy can also shoot webbing out of her finger tips. Cindy was trapped in a bunker for years, and while performing her superhero duties, she’s been readjusting to everyday life, something that would be interesting to explore in a movie centered on her.
Silk has established a solid reputation as a superhero on the printed page, and since Cindy as a civilian is only a minor character in the MCU Spider-Man films, this movie is a good opportunity to spotlight her as a crimefighter. If Spider-Man does in fact not exist in this world, then she could fill his spot as the arachnid-themed crimefighter who deals with all the colorful villains and anti-heroes causing trouble.
The original Madame Web, real name Cassandra Webb, is a blind and paralyzed mutant who has abilities like telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition. Cassandra’s poor health required her to be hooked up to a life support system that included a series of tubes that resembled a spider’s web, so the moniker works two ways! Over the years, she provided assistance to Spider-Man, but due to her condition, she wasn’t able to actively fight crime. Cassandra was eventually killed, but she managed to pass on her blindness and precognition to Julia Carpenter, who had previously been the second Spider-Woman and second Arachne.
It was announced in September 2019 that a Madame Web movie was in the works, and in May 2020, it was reported that S.J. Clarkson was being lined up to direct a “female-centric movie” for the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters that might possibly be Madame Web. Assuming the project gets the green light, it’s unclear if Cassandra Webb or Julia Carpenter would be the lead character, although if Sony is looking for the Madame Web movie to be action-packed, I suspect Julia stands the better chance of being picked.
There are two women who’ve held the Jackpot identity in the comics. The first, Sara Ehret, was a pregnant scientist who was exposed to a virus called Lot 77 and rendered comatose. After awakening months later and safely delivering her child, Sara discovered she had gained super strength, and she decided to be a superhero. Eventually though, she realized that she wanted to return to a normal life, so she sold the Jackpot identity to Alana Jobson, who derived her powers from an assortment of enhancement drugs. Alana later died as a result of battle, and Sara resumed being Jackpot.
The Arrowverse’s Marc Guggenheim is writing a Jackpot script, and it sounds like it will center on Sara Ehret since Deadline said the feature is about a “crime fighting mom from the comics.” Guggenheim has written some of Jackpot’s printed page appearances, so that combined with his vast superhero media experience ideally means he’ll be able to churn out a quality product that introduces this character to a lot of people.
Kraven The Hunter
Sergei Kravinoff, a.k.a. Kraven the Hunter, is one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes, debuting in 1964’s The Amazing Spider-Man #15. Known as a big game hunter who prefers to kill his prey with his bare hands, Krave decides to target Spider-Man to prove he’s the best hunter in the world. He subsequently ingests a mystical serum to enhance his natural abilities and slow his aging, making him a much worthier opponent for the Web-Slinger. He even came legitimately close to eliminating Spidey in the storyline “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” and many of his children have followed in his villainous footsteps.
Kraven the Hunter is one of the few main Spider-Man villains who still hasn’t been given the cinematic treatment yet. While some fans are hoping he’s chosen to be the main antagonist in the third Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movie, there’s a solo Kraven movie in development being written by Richard Wenk, with Antoine Fuqua being eyed to direct at one point. Went said back in October 2018 that Kraven will clash with Spider-Man in his movie, so either way, it looks like a Kraven vs. Spidey confrontation finally stands a good chance of happening on the big screen.
Back when Sony was planning to build a cinematic universe revolving around the Amazing Spider-Man film series, Sinister Six was intended to be one of the anchoring features. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 laid the groundwork for the supervillain team to form, as in addition to Rhino, Electro and Green Goblin being featured in the movie, there were also teases for Vulture, Doctor Octopus and more. Oddly enough, Sinister Six wouldn’t have focused on its members trying to eliminate Spider-Man. Instead, it was described as as a redemption story that either would have featured the Wall-Crawler in a minor role or not included him at all.
While Sony has now gone in a different direction with its universe of Spider-Man characters, evidently the studio is not only still interested in using Drew Goddard’s script somewhere down the line, it’d be up for him directing too. Should that happen, it’ll be interesting to see how many changes are made in order to make Sinister Six fit within the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, particularly if folks like Venom or Morbius are thrown into the proceedings. Let’s also not forget that even if the Sinister Six movie doesn’t move forward, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies have introduced a handful of villains who could make up a Sinister Six in the MCU. In other words, there’d still be a shot at seeing the team in live action.