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Disney and Sony may have recently made nice by collaborating on Tom Holland's Spider-Man franchise, but the studio is finally starting to make big moves with their Marvel licensing rights. As their first Spider-Verse entry, Venom approaches release in October, Sony has decided to split their previous team-up project between characters Silver Sable and Black Cat. Silver And Black has been split into two solo films for each of the characters instead. The studio decided on the shake-up because they want to explore Black Cat as a standalone character. While the idea of a Spider-Verse without the sure presence of Spider-Man on the roster has been met with eye-brow raises in the past, this growing list of female-driven heroines might just make up for it.
Sony announced this rework to Variety, with the reported new plans allowing optimum time to tell Black Cat's backstory-- who is a skilled cat burglar. Silver Sable is a mercenary, hunter of war criminals and leader of the Wild Pack. Silver and Black has seen its share of setbacks, so the cancellation isn't a big surprise. The film was originally set to release in February 2019 before it was pushed back, reportedly due to script writing issues, with it reportedly beginning production in 2019 instead. Silver and Black previously had Gina Prince-Bythewood onboard as writer and director, while it's now unclear what her role will be, the studio showed interest in working with her on the project in some capacity. Either way, Sony is still opting for a female director for both projects, in a push for female-centered and produced projects. Writers Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were also attached to Silver and Black before the project was scrapped.
Sony's decision to start focusing their own Spider-Verse on female characters might come at Disney's deficit of solo films starring women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The blockbuster franchise has been racking up one success after the next for the past decade, but we have yet to see a female lead franchise until the eventual release of Captain Marvel in 2019. Warner Bros. was the first studio to let a female comic book hero shine when Wonder Woman and director Patty Jenkins broke records and made history. Movies for Black Cat and Silver Sable aren't the only characters in development by Sony, a Silk spin-off is also in the works too.
After Venom releases on October 5, Sony will end the year out with the animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which marks the first on-screen appearance of Miles Morales. Sony may not be the only studio with rights to Marvel characters, but they are starting to find a unique place back into the comic book movie world. Silver And Black may be a no-go but it's the studio's decision to take their time with each character is an exciting one.