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When Spider-Man joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe earlier this year, the deal cancelled Sony's plans for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 - but interestingly it only managed to delay the Sinister Six film that was announced as being in development. Many fans have wondered how this could be, as the script was written for Andrew Garfield's version of the wall-crawler, but now screenwriter Drew Goddard has explained the situation: the story was always intended to have the character step out of his own life and in to a separate adventure.
Goddard has been doing a lot of interviews recently in promotion of The Martian (which he also wrote), and it was while talking with io9 that the filmmaker discussed the functionality of his Sinister Six movie - both how it would have operated, and how it still could operate. Explaining his personal vision for the film, he said,
My vision of that movie was a summer annual. So you didn’t have to worry about continuity. It was just, ‘We take Peter, put him on an adventure, we put him back in his life.’ I intentionally wanted a movie that didn’t have to worry about mythology and continuity. It was important to me to make a movie that could stand on its own. So the good news is it slots in very well to any plan anybody ever wants. We just need to let a couple years go by, I think.
What may strike some fans as odd about this quote is that it runs in contrast to things we've previously heard about the direction of the Sinister Six movie. About a year ago - when The Amazing Spider-Man franchise was still a thing - star Andrew Garfield was quoted saying that Spidey's role in the future blockbuster is "kind of immaterial." This led fans to believe that the villains would be the stars of the show in Sinister Six, but apparently that's not the case. Said Goddard,
It was a Spider-Man movie. It was the giant, epic Spider-Man movie of my dreams.
For those unfamiliar with the comics, the Sinister Six is a group of villains featuring six of Spider-Man's greatest foes, all of whom come together for a plan to destroy their web-slinging nemesis. The roster has changed many, many times over the years, but the first incarnation included Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven The Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman, and Vulture. It was never officially revealed what the team would have been in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, but there is evidence out there to suggest that the unit would have included Green Goblin, Kraven, Mysterio, Vulture, and Doctor Octopus (the sixth spot potentially belonging to Rhino, Electro, or even potentially The Lizard).
Hopefully we'll get to see Drew Goddard's Sinister Six movie some day - but it doesn't sound like it's happening any time soon.