A new set of Sony files was posted online by hackers over the weekend. Among corporate planning documents and accounting spreadsheets is something pretty amusing — a series of internal memos and spreadsheets reveal prolonged negotiations between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Comics over the rights for hundreds of different superhero characters in the Spider-Man franchise.
Marvel Comics owns the rights to the fictional characters in the Spider-Man comic books, but can sell the film rights to various studios.
From the list below, you can see that Sony wanted some characters, while others were flat-out rejected. We pulled out some of the best:
Santa Claus Burglar
This character appeared in a single Spider-Man comic in the mid-1980s. He was a burglar who disguised himself as Santa Claus and convinced children to tell him where they lived. He was defeated by actual Santa Claus.
Sony really wanted the rights to Santa Claus Burglar. His name appears on a 2011 internal document titled “Disputed characters list.”
Bag-Man, The a.k.a. The Amazing Bag-Man, a.k.a. The Bombastic Bag-Man
Bag-Man was just Spider-Man with a bag over his head. The character has been “frozen,” meaning Bag-Man won’t be getting his own movie any time soon.
Xandu the Unspeakable
This character is an elderly man with a moustache who wears a cape and possesses “hypnotic eyes.”
Thermo the Thermatronic Man a.k.a The Street Stalker
Thermo is a 1980s Spider-Man character who could shoot lasers from his hands and convinced a cult to worship him as a god.
Hypno-Hustler and the Mercy Killers
The Hypno-Hustler was a funk musician who used his magic goggles to place his audience in a trance and hand over their valuables. His equipment includes a magic guitar, platform boots with retractable knives, and magic headphones that protect him from his own music.
Spider-Ham a.k.a Peter Porker
Amazingly, this parody character had a 17-issue run of its comic book series. Spider-Ham was a pig version of Spider-Man who possessed the abilities of a spider. Marvel informed Sony in 2011 that the character had been frozen.
The Black Abbot
This character is a 1980s villain who owned a jet-craft, a hooded robe, and could shoot energy beams from his hands that turned people to ash.
Sony didn’t want this character at all. An internal document reads “We don’t care about this character.”
This Marvel character is a spoof of James Bond who works for British intelligence agency MI5. He’s also secretly employed by the villainous Roxxon Oil Company. Sony isn’t a fan of the joke character, he’s on their “Don’t want” list.
One of the most bizarre characters on Sony’s list, Mother Inferior is a morbidly obese woman who controls an army of rats and cockroaches from her basement lair underneath a luxury hotel. She’s also unable to speak, only able to shout out “Skree” to control her rat army. Sony decided against negotiating with Marvel for the rights to Mother Inferior, one document says “Recommend letting this one go.”
Tordenkakerlakk a.k.a. The Thunder Cockroach
Tordenkakerlakk is a magic space cockroach that Spider-Man was unable to defeat, so he feigned injury to get someone else to do it.