- Sony is the only studio besides Disney to own film rights to Marvel characters.
- A deal between Sony and Disney over future Spider-Man movie appearances fell apart this week, and unless something changes, Marvel Studios will not be involved in future “Spider-Man” movies.
- Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins told Variety in March that Sony has “the next seven or eight years laid out” for its Marvel universe.
- The franchise found new life last year with the success of “Venom,” which grossed $US855 million worldwide.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Sony is the only movie studio besides Disney that owns film rights to Marvel characters, and it’s taking a stand.
A deal between Sony and Disney about Spider-Man’s future movie appearances has fallen apart, and unless something changes,Marvel Studios will not be involved in future “Spider-Man” movies. Sony blamed Disney in a statement on Tuesday, saying that it was the Mouse House’s decision for Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to not be involved in future “Spider-Man” movies.
Disney, which owns Marvel, absorbed Fox in a merger this year, and now owns the film rights to former Fox-owned Marvel characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel Comics characters, and was basically lending the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe while retaining distribution rights.
Disney wanted a 50/50 cofinancing stake in future “Spider-Man” movies, but Sony’s “Spider-Man” franchise is its most lucrative, and it didn’t budge on its current deal. Sam Raimi’s original trilogy alone made $US2.5 billion worldwide, before being adjusted for inflation.
But a few years ago, Sony’s Marvel universe was on life support.
2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was expected to launch a connected universe of movies similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, it was a critical and box-office disappointment. The following year, Sony struck the deal with Marvel Studios.
“Venom” breathed new life into what the studio calls the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters. It was one of the highest-grossing movies of 2018, raking in $US855 million worldwide despite poor reviews from film critics. Now, Sony is going full speed ahead with the “SUMC,” and Spider-Man himself could be a big part of that unless a deal is made with Disney.
Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins told Variety in March that Sony has “the next seven or eight years laid out” for the franchise. That could include TV shows, as well.
What could the next seven or eight years look like for Sony’s Marvel movies? The studio has several projects in development, and more that were thought dead that could be resurrected.
Below are all of Sony’s Marvel movies currently in the works:
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” sequels
Deadline reported this week that Sony is still hoping that “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Far From Home” star Tom Holland and director Jon Watts return for two more movies, even if Marvel Studios isn’t involved.
If a deal isn’t hashed out, no MCU characters would appear in the movies. But “Far From Home” has grossed over $US1 billion and ended on a massive cliffhanger, so Sony will likely want to fast track a sequel.
After “Venom” made $US855 million, a sequel was inevitable. The movie will likely be released in October 2020, as Sony has two 2020 release dates set for Marvel movies, the other being “Morbius” in July. Andy Serkis announced that he will direct the movie earlier this month.
“It’s actually happening,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I’m ready for the ride…Can’t wait!”
“Morbius,” based on the vampire Spider-Man villain of the same name, is set for a July 2020 release. Jared Leto will play the title character, and posted the first image from the set on his Instagram earlier this year. It’s directed by Daniel Espinosa, director of “Safe House” and “Life.”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” sequel and spin-off
“Into the Spider-Verse”grossed $US368 million worldwide and won this year’s best animated feature Oscar, beating out Disney’s “Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” So of course there will be more. The Hollywood Reporter reported last year that Sony is developing not only a sequel to the movie, but an all-female spin-off, too.
“Kraven the Hunter”
“The Equaliser 2” writer Richard Wenk is writing the script for a Kraven the Hunter movie. Kraven is another popular villain to Spider-Man, who Wenk has teased that he wants to include in the movie.
“Black Cat” and “Silver Sable”
Sony was originally developing “Silver and Black,” which would star both the mercenary Silver Sable and the burglar and frequent Spider-Man love interest, Black Cat. But that plan has been scrapped in favour of separate solo movies for the characters, with “Black Cat” likely coming first.
“We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film,” Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch told Variety last year.
“Silk,” “Jackpot,” and “Nightwatch”
Sony is developing movies based on lesser-known Marvel characters Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch, and was looking for writers last summer, according to Variety.
Introduced in 2014, Korean-American superhero Silk is relatively new to Marvel Comics. She has a similar origin story and powers as Spider-Man, and also gained her abilities through a radioactive spider bite.
Jackpot first appeared in 2007. The first version of the character was a government-registered superhero as part of the “Initiative” program following Marvel Comics’ “Civil War” mini-series.
Nightwatch first appeared in 1993, but his origin has been retold throughout his comics history. When first introduced, Kevin Trench finds a dead version of himself from the future, and takes up the costumed identity of his future self.
Drew Goddard, director of “The Cabin in the Woods,” was attached to direct a “Sinister Six” movie that “Amazing Spider-Man 2” attempted to establish. In the comics, the Sinister Six is a team of some of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes. The movie has been in limbo, but Spider-Man franchise producer Amy Pascal still has hope.
“I’m just waiting for Drew to be ready to direct it,” Pascal told Vanity Fair in December. “I would do anything with Drew Goddard. I’m just waiting for him to tell me he wants to.”
- Read more of Business Insider’s coverage of the Sony/Disney Spider-Man deal
- Sony blamed Disney for the ‘Spider-Man’ deal falling apart and said it hoped ‘this might change in the future’
- Spider-Man’s movie adventures have been a headache for Sony for over a decade, but the character is too valuable to compromise on
- ‘Spider-Man’ movies can still thrive without Disney and Marvel Studios