Sony is Planning Its Own ‘Avengers’-style Universe Based on Spider-Man, with Venom and Sinister Six Movies

Marvel made $1.5 billion on The Avengers, plus another $200-500 million every time they make a movie about a sub-Avenger (unless its Iron Man, who’s good for another billion). But before Marvel started producing movies themselves, a couple other studios licensed the rights to their characters, Fox for X-Men/Wolverine, and Sony with Spider-Man. Basically, everyone’s trying to duplicate The Avengers, and now Sony is making it official, trying to create a giant tie-in franchise out of Spider-Man. They’ve announced that they’re hiring a team of writers to form a “brain trust,” to create a “franchise brain to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.”

Ohhhh branding, synergy, buzzwords, disruptive ideation, so gooood… (*jerks off onto pile of trade show lanyards, passes out*)

…Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard [will] collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.

The five writers, along with the two producers and Marc Webb, have formed a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films. Under the deals, the studio announced that Kurtzman & Orci & Pinkner are writing the screenplay for The Amazing Spider Man 3, which the studio hopes Webb will return to direct; the film will go into production next fall for release on June 10, 2016.

In addition, the team will build on the cinematic foundation laid by Webb, Arad, and Tolmach in the first two movies. They will expand the franchise as Kurtzman & Orci & Solomon will write the screenplay for Venom, which Kurtzman will direct; also, Goddard will write, with an eye to direct, The Sinister Six, focusing on the villains in the franchise. Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor will oversee the development and production of these films for the studio. [press release]

The major difference between Marvel and Sony here seems to be that whereas The Avengers had Joss Whedon, who’s known for his intense personal attachment to his projects, sometimes to his detriment, Kurtzman and Orci are guys occasional capable of good work (the first Abrams Star Trek, Mission Impossible 3), but mostly known for being involved in every third movie that comes out, most of them crap (hell, they even produced The Proposal – as well as Ender’s Game, Now You See Me…).

Basically, when a massive, faceless corporation announces that it’s going to expand the comic book universe it has the rights to, because that’s the most logical, algorithm-driven decision with the best chance of maximizing profits, they usually want to tape a human face to the end of that tentacle, a la Joss Whedon for Marvel, or Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer for Warner Bros, who people feel comfortable giving their money to. Kurtzman and Orci just seem like guys attached to a million projects with no connection between them other than money. The most interesting thing about Orci was his wackadoo conspiracy nut Twitter account, and he deleted that.