We've heard over and over now that Sony is planning to expand the “world of Spider-Man,” and it seems to me to be one of the riskiest plans any studio in Hollywood has at the moment.
Sure, it sounds like a safe bet at first. After all, it's Spider-Man. He was one of the first of the true blockbuster superheroes of the modern age of superhero movies, and the reboot a few years ago went about as well as Sony could have hoped. They are notably light on homegrown franchises at Sony, so they're looking to make the most of Spider-Man while they can. The problem is that they may well be pushing the property to the breaking point in the process.
I think Drew Goddard is a tremendous choice for pretty much anything. The guy's a damn fine writer, and “Cabin In The Woods” is a film that I have enjoyed more each time I've seen it. There is something really interesting in a playful sort of way about trying to build a big giant movie around nothing but super-powered bad guys, and if they're not actually fighting Spider-Man, I'm not sure what “The Sinister Six” is going to be about. That's not necessarily a bad thing. We're at the point with these movies where filmmakers are going to have to start shattering formula and trying new things if they want to keep the films fresh and if they want to keep surprising audiences.
The real question is just how much they can squeeze out of Spider-Man's supporting cast without including Spider-Man in all of the films. Alex Kurtzman is working on a stand-alone “Venom” movie, and I can see how that might appeal to the kids who grew up seeing Venom as one of the greatest comic book villains. As with The Sinister Six, I still wonder how they're going to tell an entire story about that character without bringing Spider-Man into it. The whole point of these spin-off movies would seem to be keeping the series an active concern while giving the actor playing Spider-Man some time between shoots.
Goddard's got his “Daredevil” series for Netflix to tackle first, and I'm excited to see how he approaches that character. The idea that Sony wants him to direct “The Sinister Six” must mean that theyliked what he turned in as a script. I'd love to know what his line-up for The Sinister Six is going to be. We can assume Doctor Octopus and the Vulture will be part of it after seeing the hints dropped about them in the trailers for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” and if Electro and the Rhino both survive this film, chances are they'll end up being part of the group as well. Will they finally give us a Kraven The Hunter story in either “The Amazing Spider-Man 3,” or will they introduce Mysterio? The Lizard is gone, presumably for good, and the fate of The Green Goblin after this new film is still a mystery as well. They've certainly dropped enough bread crumbs for Goddard to pick up and follow in his movie.
I guess time will tell as we see whether or not Sony decides to push forward with what sounds like a veritable flood of Spider-Man related material.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is in theaters May 2, 2014.
“The Amazing Spider-Man 3” is in theaters June 10, 2016.