Disney may own the big names of Marvel’s cinematic universe, but Sony has a whole arsenal of characters from the Spider-Man comics and a line-up of upcoming movies in which to show them off. While only Venom has a confirmed release date, the other film projects are gaining traction with casting and production news. The web of interconnected movies is growing.
A recent Variety exclusive clarified what Sony is planning to do with its universe of Marvel characters, who, aside from Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, are unaffiliated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are nine projects in the works, ranging from the well-known Venom and Black Cat to the more obscure Jackpot and Morbius the Living Vampire. (The upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is considered its own entity, separate from the MCU and Sony’s expanded Spider-Verse.)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is finishing up it’s Phase Three with Captain Marvel and the untitled fourth Avengers film before sliding into Phase 4’s Spider-Man: Far From Home and the theoretical third Guardians movie. Meanwhile, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has an ambitious lineup of 22 movies in various stages of production. Sony currently has nine slated for production, and if any of them come to fruition, it would realize a dream Sony’s had for more than a decade. Here’s what we know so far:
Venom deviates from the generally goofy and heartwarming Spider-Man: Homecoming. The upcoming film stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a journalist who ends up bound to an alien symbiote that gives him not only incredible superpowers and a giant tongue, but also a terrifying alter-ego: Venom.
While Venom is part of the Spider-Verse, it’s still not certain whether Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will appear in the film. Venom also stars Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake, the leader of the Life Foundation that’s leading the charge on symbiote experimentation, and Michelle Williams as Anne Weying, a district attorney and Eddie’s girlfriend. In a recent interview with Total Film Magazine, Hardy teased that he’s contracted for two more Venom movies if the franchise takes off. Woody Harrelson is also part of the cast, but as the actor admits, his role is meant to setup a potential Venom 2.
Venom hits theaters on Oct. 5.
Originally, Black Cat aka Felicia Hardy was going to appear alongside Silver Sable in Silver and Black, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, but Sony shelved the project and stated that each character would get a solo film instead.
“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. Black Cat is a notorious cat burglar with the ability to manipulate probability fields. Through her various appearances, she’s been an enemy, love interest and ally of Spider-Man.
As of July 2018, representatives of Prince-Bythewood told Polygon that the director remained attached to direct one of the Spider-verse movies, but it’s unclear if that remains true. According to recent announcements, she is still set to produce. Sony has said that they would seek a female director.
While it sounds like Black Cat’s project is currently taking precedence, Silver Sable’s solo film is still on the way.
Silver Sable is a mercenary who hunts war criminals and has acted both as ally and antagonist to Spider-Man in various comic storylines. Silver Sable leads the Wild Pack, a team of mercenaries that, along with her company Silver Sable International, support her home country of Symkaria, a fictional nation in Eastern Europe.
As with Black Cat’s solo film, it’s currently uncertain whether Prince-Bythewood is involved with Silver Sable’s solo film.
Morbius the Living Vampire
Earlier this summer, Jared Leto was revealed to be the lead for a Morbius the Living Vampire project. If you haven’t heard of Morbius the Living Vampire, he’s a antihero in the Spider-Man comics with pseudo-vampire abilities (superhuman strength and agility, enhanced healing, and the whole craving blood thing) — though his powers come from a scientific experiment gone wrong and not the supernatural.
Written by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (who are behind the Netflix remake of Lost in Space), directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), and produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach with Lucas Foster, The Morbius film was announced in November 2017 without a target release date.
Kraven the Hunter
In August, news broke that Richard Wenk (The Equalizer 2) was set to write a screenplay focused on Kraven the Hunter, one of the Spider-Verse’s most persistent antagonists and the half-brother of Chameleon, a supervillain master of disguise with a similar penchant for antagonizing Spider-Man. Although Spider-Man himself has always been Kraven’s top prize, the hunter will likely have to find other prey to chase — with at least one more Tom Holland Spider-Man film in the works that will follow Spider-Man: Far From Home, Sony’s Spider-Man is a bit wrapped up at the moment.
Wenk’s attachment is currently the only known information about the Kraven the Hunter project.
Korean-American superhero Silk (real name Cindy Moon) is also slated to get her own movie in the SUMC. In recent canon, Cindy Moon is one of Peter Parker’s classmates and is bitten by a radioactive spider around the same time as him. She gains superhuman speed, the ability to shoot silken webs out of her fingertips and an enhanced Spider-Sense known as the Silk Sense. She made a small appearance in the MCU film Spider-Man: Homecoming, portrayed by Tiffany Espensen.
Producer Amy Pascal is attached to the project. There is no release date or further production news.
Jackpot, a mother and superhero in her mid-forties, is also slated to get her own film in Sony’s expanded Spider-Verse.
Jackpot’s primary alias is Sara Ehret, a scientist working at an Oscorp subsidiary researching gene therapy treatments to cure Parkinson’s disease. After being exposed an experimental virus while pregnant, Sara fell into a coma only to wake up and deliver her child four months later as well as gaining superhuman strength and invulnerability as a result of the virus’ effects on her genes. However, she eventually retired to spend more time with her family, and Alana Jacobson purchased her name and superhero license, using enhancement drugs (including the famous Mutant Growth Hormone) to mimic Jackpot’s powers.
Sony is currently actively seeking script writers for the project, but there’s no other production details available for the film.
In March, Variety reported that Spike Lee was in talks to direct the Nightwatch film. Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker was rumored to be writing the script.
Nightwatch is a hero who appears in the Spider-Man comics. The alter ego of scientist Dr. Kevin Trench, he is prompted to heroism after watching a masked hero die in a battle with terrorists. The kicker? After approaching the dead man, Trench discovers that the man in costume is an older version of himself. Though he initially tries to avoid this fate, he ultimately makes it his mission to discover the mystery behind his alternate self.
Aside from the rumored director and screenwriter, there’s no other information on the Nightwatch project.