The success of Marvel’s shared cinematic universe has led to a few would-be copycats. Fox is trying to tie together its X-Men and Fantastic Four series, and Warner Bros. is shoehorning Batman and Wonder Woman into its next Superman film. Now comes word that Sony is jumping into the fray with a few Amazing Spider-Man spinoffs, including films based on Venom and The Sinister Six. Here’s their press release:
CULVER CITY, Calif., December 12, 2013 – In a move to forge a new legacy in the story of
Peter Parker on screen, Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment,
is developing several new projects in the Spider-Man franchise, with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto
Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing
story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, it was announced
today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of
Production for the studio.
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.
In tapping these five writers, the studio and the producers are guiding the future of the franchise
with the writer/producers who have each played significant and key roles in developing such
highly successful franchises, films, and series as Star Trek, Transformers, “Alias,” “Fringe,” Men
in Black, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, World War Z, “Lost,” Cloverfield, The Cabin in the
Woods, and Marvel’s upcoming “Daredevil” series.
Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “The Spider-Man film franchise is one of our
studio’s greatest assets. We are thrilled with the creative team we have assembled to delve
more deeply into the world that Marc, Avi and Matt have begun to explore in The Amazing
Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We believe that Marc, Alex, and Drew have
uniquely exciting visions for how to expand the Spider-Man universe in each of these upcoming
Kurtzman and Orci (Star Trek, Transformers, Fringe) are a little over-exposed, aren’t they? I mean, I don’t have the hate-on for them that a lot of people seem to have; but it wouldn’t hurt to hear some new voices now and then (I have the same problem with Warner’s over-reliance on Nolan). Drew Goddard is a good choice though, and he was recently hired to write and direct the Daredevil pilot for Netflix, so he’ll have some Marvel experience by then.