The Sony side of the Marvel Universe is starting to come together. For President of Columbia Pictures Sanford Panitch, it's all about being faithful to the 900 or so characters they own.
In a huge story published by Variety, it sounds like Sony has at least the bare bones of a direction when it comes to their Spider-Man movies and it's an interesting one. Sony isn't quite on par with Warner Bros. when it comes to announcing movies but this article does point out that there is probably more in the works than people realize. Movies based on Morbius and Kraven the Hunter already have directors lined up and they also have projects based on Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch all in the works.
"We're focused on being faithful to the comics," said Sanford Panitch.
The above list doesn't include Silver and Black, to be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, and that's because the movie has been cancelled. Instead the two characters are going to star in their own films:
"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."
Prince-Bythewood will remain a producer on both films and Sony says they are going to continue to seek out female directors to tell their stories. Sony is looking to put plenty of diversity in front of the camera too with characters like Silk, a Korean-America woman, or Jackpot, an older heroine.
"Spider-Man connects to a lot of the characters. There are villains, heroes, and antiheroes, and a lot are female characters, many of whom are bona fide, fully dimensionalized, and utterly unique. .. We feel there's no reason the Marvel characters shouldn't be able to embrace diversity."
Venom is the next big Sony Marvel projects to come out in this universe, being called Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters or SUMC, but people shouldn't expect that to be the first R-rated entry either. Sony sounds like they are going to walk right up to the line of what you can get away with in a PG-13 so Venom still fits in with the rest of the movies they are planning.
While this all sounds like Sony doing their own version of Marvel or DC universe there is one big difference, the articles notes, and that's how they are going to be managed. Sony is looking to be more "producer driven" projects.
At Sony, there's not one uber-boss. Panitch is tasked with getting the cinematic universe into shape, but the various projects are more producer-driven. Former Sony film chief Amy Pascal is producing the next Spider-Man film and Silk, Sony executive Palak Patel played a key role in "Venom" and is overseeing "Morbius," and Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing several of the Sony Marvel movies.
Whether or not that ends up working out has yet to be seen. We aren't sure how connected the SUMC is going to be. If the connections are small and there isn't a lot of crossover then perhaps failing to have a guiding hand will work out.
However, if they try to do lots of crossover without anyone behind the wheel this universe could stumble before it even gets out the door.
Venom is set to hit theaters on October 5th, 2018.