Brent Lang wrote:Venom and the Green Goblin should start getting ready for their close-ups because Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal hinted that the studio is planning spin-off adventures for supporting character in its “Spider-Man” franchise.
“We are going to access Marvel’s full world of Spider-Man characters, so be on the lookout for new heroes and villains,” Pascal said during a presentation to investors on Thursday.
Sony licenses the web-spinner from Marvel, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, but it has the rights to make films from the characters who orbit, aide and do battle with Peter Parker and his alter-ego Spider-Man. These include popular villains like Rhino and Electro, as well as anti-heroines like Black Cat.
Given that the four “Spider-Man” films have made north of $3 billion worldwide, it makes sense that Sony would want to find ways to further exploit the comic books, much the way Fox is doing with “X-Men” and the “Wolverine” films.
The studio has already rebooted the wall-crawler one time, swapping out the original franchise team of Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire for new director and star Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield with 2012′s “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
The next film in the series, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ hits theaters next May, with Jamie Foxx playing Electro and Paul Giamatti taking on the role of Rhino.
Here’s the full announcement:
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT TO EXPAND THE SPIDER-MAN UNIVERSE ON SCREEN WITH ALL-STAR WRITING TEAM
Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to Collaborate with Marc Webb and Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach on Developing the Universe and Expanding the Story in “The Amazing Spider-Man 3,” “Venom,” and “The Sinister Six”
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 films.”
Arad and Tolmach added, “This collaboration was born out of the great experience we and Marc had working with Alex, Bob, and Jeff on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With more than fifty years’ wealth of stories in the comic books to draw upon for inspiration, the Spider-Man universe is truly boundless; in addition, the Spider-Man comics have the greatest rogues gallery of any series, and to have the chance to explore that on film is truly thrilling. Until now, we have approached each film as a separate, self-contained entity, but with this move, we have the opportunity to grow the franchise by looking to the future as we develop a continuous arc for the story. That is what Alex, Bob, Jeff, Ed, and Drew will do in this unprecedented collaboration, and we’re excited about the directions they are taking the character and the world.”
Dave McNary wrote:The new projects include a pair of villain-based films — “Venom” and “The Sinister Six.” Sony made the announcement late Thursday night.
Kurtzman will direct “Venom” from a script he’s writing with Orci and Solomon. Goddard will write “The Sinister Six” with an eye to direct.
Roth Cornet wrote:The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers, and Star Trek writer and producer Roberto Orci has a full plate with Sleepy Hollow on FOX, third and fourth sequels for The Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, and Sinister Six in development - among other things. We were able to sit down with the prolific writer and producer recently to talk about his new series Matador for Robert Rodriguez's new network El Rey (more on that soon).
During the course of our conversation, we touched on what's ahead for The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, as well as his thoughts on the approach they may take for Venom and Sinister Six.
Alexandra Cheney wrote:Jeff Robinov already has offers from Chinese financiers and other investors for more than $100 million to launch his new production company, say those familiar with the matter.
The former Warner Bros. pic chief is looking to raise a total of $200 million to $300 million in equity and an equal amount in debt.
Variety has just learned that ongoing negotiations with billionaire industrialist Len Blavatnik to be the lead investor are over, according to a well-placed source close to the situation.
The 55-year-old Robinov is also in deep discussions with Sony Pictures about signing on as an investor in his shingle and to market and distribute his movies.
Robinov is ideally looking to raise a sizable fund of independent money to produce a slate of films that would complement a studio’s annual lineup. The executive has also talked to Fox about a studio partnership, but he’s more likely to land at Sony.
Amid an increasingly strained economic climate in which production and marketing costs continue to rise, studios are reducing the number of films they bankroll on their own. Partnering up with a self-funded production company such as Robinov’s helps mitigate some of that risk.
During his tenure at Warner’s, Robinov had the authority to decide which films would get greenlit at Hollywood’s largest studio. Prior to leaving the studio last June after losing a bid for the chairmanship to home entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara, he oversaw such hit movies as “Gravity,” “Argo” and the “Harry Potter” franchise. His years of relationships with top filmmakers and access to stars makes Robinov attractive to investors.
Josh Wilding wrote:With the Venom movie, with the Sinister Six movie, there's a certain name not on the title. Are we going to see Spider-Man crop up or is it the start of the supervillain movie?
We'll see. That would be an enormous spoiler I cannot give you. I'll just say that anything is possible. That's the fun of that, and that is what you see in some of those Marvel movies. Once you sort of decide to open up the universe, the rules go out of the window and you get to have fun. So, without actually answering the question, we'll see what happens!
Have there been any discussions, at any level, about any character swinging by to say "Hi!" in a [Marvel] movie?
We talk about everything all the time, but Marvel and Disney and Sony are obviously two very different companies. As great as it would be, the truth is no. Right now, we are working with the characters in the Spider-Man universe, and there are tons of them. The question everyone asks, 'Is Spider-Man going to show up in The Avengers?', that's not a plan for now. Right now, the truth about Spidr-Man is that he swings along. That's his plight, so it's not happening anytime soon.
You've got a lot of villains in the universe, how many other heroes have you got?
If you look for example at Venom, I think knee-jerk people thing, 'Venom! A villain!' Really? Venom is a character who has this innate sense of goodness and justice, so there are lots of characters who can be a little bit of both. So, when you start talking about a Sinister Six movie, is it just going to be all bad guys? No. There's complexity to all of them, and that's part of the fun we're having right now as we're building it. Some characters are way worse - badder - than others. There's a lot you can do. There are some guys who are redeemable, and some who are really horrible.
ANITA BUSCH wrote:Lynton talked about an expansion of the Spider-Man universe in 2013, saying that they were going to create a number of spinoffs including Sinister Six and one revolving around the Venom character which first appeared in Spider-Man 3 and was portrayed by Topher Grace. The Venom movie — which we hear is entitled Venom Carnage — is still said to be in development with old pros Alex Kurtzman and Ed Solomon scripting. The Venom pic, which Kurtzman will direct, may also now come out in 2017.
Charles Webb wrote:
As Sony has begun to build their own cinematic universe around Spider-Man, one man has been there through it all as one of its architects: writer and producer Alex Kurtzman. Somewhere between a female-driven spinoff and a potential “Sinister Six” movie, Kurtzman has his own assignment: bringing anti-hero “Venom” to the big screen.
Kurtzman was on hand at the Paley Center For Media’s red carpet premiere for CBS’s “Scorpion” (which he produces) in advance of its premiere September 22 on CBS. While there, MTV News asked the producer about the appeal of Spider-Man’s black-suited enemy.
“The idea,” Kurtzman explained, “is that you can do things with Venom that you can’t do with Spider-Man.”
Making his appearance all the way back in “Amazing Spider-Man” #299 (1986), Venom, for the uninitiated, is disgraced reporter Eddie Brock and the transforming alien costume that bonded with him. Both have a grudge against Peter Parker, and they’re not afraid to terrorize, or kill anyone around him for a little payback. At the same time, Venom/Brock weirdly thinks of himself as a hero, making the occasional jump over to the good guys’ side.
While it’s not currently known whether Brock, Venom’s later identity Flash Thompson, or some third iteration will be featured in the movie, it does seem that the character will share at least some DNA with his comic book counterpart.
“Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed,” Kurtzman said. “He’s a much darker character.”
When it comes to comparing what Sony is doing with “Amazing Spider-Man,” and what Marvel is accomplishing with its cinematic universe, Kurtzman said he thinks his team has a bit of a head start, one that has allowed the Spider-verse to evolve.
“You know, Spider-Man has the benefit of having so many more movies than even some of the movies that have 2′s and 3′s in front of them from Marvel,” Kurtzman explained.
And even though he’s not currently involved with the still-planned “Amazing Spider-Man 3,” Kurtzman did have some advice on how the main franchise could continue.
“I think as long as it keeps staying true to character, and true to who Peter is, and putting him in interesting and complicated situations, it’ll survive,” Kurtzman suggested. “Because it’s so beloved – everybody loves Spider-Man.”
Devin Faraci wrote:Yesterday HitFix's Drew McWeeny [url="http://www.hitfix.com/motion-captured/marvels-making-big-plans-beyond-avengers-3-and-its-making-hollywood-crazy"]dropped a little bombshell[/url]:While I can't get the confirmations I need to verify the story, I'm hearing that there are some very cool "Spider-Man" plans being discussed that would help Sony refocus their enormously important franchise while also opening up some connections in the onscreen Marvel movie universe that would blow fandom's minds. Will it work out? I don't know. I would love to be able to state for sure that it's happening. What seems clear from what I've heard is that Marvel wants to be able to play with all of their characters, and if they can make that work creatively and on a corporate level, they will, and that means the world gets bigger again.
Spider-Man coming into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? That's a big deal. But get this: it's the THIRD DIFFERENT Spider-Man plan I've heard in the last week. Other things I've heard from insiders:
- Sony is going to soft reboot Spider-Man with The Sinister Six, having a new actor playing a Spidey who works with the villains The Dirty Dozen style to take down a larger threat.
- Sony is going to put Spider-Man on the shelf for four or five years and see if they can develop any of the side characters into their own franchises.
I've also heard that Venom is functionally dead again.
SCOTT WAMPLER wrote:Maybe you've noticed that James Cameron as not begun filming Avatar 2, and you've found yourself wondering how the hell he intends to meet that December, 2018 release date. Maybe you've been thinking that seems unlikely.
Well, James Cameron agrees:"Well, 2018 is not happening,” he told The Star ... “We haven’t announced a firm release date. What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases. So we’re not making Avatar 2. We’re making Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5. It’s an epic undertaking. It’s not unlike building the Three Gorges dam. (Laughs) So I know where I’m going to be for the next eight years of my life. It’s not an unreasonable time frame if you think about it. It took us four-and-a-half years to make one movie and now we’re making four. We’re full tilt boogie right now. This is my day job and pretty soon we’ll be 24-7. We’re pretty well designed on all our creatures and sets. It’s pretty exciting stuff. I wish I could share with the world. But we have to preserve a certain amount of showmanship and we’re going to draw that curtain when the time is right.”
NICOLE SPERLING wrote:
Looks like you’re going to have to wait a little longer to see Jason Momoa in his standalone Aquaman movie.
Warner Bros. announced Thursday that they’ve postponed the release date of the James Wan-directed feature two months from Oct. 5, 2018 to Dec. 21, 2018.
Of course, this won’t be the first time fans see Momoa as the D.C. Comics hero. He made a brief appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and will appear again in this fall’s Justice League, set for release on Nov. 17.
A Christmas release for Aquaman does indicate the studio’s confidence in the film, a good sign considering other D.C. releases seem to be in some kind of tumult, including shifting directors on upcoming Flash and Batman projects.
Now the movie, which costars Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard, and Patrick Wilson, will go up against Sony’s animated Spider-Man flick.
Aquaman was previously competing against Sony’s other big bet: the next chapter in the Lisbeth Salander story, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, which will be directed by Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe), but has yet to cast its new protagonist.
Brent Lang wrote:Venom is heading to the big screen. Spider-Man’s nemesis, sharp of fang, flexible of morals, will get his own adventure, Sony said on Thursday. The spin-off film will swing into theaters on Oct. 5, 2018. Venom is a favorite of comic fans; the alien has long terrorized the web-slinging hero.
To make room, Sony will move “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” Fede Alvarez’s “Dragon Tattoo” reboot from Oct. 5 to Oct. 19. It will face off against “Jungle Book: Origins,” Warner Bros.’ take on the Rudyard Kipling stories, and an untitled film from Blumhouse, the low-budget horror purveyor behind “The Purge” and “Get Out.”
The release shuffle took place hours after Warner Bros. moved “Aquaman” from its Oct. 5 to Dec. 21, 2018. The studio was filling a holiday season hole left by “Avatar 2’s” delays.
David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” made $232.6 million globally, but was a financial disappointment given its $90 million budget and millions more spent on advertising. Alvarez, who scored with last year’s “Don’t Breathe,” is re-casting the lead roles of super sleuth Lisbeth Salander and crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, previously played by Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig.
The studio is also sprucing up its Spider-Man films. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will debut this summer, with Tom Holland taking over the web-spinner role from Andrew Garfield. The idea is to focus on a more youthful Spidey as he tries to balance saving the world with being a high-schooler. Sony has long harbored ambitions to better exploit the universe of Spider-Man characters that it licenses from Marvel Comics. At one point, the studio wanted to make a standalone Sinister Six film, focused on assorted Spider-Man villains, but that plan was shelved after “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” failed to be a global blockbuster, sending Sony back to the drawing board.
Scott Rosenberg (“Jumanji”) and Jeff Pinkner (“The Dark Tower”) will write the script for the Venom film, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing the picture.
STEVE 'FROSTY' WEINTRAUB wrote:A few days ago, a pretty wild fan theory about the upcoming sci-fi thriller Life hit Reddit. Given that the story of the film revolves around astronauts coming into contact with the first extraterrestrial life in space, this Reddit theory asked whether Life was actually a secret Venom origin story. At first I laughed about it. After all, there is no way Sony could make it to almost the opening day of a movie without people knowing what it actually was, and the project was put together by Skydance before Sony even came onboard and Skydance certainly doesn’t own the rights to the Marvel Comics character. But then I remembered only a few weeks ago I sat down to watch M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and was blown away by that film’s ending, which revealed Split to be a secret sequel to another film entirely. Moreover, when I interviewed Life screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick a few years ago, they told me about their version of the Venom script Sony had been developing after Spider-Man 3.
Immediately I emailed Sony for comment. Almost instantly they emailed me back debunking the theory. While personal publicists occasionally won’t tell you the truth about their client, I’ve never had a studio deny something and then find out later it’s true. It’s just not how they operate. So, like I said, when the studio debunked the fan theory outright I was done with it.
But then, almost a day after I asked Sony about that rumor, the studio announces an October 5, 2018 release date for a Venom movie. This was surprising to say the least.
After spending the day at the Life junket in Austin, Texas and talking with all the key people involved, I can tell you with certainty what the studio told me is still true: it’s just a wild fan theory.
But when I sat down with Life director Daniel Espinosa, I still wanted to know what he thought about this crazy theory. Check out what he had to say in the player above. He also talked about his love of comic books, Marvel, and how when he was growing up, being into comics meant something completely different than it is nowadays.
Look for my full interview with Daniel Espinosa in a few days.
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