Sony is going all-in on their Spider-Man universe. THR reports that the studio has recruited screenwriter Chris Yost (Thor: Ragnarok) to pen the script for a new film centered on Spider-Man spin-off characters Black Cat and Silver Sable. Yost will build on a previous version of the script that came from Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy. Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal will produce the film previously known as the “secret female spin-off project”. In addition to penning Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: The Dark World, Yost created the character of X-23 (recently seen kicking all the ass in Logan) and got his start writing for Marvel’s animated series.
Black Cat is one of the best known Spider-Man spin-off characters. An acrobatic cat burglar by the name of Felicia Hardy, she has a complicated, on-again, off-again romantic history with Spider-Man and a knack for robin hood style theivery. Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard, she first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man in 1979 and was first played on screen by Felicity Jones as a bit role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Silver Sable, AKA Silver Sablinova, is a lesser known but fantastically interesting comic book character. A mercenary and vigilante, Silver is the ruling monarch of Symkaria and CEO of Silver Sable Internationa who wasl trained by her Nazi-hunter father to capture war criminals. Created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in 1985, the character shares Black Cat’s knack for playing on both sides of the law.
The report comes on the heels of the news that Sony is moving forward with their Venom movie for a scheduled October 2018 release date. The studio is actively seeking directors for both projects, and aiming for a Fall start date for production on the Black Cat/Silver Sable movie. Variety reports that, like Venom, the studio is planning this film as a separate universe from their freshly rebooted Spider-Man franchise (which they now share with Marvel).
Spider-Man is their only comic book property and it makes sense that they want to build a superhero franchise they don’t have to share with the MCU, but the idea of a building up a Spider-Man universe without Spider-Man is a bit odd. That said, if the movies are good, the shared universe quibbles just won’t matter.