In what could be a sign of trouble for Sony’s non-Spider-Man superhero films, the studio has pulled Silver & Black from its release schedule per Exhibitor Relations. The Marvel Comics adaptation, which teams up the female characters Silver Sable and Black Cat in their own adventure, had previously been dated for February 8, 2019, but hitting that date seemed more and more unlikely as the film had yet to go into production. The cause for concern here is that Sony has set the film as “unlisted” as opposed to simply pushing it to a date in 2020 or 2021, which could be a sign that the project in its current form is dead.
That would be a major bummer, as this marked a promising move from Sony in that they hired filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights) to direct this female-fronted superhero movie. This past February, Captain Marvel scribe Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Chaos Walking scribe Lindsey Beer turned in a new draft of the script to Prince-Bythewood to then polish, and the filmmaker went to Twitter to provide an update on the film saying they were still working on the script.
It’s possible Sony wants to do a major overhaul of the story or approach for the film, or maybe bad buzz on Venom has made them reconsider their plans for non-Spider-Man superhero movies going forward. As a reminder, while Sony Pictures still owns the character of Spider-Man, they can’t use the character in these other films while their deal with Marvel Studios to co-produce the standalone Spidey films is in place. If Tom Holland’s Peter Parker were to pop up in Venom or a Sinister Six movie that Marvel Studios has no involvement in, that would automatically make that film part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by virtue of the fact that Holland’s Parker exists in that world. And there’s simply no way Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel would allow their brand to be associated with films they had no creative involvement in.
Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 is set to begin filming this summer with Jake Gyllenhaal as the villain, but Sony has been working to mine the Spider-Man comics for feature films in which that particular character doesn’t appear, to build out its own non-Spider-Man comics universe. First up is this year’s Venom, led by Tom Hardy, which has had a mixed reaction (at best) based on trailers.
The shining beacon of hope appeared to be Silver & Black, but things aren’t looking too great on that front at the moment. Hopefully we get more clarity on the situation soon.