When Spider-Man: Homecoming was being released, fans were mighty curious how/if/when this Certified Marvel Cinematic Universe movie would connect with Sony Pictures’ other comic book films in the works like Venom and Silver & Black. The short answer is: not at all. Marvel Studios will continue to team up with Sony on the standalone Spider-Man movies featuring Tom Holland, but Sony is going it alone when it comes to their other comic book films that they hope will build into their own separate cinematic universe.
So how will this cinematic Spidey-verse work, and what’s Sony’s plan for the films? While the studio previously had ambitious plans for an interconnected universe spinning off from it’s the Amazing Spider-Man movies, including a Sinister Six film, those were cancelled when they opted to reboot the mainline franchise. Now new details have emerged thanks to a cover story in Variety, and it actually sounds pretty neat. Instead of tasking a Kevin Feige or Kathleen Kennedy to oversee the whole universe, Sony instead wants each movie to have a distinct style with a range of different budgets. Venom, for instance, is seen as a twist on the horror genre, while Silver & Black is akin to buddy films like Thelma & Louise and Midnight Run. Silver & Black director Gina Prince-Bythewood elaborated on her take a bit:
“I wanted to tell the story of two damaged women who are at war with each other but need each other to survive,” says Prince-Bythewood. She’s been looking at the origins of each character in order to explain how Silver Sable became a killer for hire and why Black Cat is drawn to crime. In both cases, she found that the characters were haunted by the deaths of their parents.
As for Venom, which will star Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a reporter who bonds with an alien symbiote, director Ruben Fleischer is drawing influence from the works of John Carpenter and David Cronenberg while maintaining a sense of “more pop and fun.” Fleischer says the film will be a Venom origin story and will explore the Jekyll and Hyde dynamic:
“They become almost a third being, which is what Venom is. There’s a famous quote: ‘You’re Eddie Brock. I’m the symbiote. Together we are Venom.’”
It’ll be interesting to see what other films emerge, but I think Sony’s smart to keep these distinct and to not get too caught up in the “cinematic universe” of it all. Make great movies that have a wide creative range; offer variety, and you have a better chance of making a mark.
We’ll see the first fruits of this labor when Venom hits theaters on October 5, 2018.