There have been many, many reports lately about what Sony Pictures may or may not be doing with its Spider-Man franchise after the disappointment of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but now we have some clarity on what has actually been discussed and what’s definitely in the works, albeit under some pretty lousy circumstances. Sony has been the target of a very aggressive and incredibly damaging attack from a hacker group that’s now demanding the studio not release The Interview in theaters later this month, and today some internal emails from the studio were released online as a result of said attack.
We will not be publishing any of the emails here, but the folks at the Wall Street Journal did some digging after seeing that some of the emails revealed Sony and Marvel definitely did have discussions about teaming up on new Spider-Man films. Moreover, an animated Spider-Man comedy is in development from The LEGO Movie directors/geniuses Phil Lord and Chris Miller. More after the jump.
Per The Wall Street Journal, discussions in some of the released emails reveal that there were serious talks between executives at Sony and Marvel about coming to some sort of deal on sharing the Spider-Man character. One such scenario involved a new Marvel-produced trilogy of Spider-Man movies that would see Sony retain “creative control, marketing and distribution.” Marvel Studios was apparently very keen on the idea, as they were hoping to include the Spider-Man character in the third Captain America film, Captain America: Civil War, which is set to co-star Robert Downey Jr. and introduce Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther.
WSJ reports that talks between Marvel and Sony eventually broke down and Sony is now moving forward with its own Spider-Man slate, but man, it sounds like the two were thisclose to a deal. Perhaps Black Panther’s role in Captain America: Civil War might have been filled by Spider-Man instead? But then would Marvel have recast the character or kept Andrew Garfield, who’s been so incredibly good as Peter Parker despite Sony’s films themselves being underwhelming? Alas, it looks like the question is now moot.
While a deal between Sony and Marvel is off the table for now, WSJ adds that in addition to the Spider-Man spinoffs Sinister Six, Venom, and a movie focusing on “the women in the webslinger’s life”, Sony is developing an animated Spider-Man comedy that would be produced by Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Lord and Miller are, of course, two of the most exciting filmmakers working in the business today, and between The LEGO Movie, 21 Jump Street & 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, they’ve made a career out of turning bad ideas into great films.
As this information comes from hacked internal emails at Sony there’s still no official confirmation about this Lord and Miller-produced Spider-Man cartoon, but that sounds like a dynamite prospect that would actually give me some semblance of hope for Sony’s current plans for the character. Forget live-action spinoffs and sequels, this is the Spider-Man I want to see.