Sony Pictures is making big plans for its Spider-Man franchise and beyond. When the studio announced plans to move forward with a Venom spinoff and a Sinister Six film in addition to further adventures in the proper Spider-Man series, it became clear that the studio was keen on building its own mini-universe not unlike Marvel’s interconnected franchises. Now it appears that the plan involves releasing a new Spider-Man film every year for the foreseeable future. That begins with 2016’s The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which the studio has now confirmed that Marc Webb will indeed be returning to direct. Hit the jump for more.
A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal hinted at expanding the Spider-Man universe, and I’ve been saying for months that the company’s superhero strategy rests on supervillains since they only have one superhero, Spider-Man (creating a superhero from scratch is apparently verboten). Their only option is to dig into Spidey’s vast rogues gallery, and that’s exactly what they’re going to do. Last night, Sony outlined how they plan to compete with Disney/Marvel, Warner Bros/DC Comics, and 20th Century Fox (X-Men and Fantastic Four).
Hit the jump for more details on the studio’s plan.
If you’re a Spider-Man fan, Sony Pictures is about to make your day. That’s because the studio sent out a late night press release loaded with future plans for the Spider-Man movie universe. Here are the highlights:
- Sony, in association with Marvel, are 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. 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.
- Kurtzman, Orci, and 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.
- Kurtzman, Orci and Solomon are writing the screenplay for a Venom movie, which Kurtzman will direct.
- Drew Goddard will write, with an eye to direct, The Sinister Six, focusing on the villains in the franchise.
With the comic book genre making more money than ever at the box office, it’s no surprise Sony is pushing forward with more sequels and spinoffs. We’ll have a lot more on this tomorrow, but until then, hit the jump for the press release.
[Update: For more on this story, click here for Matt's take on how Sony plans to compete with Disney/Marvel, Warner Bros/DC Comics, and 20th Century Fox (X-Men and Fantastic Four)]
Here’s some news on the latest TV adaptations:
- Paramount is recreating Jerry Zucker’s 1990 film, Ghost, as a TV series. The film starred Patrick Swayze as a murdered man who attempted to avenge his death after becoming a ghost. Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner will write the pilot.
- The CW is looking to reboot Tales from the Darkside, the 1980s horror/fantasy/thriller anthology series by George A. Romero. Joe Hill will write the half-hour series and will produce alongside Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
If only Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman‘s business savvy were equal to their screenwriting talent. The duo have no problem getting attached to blockbuster properties, and while part of that is being credited on previously successful blockbusters, there are other big-budget screenwriters who don’t become so prolific. In addition to moving into television with Sleepy Hollow and plans to produce feature adaptations of Locke & Key and Dragonology, Orci and Kurtzman are also developing remakes of Van Helsing and The Mummy because it’s great to make movies no one wanted. But it turns out they’ve got big plans for Universal’s stable of horror icons beyond simple remakes.
Hit the jump for more.
Sony is once again getting a jump on its next Spider-Man sequel, as the studio has tapped a trio of scribes to start penning the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Alex Kurtzmn, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner are credited with the screenplay for next May’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Sony has now hired the trio to begin work on The Amazing Spider-Man 3. The studio clearly has big plans for the rebooted Spidey franchise, as it recently set release dates for both Spidey 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 for June 2016 and May 2018, respectively. Hit the jump for more, including the likelihood of director Marc Webb returning for the third installment.
From co-creators/writers/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the modern-day twist on Sleepy Hollow finds Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) resurrected and pulled 250 years through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the Founding Fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman, who is on a murderous rampage in the present-day town. In a town that he no longer recognizes and grapples to understand, Ichabod teams up with Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), and the two embark on a mission to stop the evil that has awoken.
During this recent interview to promote the premiere of the new Fox series, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci talked about how the concept for the show came together, what excites them about re-imagining already recognizable stories, where they’re looking to go with the first season, making the mythology accessible to the average person, the multi-layered vibe of the show, how they decided on this version of Ichabod Crane, getting to work in different time periods, and the challenges they had in bringing this story to life for the small screen. Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Even though he was at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to celebrate the premiere of the new Fox drama series Sleepy Hollow, premiering on September 16th, when I got a few minutes to chat with executive producer Alex Kurtzman, I had to ask about what’s going on with Locke & Key, based on the graphic novels by Joe Hill. A pilot starring Miranda Otto, Mark Pellegrino, Jesse McCartney and Sarah Bolger was made to debut in the 2011 TV season, and I loved it so much that I was both shocked and greatly disappointed to learn that it wasn’t picked up and I would never get to see how it would continue.
With talk recently heating up, in regard to a feature film being done, I had to get an update, and Kurtzman was happy to oblige, clearly loving the property as much as I do. He said that they’re very serious about the project now, they’ve locked down a writer who has a brilliant way to take the best of the first couple graphic novels and make a complete story, and that their goal is to do a series of movies. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
While a new screenwriting team in the form of Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) was recently teased as possibly taking over Paramount’s Star Trek film franchise, it looks like familiar faces Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will once again be returning for Star Trek 3. The screenwriters are in negotiations to write the newest installment. Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams is in his own negotiations to produce the film. Damon Lindelof will not be returning, according to the report; he’s likely busy with his upcoming HBO series, The Leftovers. Hit the jump for more on this screenwriting news, why it’s great for the studio (and screenwriters themselves, obviously) but not necessarily a win for fans.
In this modern-day twist on Sleepy Hollow, premiering on Fox on September 16th, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is resurrected and pulled 250 years through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman, who is on a murderous rampage in the present-day town.
While at the Fox portion of the TCA Press Tour, co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Len Wiseman talked about how this show came together, finding the look for the Headless Horseman, the time table for when he could get his head back, how the relationship between Ichabod and Detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) will evolve, and how involved they’ll be able to stay with the project. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
As long as Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman are attached to write new Star Trek movies, I have no faith in the franchise. While they’ll likely be on board in some capacity for years to come (sigh), it looks like a new writing duo is coming on board for Star Trek 3. According to Badass Digest, screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) are close to a done deal on penning the next Star Trek movie. Miller and Stentz are in the Bad Robot family from their work as writers and producers on Fringe, and their Trek bonafides are marginally boosted by their work on Andromeda, a series based on unused material by the late Gene Roddenberry.
Hit the jump for more including the rumor that J.J. Abrams might drop out of directing Star Wars: Episode VII.
The graphic novel Locke & Key has had a difficult road to being adapted in the past, but the prospect of seeing the story translated onscreen just became quite a bit more promising. Heat Vision reports that Universal has picked up the supernatural comic series to develop as a feature film, with Star Trek and Transformers scribes/producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci onboard to produce. Created by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, the graphic novel centers on three siblings who return to their family home in Massachusetts following their father’s murder, where they stumble upon magical keys that give them various powers and abilities.
Locke & Key was initially developed as a potential television show produced by Kurtzman and Orci, but Fox ultimately decided to pass on the Mark Romanek-helmed pilot in 2011. There’s no guarantee that a feature film adaptation will make it all the way to production, but Universal is certainly going to give it a go. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for the failed pilot.
In the flurry of chaotic renewal and cancellation news, Fox has released its new primetime schedule that includes seven new series among its many renewals (including five nights of Gordon Ramsay! … Almost). The broadcast network is premiering J.J. Abrams’s sci-fi police drama Almost Human on Monday nights in late fall, along with with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s fantasy series Sleepy Hollow in the second time slot in early fall (with encores on Friday nights) before The Following returns (why oh why). Tuesday remains a comedy night, with the addition of Dads and the Andy Samberg comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Hit the jump for the full new line-up and schedule, and look for images and videos from the new series coming later today.
Back in December, we saw Star Trek Into Darkness‘ villain “John Harrison” (Benedict Cumberbatch) inside a glass prison (or more likely, a forcefield; larger point: no bars) being interrogated by the film’s heroes. Today, new images from the film have been released, and we see our villain being flanked by security guards. Last year, audiences learned an important lesson: if your villain gets captured, it was probably part of his plan. Presumably, “John Harrison” is planning to have Scotty go Hulk and destroy everything.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Simon Pegg, Peter Weller, Noel Clarke, and Alice Eve. Star Trek Into Darkness opens in IMAX 3D on May 15th, and 2D and 3D on May 17th.
All good things must come to an end and so it is with FOX’s spectacular sci-fi series, Fringe, which will conclude its fifth and final season in a two-hour finale on Friday, January 18th starting at 8PM ET/PT. Created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Fringe was an X-Files for a new generation, as it followed a team of specialized investigators into all things paranormal and supernatural. Though it’s struggled with ratings throughout the years, the show’s smart writing, impressive cast and dark humor have earned Fringe a rabid fan base, one that sadly will not get to see the cast and crew return to Comic-Con any longer.
Starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole and Blair Brown, the two-hour series finale of Fringe will also celebrate its 100th episode. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the final episode code word will be. Hit the jump for the full press release.