When Sony released a trailer for their highly anticipated summer tentpole The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the geek world buzzed with excitement. The superhero sequel teased at the events not just to come in the film itself but also some of Sony’s larger plans for the franchise. Much like Marvel Studios has done, Sony is looking to launch their own cinematic universe with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. While the studio may not own the rights to as many characters, they do have the advantage of utilizing one of the most eclectic and exciting rogue galleries seen in the comic book medium.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 continues to follow Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) as he struggles to deal with the responsibilities of his life and that of his web-swinging alter ego. As Parker begins to investigate his father’s mysterious past with the help of his friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), Spider-Man must deal with two new threats to the city of New York in Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti). The film also features the return of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and the debut of Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn, a role originally portrayed by Willem Dafoe. The studio has also hinted at the possible appearance of the gigantic weaponized robots called ” the spider slayers” with the inclusion of their creator, B.J. Novak character’s Alistair Smythe.
In the trailer for the film opening May 2nd, there are several clues as to where the studio is looking to head with the franchise. Along with quick shots of both Doctor Octopus’ tentacles and The Vulture’s wings, the trailer glimpsed the Green Goblin flying on his glider. These hints, along with the inclusion of Electro and Rhino, strongly suggest that the studio will be adapting the popular sinister six storyline in the following sequels. The storyline often features a variety of Spider-Man’s foes teamed-up to take him down. Excitement at the world to come in the series directed by Marc Webb reached a peak when Sony decided to announced their big plan.
In December of 2013, Sony hired a “brain trust” of filmmakers to overlook the development of two spin-off films from The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. Drew Goodard (The Cabin In The Woods), Jeff Pinkner (TV’s Fringe), Ed Solomon (Men In Black), Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers franchise, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek franchise) were brought into oversee the universe. The two spin-offs announced are a film starring these sinister six villains as well as a film featuring one of Spider-Man’s most popular villain/antihero, Venom.
The sinister six film is currently being written by Drew Goodard with a possibility to direct. Although no release date has been announced, the fact that several characters are set to make their debut appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lends credence to the idea that this will be the first spin-off launched in Sony’s cinematic universe. Most of the details of the film are a complete mystery at this point. There has not even been any word as to whether or not Spider-Man himself will make an appearance in the film. It is expected however that Electro and Rhino will feature in the film in some capacity.
The Venom film script is being worked on by Orci, Soloman and Kurtzman. While it has not been officially announced, rumor has it that Alex Kurtzman will helm the feature film based around the antihero. In Marvel comic book lore, several characters have become the entity known as Venom. The most famous being Peter Parker’s Daily Bugle nemesis Eddie Brock before other people from different circles in Peter Parker’s life were attached to the alien suit. One of the most recent interpretations of the character saw Flash Thompson become a government black ops agent that uses the Venom suit to complete dangerous missions. Which storyline the filmmakers have chosen to go with remains a mystery.
Aside from the spin-off films, Sony still has plans to release The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4. How these films will connect and weave is Sony’s tightly guarded secret at the moment. As with the other studios that watched the money roll in for Marvel’s The Avengers, Sony will look to launch their own larger cinematic universe with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in hopes to attract the same interest.
By Benjamin Murray