Sony pictures announced Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal will be stepping down from her position at the company in May 2015 to start her own production company within the studio. The move means that one of the biggest supporters for expanding the Spider-man movie series is gone and Spider-man’s movie career with Sony is in doubt due to the road bump last year to the weak release of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 and controversy surrounding planned spinoffs.
It is possible that Sony Pictures chairman-CEO Michael Lynton will fiddle with the Amazing Spider-Man 3 sequel. The second Spidey film performed decently at the box-office but failed to win over movie critics. There are reports that there may be possible negotiations in the works with Marvel to take some control of the direction of the character, according to Variety. It could be possible that the Spider-Man films could go down a totally different path thanks to Pascal’s departure.
The third film about Marvel’s web crawler was recently pushed back to 2018 – which has been widely thought to mean Sony may be unsure where to take the Andrew Garfield films due to negative reviews. Spider-Man remains a money maker, but the plans to expand its studio influence through villain spinoffs and a third film may be re-examined. However, this could be a bad move for a studio seeking more blockbuster options. The web slinger’s fans haven’t been able to get fully get behind the first two unfocused movies heightening the speculation of what the future of the films might be. Due to this poor fan reception and negative critical reviews, it will be interesting to see if Spider-Man’s movie career with Sony is indeed in doubt.
Sony has other comic-book movies in development, including Sinister Six set to release in November 2016 which means Sony will need to make a decision on how to proceed with the Spidey franchise in order to stay on track with the studio’s production schedule. As of now, the Sinister Six movie might be looking like a pipe dream.
Marvel has been having great success with their own branding of their library of characters, such as well-known heroes like Iron-Man, Hulk and even formerly lesser-known characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy. Sony holds a single Marvel character, Spider-Man, and his films haven’t been translating well recently onto the big screen. If the web crawler returns to the Marvel fold, it could breathe new life into a slightly tired character while having a secondary benefit of a new more Marvel-like quality to the series.
While it may not be optimal for Sony to return Spider-Man to Marvel, it will certainly lessen the shadow over whether or not Spider-Man’s career with Sony is in doubt. A return to Marvel would clearly mean that fans could see the web-slinger in action in the upcoming Marvel Avengers: Infinity Wars while also gaining Marvel’s insight and design knowledge into the character they created. However, fans will most certainly have to wait a few months to find out and a bit of rest time might be what the web crawler needs return to his former glory.
By Tara Newlands
Photo by Kees de Vos – License