After seemingly oversaturating the market with a couple of average films featuring the character, Sony Pictures managed to turn the tide on a growing apathy towards screen adventures with Spider-Man in the past two years.
The new take on the live-action films with “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and its upcoming sequel, the box-office success of “Venom,” the rave reviews and strong sales for the PS4 “Spider-Man” game, and the universally praised and Oscar-winning success of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” have really revived excitement in the character and given the company a shot in the arm in regards to their plans for him.
Variety has today done a new profile piece speaking with Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Tony Vinciquerra and Sony Pictures Television chairman Mike Hopkins about the future. Within that story, Vinciquerra says a quote that should get people’s spidey senses excited.
First up, they’re dubbing their own Marvel properties and the more than 900 Spider-Man-adjacent characters they own as being part of “Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters” (which fans will likely acronym as SUMC or SMC for short). In any case their plans for Spider-Man will encompass both the big and small screen with their current blueprints taking them through to around 2026. Vinciquerra says:
“We have the next seven or eight years laid out as to what we’re going to do with that asset, and that will not only be on the film side – it’ll be on the TV side. Our television group will have its own set of characters from within that universe that we will seek to develop.”
Hopkins adds that they are “pretty far down the road” in terms of working out which characters they think could lead their own films and TV series and suggests plans for a Marvel-Netflix or DC-CW style crossovers amongst the shows:
“We’re developing a lot of Marvel-related content, and I think we’ll be out in the market very soon with something really, really big and transformational for us, because we’ve not done any shows with Marvel before, with Marvel IP. So that’s a big piece of development that we’re onto. I think we aspire to have several shows in a universe that we create that can pollinate between each other, and to working with a partner to make that happen.”
The report also says they don’t see why Disney couldn’t be a partner on at least some of this content, but the door is open to others as well – in any case, we should expect a bigger announcement about all of that in a few months.
Vinciquerra is well aware that if the company doesn’t grow, they’ll “become somebody’s purchase” and they’re already on the path to that. The next step is reportedly to best exploit their own intellectual property across the film and television groups, including original IP from PlayStation and Sony Music.
This could mean more film and TV adaptations of game franchises, like the already in the works “Uncharted” film, could be on the way soon (eg. “God of War,” “Infamous,” “The Last of Us,” “Heavy Rain,” “Gran Turismo,” etc.). They also have big plans for their content library and a new cost-efficient, indie film-style model which they are embracing for making television shows.
However, one thing they will NOT be doing is their own direct-to-consumer streaming service, opting instead to be more of a ‘mercenary content creator’ which will negotiate and license product on a case-by-case basis to existing services or even some of their rivals.