With the recent announcement of a standalone “Venom” film, as well as a “Black Cat” film, it appears Sony has decided to throw their hat back into the superhero cinematic universe ring.

With access to over 5,000 Marvel Comics characters, I can understand the itch to get into the game. That being said, with the announcement for the films, also came the news that this universe would not be connecting to the behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (henceforth referred to as the MCU). Now, that in and of itself is not odd; Fox very firmly has
their own universe of films with the X-men franchise. With that in mind though, unlike Fox, Sony and Marvel have, in the not too distant past, made a deal for Spider-man to appear alongside the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor in the MCU. Now with all of that in mind, what exactly does that mean for our newest big screen incarnation of everyone’s favorite
web slinger?

With Sony planning their “Spider-man” universe films to be separate from Marvel’s, how will Tom Holland’s Spidey play into both companies plans? Will we see a cinematic universe of characters, generally related to Spider-man, exist without an appearance from the web head himself? Will Holland play double duty and appear in both universes? If that’s the case, are the
two technically connected? What does this mean for the larger implications of Marvel and Sony’s deal? Can characters with film rights owned by Marvel Studio’s appear in this “standalone” Spider-manless Spider-man Universe? Will Spider-man not be allowed to appear in future Marvel films? Will we get a different Spider-man cast? Will Miles Morales be Sony’s
Spider-man beyond just the planned animated film? I could continue…

My point is, with all these questions, and many more, out there in the ether… has Sony learned from the mistakes of how they’ve handled this franchise in the past? Before Marvel saved the day and gave us the Spider-man all of us true believers have been waiting, Sony relaunched the franchise twice within a decade. Their second go around, Amazing Spider-man, while being generally well received by fans, seemingly jumped the gun. Even before its release, there were rumors of plans for not just a sequel, but multiple sequels, spin-offs, you name it. By the release of Amazing Spider-man 2, Sony was in full-on planning mode for their own cinematic universe… the sinister six was even teased in the end credits of ASM2… Almost as if to say, “Look! We don’t know how we’re going to do it yet, but know we’re going to!”

In a world where Marvel Studio’s has plans past 2028, it’s easy to see how a studio could get ahead of itself…but should they? As a comic book fan, I can only hope every release is spectacular… no pun intended… Past history and current speculation would say Sony’s heading down a similar path as before, but only time will tell.

Ian Bensman
President, New Radio Media