The success of the greater Avengers-centric Marvel universe has inevitably led to lots of chatter regarding a similar take on the DC universe – the announcement of Batman Vs. Superman certainly helped make it clear that the DC movies team is at least interested in combining heroes and worlds – but now we’re getting something a touch unexpected when it comes to expansion talk. Another expanded Marvel universe. What?
The world of Spider-Man is, of course, already in the middle of its Andrew Garfield-starring reboot, a long-form franchise that is set to include at least four films (the Spider-Man team even announced the four-film plan early, after the release of the first Amazing Spider-Man, around the time another franchise might have just announced that it was getting a single new sequel), but now Sony Pictures has announced a further expansion of that world and, yes, that means we’re getting another Marvel universe to play within.
The studio announced the news on their “Electro Arrives” viral site, via a press release that reveals their plans to develop “several new projects in the Spider-Man franchise,” most specifically films centered on Venom and The Sinister Six. The news also featured mention of attached talents, including Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard, who have “formed a franchise brain” along with two producers and Marc Webb, who has directed the first two Spider-Man films and the studio hopes will return for the third.
As part of this new “brain,” Kurtzman, Orci, and Pinkner will write third Spider-Man film. Kurtzman and Orci will also write the Venom feature alongside Solomon and, here’s something big, Kurtzman is already set to direct that film. Elsewhere, Goddard will pen the Sinister Six film, with a further intent to probably direct it, too.
Has your brain exploded yet? This is almost too much information to process at once, but fortunately we’ve got at least five years or so to work through it (the third Spider-Man film will arrive in 2016, so we’re just being realistic here).
You can check out the entire press release below:
CULVER CITY, Calif., December 12, 2013 – In a move to forge a new legacy in the story of Peter Parker on screen, Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, is 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, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio.
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. Under the deals, the studio announced that Kurtzman & Orci & 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. In addition, the team will build on the cinematic foundation laid by Webb, Arad, and Tolmach in the first two movies. They will expand the franchise as Kurtzman & Orci & Solomon will write the screenplay for Venom, which Kurtzman will direct; also, Goddard will write, with an eye to direct, The Sinister Six, focusing on the villains in the franchise. Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor will oversee the development and production of these films for the studio.
In tapping these five writers, the studio and the producers are guiding the future of the franchise with the writer/producers who have each played significant and key roles in developing such highly successful franchises, films, and series as “Star Trek,” “Transformers”, “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Men in Black,” “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” World War Z,” “Lost,” “Cloverfield,” “The Cabin in the Woods,” and Marvel’s upcoming “Daredevil” series.
Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “The Spider-Man film franchise is one of our studio’s greatest assets. We are thrilled with the creative team we have assembled to delve more deeply into the world that Marc, Avi and Matt have begun to explore in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We believe that Marc, Alex, and Drew have uniquely exciting visions for how to expand the Spider-Man universe in each of these upcoming films.” Arad and Tolmach added, “This collaboration was born out of the great experience we and Marc had working with Alex, Bob, and Jeff on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With more than fifty years’ wealth of stories in the comic books to draw upon for inspiration, the Spider-Man universe is truly boundless; in addition, the Spider-Man comics have the greatest rogues gallery of any series, and to have the chance to explore that on film is truly thrilling. Until now, we have approached each film as a separate, self-contained entity, but with this move, we have the opportunity to grow the franchise by looking to the future as we develop a continuous arc for the story. That is what Alex, Bob, Jeff, Ed, and Drew will do in this unprecedented collaboration, and we’re excited about the directions they are taking the character and the world.”
The most successful franchise in the history of Columbia Pictures, Spider-Man is embraced all over the world. The four Spider-Man films to date have taken in over $3.2 billion worldwide.
Spider-Man, Venom, The Sinister Six and other Spider-Man related characters are licensed to Sony by Marvel Entertainment.
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