When Disney bought Lucasfilm, word came out that the studio wanted to release one Star Wars film per year beginning with J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII in 2015. Sony Pictures seems to have taken its cues from Disney/Marvel when it comes to building a contained cinematic universe with Spider-Man, and now it appears that they’re taking a page from the Mouse House’s playbook when it comes to release strategy. Variety reports that Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal mentioned that she wants a Spider-Man film every year, and buried in their analysis is confirmation that director Marc Webb will return to helm the third film in the recently-rebooted franchise.
So for those of you keeping score at home, here’s Sony’s game plan for Spidey: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters this May, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 arrives on June 10th, 2016, and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 lands on May 4th, 2018. (Spidey 4 doesn’t have a director officially attached yet.) Then we have separate films planned for Venom and The Sinister Six, with Venom being directed by Alex Kurtzman and The Sinister Six being written and directed by Drew Goddard. Those last films don’t have release dates yet, but common sense would dictate that unless Venom starts filming, like, right now, this whole “one Spidey film a year” thing will probably get underway with ASM 3 in 2016. I’m guessing Venom will be the 2017 release between ASM 3 & 4, since Goddard is going to be fairly busy writing the “Daredevil” series for Netflix.
Sounds like Sony has a nice plan in place to keep all of the Spider-Man characters firmly at their studio instead of letting them revert back to Marvel. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems like it’s laying all kinds of groundwork for the mythology, but there’s one thing that might ruin some of the goodwill they could be building: Andrew Garfield. The actor is only signed through The Amazing Spider-Man 3, so there’s no guarantee right now that he’ll appear in ASM 4 or any of these spin-off properties. Will Sony have to recast Spider-Man again? Is the character big enough that people will continue to spend their money on movie tickets just to see him even when the actor playing Spidey is being switched in and out every few years? Either Sony is going to dump a ton of money at Garfield’s feet, or I guess we’ll be finding out how they’re going to handle recasting the role in the next couple of years.
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