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But even as new entries in the Spidey Cinematic U make their way through the development process — Silver & Black, the female-centric superhero buddy thriller to be directed by Love & Basketball filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Morbius, set to star Jared Leto as its “Living Vampire” lead and be directed by Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) — general fan befuddlement continues to cloud excitement surrounding the intended interlocking series of movies. Beyond simply questioning whether Spidey himself will turn up in all the Spidey-adjacent content, fans have been wondering aloud for months about the coming entries’ tone, relevance, and fealty to the comics on which they are based. In an era of ever more toxic fandom, the nerds are getting restless and looking for reassurance: Are these films going to suck?

In pursuit of an understanding of Sony’s overall game plan, Vulture reached out to filmmakers and comic-book writers who either directly participated in rebooting the franchise or consulted in the new direction the cinematic universe is taking. They outlined the possible pitfalls of trying to engineer a new universe at a time when audiences have grown skeptical of them and suggested steps Sony can take to avoid mishandling the material. But the sources also elucidated why fans can and perhaps should be optimistic about the Spider-Man Universe’s ultimate legitimacy.

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