Read the Full Story
“Venom,” the highly anticipated comic book adaptation that hits theaters in October, isn’t just an attempt to do justice to the legendary symbiote after a lackluster appearance in 2007’s “Spider-Man 3.” It’s also a big-budget bet by Sony Pictures that the world of Spider-Man can spawn an inter-connected series of superhero movies to rival what Disney has created with its Marvel characters and what Warner Bros. is attempting to pull of with its DC Comics heroes and villains.
With Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s film studio, Sony is now the only major studio outside of the Magic Kingdom with the licensing rights to Marvel characters. Fox has long had rights to “Fantastic Four” and “The X-Men,” pillars of the Marvel empire, that will now thanks to the magic of a multi-billion dollar corporate merger, be able to interact with Captain America, Iron Man, and other members of the Avengers. All told, Sony’s licensing pact with Marvel includes rights to roughly 900 characters.
If all goes according to plan, and long-lead box office tracking indicates that the film will at least open well, then Sony will quickly segue from “Venom” into a series of sequels and standalone films featuring heroes and villains who populate the Spider-Man universe. Sony has already announced plans to make “Morbius,” with Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House”) directing Jared Leto as the titular vampire and frequent Spidey nemesis, and has lined up Richard Wenk (“The Equalizer 2”) to write a screenplay focused on Kraven the Hunter. The studio is also in the process of developing movies based on Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch, and is actively looking for writers to pen scripts.