As we mentioned here on the Spider-Man Crawlspace, a multitude of Sony’s emails were hacked and released to the public, much to the embarrassment of the studio, and has the Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Group, Amy Pascal, in serious hot water due to some comments she exchanged with producer Scott Rosin, among them being what movies staring African-American leads President Barack Obama might like, and calling actor-director Angelina Jolie a “spoiled brat.” Among the leaks were discussions on the future of Spider-Man as a viable film franchise, including a possible deal with Marvel Studios in which the wall-crawler would appear in a cameo in Captain America: Civil War (2016).
Well, over the last couple of days, as various news outlets have perused through pages and pages of emails, additional details regarding Sony’s proposed plans for Spider-Man’s future as a franchise have come to light:
- Had the deal between Sony and Marvel Studios gone through, the new Spider-Man films may have been produced by Anthony and Joe Russo, the brother-director team of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and who have been revealed to be the directors for Marvel’s upcoming two-part Avengers: Infinity War. The difficulty was whether the current producers, Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad, would have allowed for this to happen, but Pascal was open to the idea as it was “a discussion worth having.” Also, Captain America: Civil War would have also led into The Sinister Six movie.
- According to Latino Review, the real reason why the deal between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios broke down was not over a new trilogy of Spider-Man films. Rather, it was over co-production costs, in which Marvel proposed a 60/40 split, with Marvel paying the lion share of the cash, while also having full creative control over Spider-Man as a property. Sony Japan, however, think the deal is still on the table and can be negotiated.
- If the deal with Marvel happens, Columbia Pictures president of production, Michael de Luca, wants a different actor to replace Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. Apparently, Sony has been none-too happy with Garfield ever since he put the blame on Sony and their executive meddling for the lower-then-expected and critical panning of Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). Sony also didn’t appreciate it when Garfield refused to attend their July corporate dinner party, where he was supposed to be seated with high-ranking studio-executives. Whether the case may be, it appears Garfield has been all but fired from the franchise.
- The rumored non-Spider-Man Aunt May film? Turns out Sony seriously considered green-lighting the project. Same for a female team-up spin-off. Marvel, however, “severely disliked” those ideas.
- Marvel, had they retained control over Spider-Man, would have regarded both the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb films as “non-canonical,” as they wanted “no baggage” going forward into future movies. They also were not interested in another origin story, and the new films would have Peter Parker already as Spider-Man. Nor did Marvel want the films to be centered around a romance, stating, according to Latino Review, they wanted them to “focus on the difficulties of being a teenager and a superhero with a romance side-story.”
- As for the planned Sinister Six spin-off, Tolmach wanted to introduce either Venom or Carnage as the main villain, as he didn’t think Venom was capable of supporting his own movie. Had it been Carnage, the idea was for Peter Parker to obtain his black suit and team-up with the Sinister Six. However, the Sinister Six would ridicule Spider-Man’s new duds, and out of embarrassment, Peter would abandon the costume, which would then be found by someone else, leading that person to become Venom.
- In an 8-page attachment, Jeff Robinov, head of Studio 8, offered Pascal suggestions for how Sony could salvage Spider-Man as a franchise, making comparisons to the James Bond. One of the documents quotes him as saying, “In the next Spider-Man movies, we can’t go back to his origin story. Think of the 25 films in the James Bond franchise; just because a new creative team comes aboard, and breathes new life into a classic property, doesn’t mean the origin story has to be retold.”
- Among the proposed directors to replace Marc Webb included Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol), Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee (Frozen), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love), James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Don Hall & Chris Williams (Big Hero 6), Phil Lord & Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie), Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki), Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World), and David Yates (the Harry Potter films).
- One of the suggested stories for the new film? An adaptation of “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” saying it would “resonate with fans” and allow them to show Spider-Man is more than just his powers, that “[he’s special because of his values, because of what drives him, because of the lessons he’s learned from Uncle Ben’s death, and because of his love for Mary Jane.”
- Robinov also wanted to explore Spider-Man as an adult, adding that “It might feel fresh to see Peter Parker juggling with adult issues. He’s done so in the comics for decades, and kids still found this fun to read.”
There’s bound to be even more details from the leaks over the next few days, so keep watching the Crawlspace for future details.