Have I mentioned I really hope Ruben Fleicher’s Venom fails?
Why so negative, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Fleisher (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) is a competent director, so my issue isn’t with him.
And it’s certainly not with Tom Hardy, who appears to be an actor that willing to do his best for a role despite apprehensions to the contrary.
No, my problem is Sony, who’s creating their own little offramp of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) using characters from the Spiderverse (Silver Sable, Black Cat, the Scorpion) though if that weren’t bad enough, they have to exist–as far as I am aware–apart from Spider-Man (who’s currently being managed by Marvel Studios).
That’s right! We’re going to have a series of movies that revolve around characters that were introduced to readers vis Spider-Man’s comic, only without Spider-Man.
With the preeminence of Marvel Studios and to a lesser extent, DC Films, people can perhaps be forgiven for forgetting that Marvel and DC aren’t the only players in town.
There’s Dark Horse (Time Cop) who’s rebooting Hellboy but there’s also Valiant Comics, which have been seemingly preparing to make a movie to feature films for awhile.
Valiant were aligned with Sony, though that was under prior management; now they’re under control of DMG Entertainment and it’s CEO, Dan Mintz.
This is a particularly relevant question, especially considering that Sony seems to be emphasizing Spider-Man (and other Spiderverse characters like Venom, Black Cat and Silver Sable) while they could perhaps be building a cinematic universe of their own, independent of Marvel Studios.
The Slender Man meme (created by Eric Knudsen) is one of the first instances I am aware of of an idea started on a message board not only taking on an uncanny life of its own, but contributing to a very real murder.
So this movie has a lot to live up to. Looking at the trailer–which is way too stylish and cut to within an inch of its life for it’s own good–seems to fall more than a little bit short.
Sony is in a really curious place as far as their licensed Marvel Comics characters go.
Spider-Man himself is currently being very well-managed by Marvel Studios, who’re essentially producing movies gratis for Sony–so they’re building a branch of the SpiderVerse that doesn’t include him.
Which is a bit problematic because the characters that they’re building their franchise on, Venom, Silver Sable and Black Cat, under most conditions exit alongside Spider-Man (and were in fact introduced in his comic).
So if you take him away you’re (mostly) removing the context that they exist in as well.
Like I said, it’s a problem (though truth be told for those of us not well-versed with the comics it’ll be a relatively small one) .
This version of Spider-Man is Miles Morales, and if I recall for a time existed in an alternate Earth or something to that effect.
Let’s see if I understand…Sony is moving full-steam ahead on their own corner of the Marvel Comics universe and recently announced features based on Venom, Silver Sable, Black Cat and most recently Morbius, the Living Vampire?
And let’s forget for a moment that Sony doesn’t exactly have a stellar record with managing their Marvel properties (Spider-Man 1 & 2? Pretty good. The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2? Not so much) which is why I approach their latest development with such reticence.
And writers MATTER because what ruined The Amazing Spider-Man movies was not the direction, but the writing by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are in negotiations to write Morbius. If you’re not familiar with Sazama and Sharpless, they worked on Dracula Untold, The Last Witch Hunter, and Gods of Egypt, and Power Rangers.
What do all those movies have in common? Every single one (arguably excluding Power Rangers) tanked at the box office.
And that’s not to say that the Morbius adaptation can’t be absolutely brilliant, though I wouldn’t hold my breath on it.
Sony earned $86 million in the Second Quarter of 2017 due to the Playstation video game system and a little movie called Spider-Man: Homecoming, and an even littler movie, Baby Driver.
Spider-Man snared almost $900 million ($875,885 million worldwide) which is a lot of ducats for a movie that was supposed to underwhelm due to franchise fatigue (which is essentially a myth that says if you make crappy movies often enough people will eventually wise up and not pay to see them. And sure, it might take longer than anyone would like–but it WILL happen).
And Sony might want to consider re-upping their deal with Marvel Studios (especially when they botch their Venom solo movie. Come now, you know you were thinking the same damn thing).
I just read in The Hollywood Reporter that Apple is reportedly vying for the rights to distribute James Bond (along with Amazon, Sony and Warner Bros) movies, which I am trying to get my head around.
Now keep in mind such a move would likely give Apple exclusive access to Bond’s entire back catalog (as well as future releases) though doesn’t Apple–via iTunes–already have this (on an unexclusive basis)?
It’s worthy repeating that Apple isn’t buying the right to produce Bond movies (that would be a serious coup) but the right to distribute them, though seeing that movie theaters will continue to be with us (though perhaps the window from theaters to digital would shorten) there would have to be a considerable effort to expand to other media; a risky effort because not only would you have to be not only concerned about the failure of a particular venture, but of diluting or damaging the franchise as well).
After all, do you remember a cartoon called James Bond Jr (Nor does anyone else; that’s not a bad thing if you’re able to digest the uber-cheesy theme song)?
I suspect part of what makes James Bond such an institution is it’s exclusivity, which seemingly would directly conflict with Apple’s (and Amazon’s long-term plans).
Besides, if Apple Apple really wanted content, they could relatively easily buy a film studio.