After Marvel Studios' success with last year's Avengers extravaganza, every film studio with a superhero in their stable has upped their game. Warner Bros. tossed Batfleck into the Man of Steel sequel, Fox put pretty much every actor who's ever been an X-Man into X-Men: Days of Future Past, and now it looks like Sony is dead set on building a cinematic universe around the one big name on its roster: Spider-Man.
“We are going to access Marvel’s full world of Spider-Man characters," said Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal at an investor presentation, "so be on the lookout for new heroes and villains.” This makes sense considering Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb's admission that the yes-it's-already-been-announced "Amazing Spider-Man 4 "might not just be a Spider-Man movie."
If Sony's looking to expand the wall-crawler's universe, here are five characters and concepts ready to headline their own film.
It's time for Marvel to show the world that DC isn't the only comic book publisher with a feline femme fatale. Unlike Catwoman's most recent big screen interpretations, a Felicia Hardy film could make a name for itself by highlighting the character's feisty attitude and knack for getting herself into absolutely bonkers heist situations. There may even be a precedent for this being set in next summer's Amazing Spider-Man 2: Subtitle TBD. It's been rumored that actress Felicity Jones has been fitted for a metaphorical cat suit, meaning that this spin-off could happen sooner rather than later.
Of Spider-Man's entire supporting cast, only one character has near-universal name recognition – and that character is Venom. Since the Eddie Brock iteration of the symbiote-powered antihero made his unceremonious debut in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, the rebooted Spidey-verse would be wise to bring the modern comic book Venom to the big screen. Flash Thompson, after losing both of his legs while on a tour of duty, becomes exposed to the Venom symbiote and transforms into a super-powered government agent. The partnership's an uneasy one – imagine if the Colonial Marines from Aliens were bonded with the vicious xenomorphs – and it would make for an incredibly thrilling action movie, unlike any comic book movie we've seen before.
If Marvel's not going to make a Black Widow movie, then maybe Sony can beat them to the punch with Silver Sable. While the mercenary might not care as much about the red in her ledger as long as she's getting real paid, a movie starring Silver Sable would definitely feature its fair share of gun-slinging swagger and hand-to-hand mercilessness. Her position as a diplomat from the State of Symkaria and the CEO of Silver Sable International would also give the shoot'em up film a decidedly diverse tone, hopefully giving us the "Rambo-esque character navigates boardroom politics" scene we've waited decades for.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man
This ludicrous series by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber is consistently the funniest comic book on the stands, meaning that it should be adapted into an equally ludicrous spin-off. The series, which follows eternally C-list bad guy Boomerang as he tries against all odds to form a new Sinister Six, shoots brilliantly crass jokes out of the mouths of lowlife losers, meaning that its alternate title could easily be It's Always Sunny In Marvel's New York City. In fact, Sony should just give the film over to the Paddy's Pub creators and cast and let them work their drunken, dirty magic.
It's time to face facts: pop culture vampires aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Luckily Sony just so happens to have the rights to Marvel's foremost bloodsucker – Morbius, the Living Vampire. "The Living Vampire"? If that doesn't make for an eye-catching subtitle, then nothing does. The character definitely has an iconic look, with his white skin, fangs, disheveled black hair, and leather, pseudo-straight jacket costume. His unique origin would also allow for Sony to put a new spin on the vampire setup, should its popularity start to wane; Morbius is a chemically transformed pseudo vampire with all of the perks of being a creature of the night and none of the drawbacks. Plus, a film about Dr. Michael Morbius would be the first comic book film to star a Nobel laureate!