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Sony Pictures announced today that Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard will join Marc Webb in a "brain trust" that will collaborate on three new Spider-Man movies: "The Amazing Spider-Man 3," "Venom" and "The Sinister Six." The formal press release was a hidden download on the studios' new Electro Arrives website.
Webb is currently finishing "Amazing Spider-Man 2" the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster which effectively rebooted the franchise with Andrew Garfield playing the wisecracking Wall-Crawler. In a press release, Sony Pictures noted it "hopes" Webb will return for "Amazing Spider-Man 3" which will hit theaters on June 10, 2016. "Amazing Spider-Man 3" will be written by Kurtzman, Orci and Solomon.
Additionally, Kurtzman and Orci will write a standalone "Venom" movie that Kurtzman will direct. Goddard, who has also been put in charge of Marvel's "Daredevil" series for NetFlix will write a "Sinister Six" film with an eye to also direct. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce all three projects.
Venom has traditionally been an alien symbiote that has chosen a human host on Earth. The character was a villain in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3."
The Sinister Six are a supervillain group that have teamed up in order to take down Spider-Man. In the comics, members have included Electro, Vulture, Doctor Octopus, Sandaman, Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter, among others. It's unclear which six villains Sony will use for this standalone, but Electro, Rhino, Vulture and the Green Goblin look like they will be introduced in "Amazing Spider-Man 2."
Doug Belgrad, president of Sony Pictures division Columbia Pictures, remarked on the news, “The Spider-Man film franchise is one of our studio’s greatest assets. We are thrilled with the creative team we have assembled to delve more deeply into the world that Marc, Avi and Matt have begun to explore in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We believe that Marc, Alex, and Drew have uniquely exciting visions for how to expand the Spider-Man universe in each of these upcoming films.”
In a joint statement, Arad and Tolmach added, “This collaboration was born out of the great experience we and Marc had working with Alex, Bob, and Jeff on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With more than fifty years’ wealth of stories in the comic books to draw upon for inspiration, the Spider-Man universe is truly boundless; in addition, the Spider-Man comics have the greatest rogues gallery of any series, and to have the chance to explore that on film is truly thrilling. Until now, we have approached each film as a separate, self-contained entity, but with this move, we have the opportunity to grow the franchise by looking to the future as we develop a continuous arc for the story. That is what Alex, Bob, Jeff, Ed, and Drew will do in this unprecedented collaboration, and we’re excited about the directions they are taking the character and the world.”
There are a number of interesting questions poised by this announcement. Will Kurtzman and Orci no longer be able to write Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek 3"? Let alone their commitment to Universal Pictures for the new "The Mummy" film. Moreover, Marvel Entertainment was not quoted in the release, but were included as one of the two companies involved. Considering Goddard's very deep involvement with the "Daredevil" series does this mean Marvel and Sony are officially coordinating their efforts? If so, that opens up many doors to crossovers between the two seemingly separate Marvel Universes.
Moviegoers and Spidey-fans should find out more when "Amazing Spider-Man 2" opens nationwide on May 2, 2014.
What do you think of the new writers and films? Share your thoughts below.