(NEW YORK) –Sony is wasting no time trying to build on the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s blockbuster opening weekend — the movie, starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger, grossed more than $480 million worldwide to date.
A stand-alone film starring Tom Hardy as Spider-Man supervillain Venom is already in the works, as well as Silver & Black, which will pair Spidey universe characters jewel thief Black Cat with mercenary Silver Sable.
A licensing agreement Sony inked with Marvel Comics in the early 2000’s, includes rights to roughly 900 characters, and Sanford Panitch, president Columbia Pictures — which is owned by Sony — tells Variety, that he’s been, “immersing himself in the Spider-Man comic books and boning up on the backstories of Peter Parker’s various costumed adversaries.”
“With the Sony universe of Marvel characters, our mission is only to do what’s the absolute best for each individual property. I just want to honor the original DNA,” he adds.
Spider-Man: Homecoming marked an unprecedented collaboration between Sony and Marvel, with Marvel producing the film, as well as collecting a licensing fee. That deal gave Sony access to stars like Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. In return, Spider-Man was featured in Captain America: Civil War and will be in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
One key caveat here for fans: Marvel Studios, which has a flawless box office record with Marvel characters, unlike Sony Pictures, won’t be involved in Venom or Silver & Black, and Sony isn’t making predictions on whether or not Spider-Man will appear in Venom.
However, Panitch says “If we get lucky enough to make more than one [Venom film] and continue the franchise, there are lots of opportunities.”
It should also be noted that Sony was fast-tracking other Spidey-free Spider-Man films, like the all-villian Sinister Six, before the poor box office performance of The Amazing Spider-Man, which starred Andrew Garfield as Peter/Spidey, put the character’s fate in jeopardy.
It took Marvel Studios’ intervention, its casting of Holland for Civil War — and the performance of Homecoming — to get the property back on track.
While Disney-owned Marvel Studios won’t be involved with Venom or Silver & Black, Sony and Marvel will team up again for the 2019 sequel to Homecoming, which could be directed by Homecoming‘s Jon Watts, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
ABC News is owned by parent company Disney.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.