Marvel made a big announcement last weekend, claiming release dates for five more, unidentified superhero movies, starting in July 2017 and stretching forward to May 2019. Marvel has been doing this for awhile, namely, grabbing prime release dates and then deciding which of its movies fit best into that release strategy.
While Marvel has been making big noises about its superhero future, Sony has turned cautious, especially in view of the "disappointing" returns for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (More on that in a moment.) The studio has decided to delay The Amazing Spider-Man 3 from June 10, 2016 to sometime in 2018, and has pushed The Amazing Spider-Man 4, which had been scheduled for May 4, 2018, off the table entirely, at least for now.
With these delays, that left May 4, 2018 ripe for the picking, and Marvel promptly announced that it would schedule a release on that date. What title, exactly, is still up in the air -- speculation is that Avengers 3 would fit in there quite nicely -- but it gives the company three releases in a single calendar year -- a bold move. We may learn more when the company hosts a panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening, July 26; our resident Marvel expert has already speculated on the titles he thinks may be filling those slots.
Let's get back to Sony. Instead of continuing the story of Spider-Man directly, the studio has decided to ride the vision of writer-director Drew Goddard as he guides The Sinister Six, a spin-off movie that is described as "villain-centric." It's been slotted for November 11, 2016, and sounds like a good move by a company that wants to establish a separate identity for its superhero properties.
Where does that leave The Amazing Spider-Man 3? Though the returns for the second installment of the rebooted series have been described as "disappointing," it's worth nothing that it's grossed more than $700 million worldwide, which is just $50 million less than the first installment. But with competition increasing and more expensive blockbusters than ever lining up for their share at a crowded box office, it makes for a super-competitive marketplace, especially in view of the high price tag of the movies themselves.
Another factor to consider is that delaying the project another two years means Andrew Garfield will be 34 years old when it comes time to film the next installment. That's long in the tooth for a character who's meant to be a young man, and could indicate a change in the story for Peter Parker. Maybe it's time for a Spider-Man who's a bit older and more seasoned. Time will tell which way Spider-Man spins his web.
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: