One day, all movies will be comic book superhero movies. In an interesting pair of stories coming out of Sony Pictures' presentation to investors today, the studio's cochairperson Amy Pascal stated that they'll be reducing the total number of films on their slate for the coming years (from low 20s to around 18, and only four next summer) while also hinting that they're going to expand the number of releases in their top-grossing franchise. No, we're not going to get a new Amazing Spider-Man sequel every year, but we might get a regular dose of related Spidey spin-offs.
Sounds like Sony is taking some inspiration from Disney and its goals for both the Marvel/Avengers series and Star Wars, though The Wrap also mentions Fox's X-Men franchise with its solo character-focused installments (oh wait, they never got beyond Wolverine). And yet it's not totally surprising news considering there were plans in the past to introduce Venom as a villain and then toss him into his very own movies. This time around there's mention of Black Cat getting a spin-off, though we'll believe a studio trusts in a female-led superhero movie when we see it.
Sony already has its main ASM installments scheduled for every other year through this decade (2014, 2016, 2018), so let's imagine that the others will arrive on the odd years. Who could potentially be added to the busy summer of 2015 (or at least 2017 if this idea takes more time to develop)? If not Venom or Black Cat or Silver Sable (another female), how about Cloak and Dagger, who were introduced and continued as supporting characters in Spidey comics before getting their own title? Or let's get a movie focused on the home life of J. Jonah Jameson.
I guess I don't know enough of Spider-Man's heroic allies that Sony might hold the rights to in order to suggest anything better. Except more female characters like Spiderwoman and Firestar and Jackpot. Hey, maybe this studio could actually be the one to finally give us a good superheroine movie.
As for that statement that Sony is pulling back on its overall output, it should be pointed out that the studio has had a disappointing year for tentpoles, with After Earth, White House Down, The Smurfs 2 all falling short at the box office. Sony's best movie this summer was Grown-Ups 2, and even that earned less than its predecessor. As far as I can tell, this decrease might include Sony Pictures Classics releases, which is a shame considering this year it distributed such acclaimed works as Before Midnight, Blue Jasmine, The Armstrong Lie and The Gatekeepers, and there's Tim's Vermeer out next month.
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: