If you ever wanted an example of how studios can mismanage a movie franchise, look no further than Spider-Man. Specifically, the Amazing Spider-Man movie franchise, which rebooted Sam Raimi’s previous trilogy. That original trilogy had come crashing down after the over-stuffed Spider-Man 3 ended up being a radioactive mess. And yet, for Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony went and recommitted a number of the very same sins their predecessor had. Not surprisingly, the film was not as well received as the studio had hoped and led to Sony eventually just admitting their shortcomings and signing a landmark deal with Marvel to take back creative control of the character (and based on the little we’ve seen in Captain America: Civil War, they’ve already done a bang up job of it).
But before sense prevailed, Sony had been willing to try just about anything to make the Amazing Spider-Man franchise this massive cash cow, including setting up numerous spinoff movies to exist inside this insulated Spidey universe. And while some of the ideas – like a solo Venom feature, or villain-centric Sinister Six movie – certainly had merit, others were just downright ridiculous and smacked of desperation (young Aunt May as an ass-kicking spy, anyone?!).
And now that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is hanging out with the Avengers in the proper Marvel Cinematic Universe though, there’s no need for those spinoff movies anymore, right? Wrong, actually. Because when speaking to THR about the Sony/Marvel, Sony’s movie boss Tom Rothman revealed that they still have plans on the table.
Since you teamed with Marvel, do you plan to make a whole Spider-Man universe? Do you have plans for more work with Marvel?
Yes to both those questions. It’s been fantastic, our relationship with Marvel.
You may recall the recent news that Sony’s Venom movie was happening again, but at the time there was no mention of Marvel, and it seemed that they were going to develop it in isolation outside of the MCU. Could they have reconsidered that weird idea, especially now that Holland’s Marvel Spider-Man is already such a huge hit? It certainly sounds like there’s a possibility. But if they are developing it with Marvel, who’s going to decide on the hows, whats and whys? Is Sony just going to fumble this ball for the third time with their silly ideas?
Who has greenlight authority?
Sony has the ultimate authority. But we have deferred the creative lead to Marvel, because they know what they’re doing.
And based on Marvel’s absolute box office dominance, that is certainly a wise move. Now Marvel has generally also drawn pretty good critical responses, but I specifically only mentioned their commercial success in that previous sentence because lets face it: Studios are first and foremost there to make money. And Rothman is not denying that, but he also realizes that sometimes you need to spend money to make it.
Do you want to trim the costs of that franchise?
I don’t want to trim costs. I want to make money. And sometimes you make money by trimming costs and sometimes by investing in things that are profitable. A movie like Spider-Man by Marvel, that’s not inexpensive. But it’s a great investment. Knowing that Marvel has such a clear, creative vision, I sleep very well at night.
Sleeping with a pillow stuffed full of royalty cheques, I’m sure.
Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will be on screen next year in his first solo movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is being directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car). It’s also boasting a fantastic cast that includes Disney star Zendaya as Peter Parker’s female interest, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Michael Keaton as the movie’s primary villain – believed to be the Vulture – and Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The cast also expanded in this week past to include Logan Marshall-Green and Bokeem Woodbine as additional villains, as well as Donald Glover, Tony Revolori, Michael Barbieri, Kenneth Choi, Martin Starr, Hannibal Buress, Abraham Atta, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., J.J. Totah, Selenis Leyva, and Michael Mando. It is scheduled for release on July 7. 2017.
Last Updated: June 27, 2016