Sony Pictures President Sanford Panitch wants to tie the Marvel properties of his studio with Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But when they already have a good thing going, with their solo Marvel ventures seemingly more profitable to their studio than any of those co-produced by Disney, a question arises: Why?
Speaking with Variety following the announcement that Aaron Taylor-Johnson had been cast as the titular big game hunter in a Kraven solo film, Panitch said there is a plan for Spider-Man to eventually show up in films outside of Marvel Studios (As would be expected, since Spider-Man is a central figure in Kraven’s greatest comic book story).
Panitch also talked about something he once hinted at in an earlier 2018 interview, again with Variety.
“There actually is a plan,” Panitch said previously. “I think now maybe it’s getting a little more clear for people where we’re headed and I think when No Way Home comes out, even more will be revealed.”
Panitch’s words are particularly interesting in light of alleged Spider-Man: No Way Home leaks recently shared to 4chan.
This unconfirmed leak claims that not only will Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina, and Willem DaFoe appear in the multiversal crossover film, but that Sony’s Spider-Man villains would be introduced through Dr. Strange’s alleged involvement.
These leaks, combined with this latest news about Kraven The Hunter’s solo film, seem to indicate that Sony plans to introduce all of these characters solo acts before connecting them to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man – a strategy opposite to how they were introduced in the comics.
We’ve talked previously about how Richard Wenk was hired by the studio to develop a screenplay for a possible Kraven the Hunter solo film, So nothing about this sounds new.
What might be true about what we’ll see in the movie is unclear at this point, but the idea of tying Holland’s Spider-Man in within the Sony films and previous Spider-Men sounds interesting – A great deal more interesting than any of the other prospects that Panitch talked about during his Variety interview.
So, it now seems that, after the events of No Way Home, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will be making moves into other films within the Sony Marvel Universe (Or the SUMC, Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters).
Being coy about what was teased about casting rumors and some of the supposed leaks recently, Panitch answered a question about the possibility of the Sinister Six appearing in No Way Home by saying only, “It would be very cool, wouldn’t it?”
A Seemingly Endless Tease
In another tidbit from his 2018 interview with Variety, conducted just after Venom hit theaters (which Bounding Into Comics even covered at the time) and at a time when Möbius was barely a script on paper and everything else was nothing more than ‘in development’, Panitch was a little less specific about the plans for the SUMC.
Speaking to Variety three years ago, Panitch said, “We’re focused on being faithful to the comics.”
Notably, Panitch said this after premiering a film that completely ignored the comic book origins of its main character, the Venom Symbiote, and in particular the creature’s interconnected relationship with Spider-Man.
A point of contention we’ve talked about before, there were also issues with the film receiving a proper rating, so much so that some theaters had the film advertised as NR on opening day.
Unfortunately, there was a bit more to what the Sony President hinted at, as Panitch continued speaking in this vague pattern throughout the rest of the 2018 interview, particularly when discussing his studio’s future plans for the Sony-Marvel side of things.
Implying that there are possibilities for other parts of the Sony Marvel franchise, Panitch told Variety, “The great thing is we have this very excellent relationship with Kevin [Feige]. There’s an incredible sandbox there to play with.”
“We want those MCU movies to be absolutely huge, because that’s great for us and our Marvel characters, and I think that’s the same thing on their side,” he added. “But we have a great relationship. There’s lots of opportunities, I think, that are going to happen.”
Upon its premiere in 2018, Venom was quite the theatrical success.
The film managed to garner 800 Million USD on a 100 Million USD budget, even without any connection to Spider-Man or the MCU, more than making up for its production costs (and then some).
We’ve recently gotten a glimpse of the Venom sequel, and Morbius’ trailer feels like it was released years ago (though this may be due to its releasing before the pandemic hit and subsequent pushing back a bit of the movie’s premiere date).
So the issue with this statement by Panitch seems to be one of tone deftness to what Marvel is doing with its Cinematic franchse and all of its characters.
Wandavision on Disney Plus was an opportunity to break the Marvel Universe wide open, but only managed to fail in both direction and vision by the series’ conclusion.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier managed to create a Black Captain America in Sam Wilson, though he seems to be an incarnation of the Star-Spangled Avenger who would rather empathize with terrorists rather than label them as such or even fight with them.
But hey, at least it gave Feige and Disney an opportunity to introduce Wilson’s Captain America into their Avengers Campus theme park areas, and allowed them to boast of “a moment where kids of all races can have a Captain America and see a little bit of themselves,” right?
Anthony Mackie and Kevin Feige appeared at the opening ceremony of #AvengersCampus to introduce Captain America.— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) June 3, 2021
"A moment where kids of all races can look at Captain America and maybe see a little bit of themselves.”pic.twitter.com/HrlCn6UpE2
No, Kevin. Sorry to say, but kids of all races saw a little bit of themselves in Steve Rogers well enough for years without having been pandered to.
Don’t even get me started on Teletubby Loki.
By all accounts, things aren’t looking good for the future of the MCU. Why would Sony want to join efforts with Feige when Marvel is going down a route inspired by that of the comic industry, which has failed and continues fail at keeping its readers?
They’re better off following the same strategy they used with Venom and leaving their films with no connection to the MCU at all.
But what do you think of Sony’s plans to integrate more of their characters within the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Sound off in the comments below, or let’s talk about it on social media!