Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man shared universe didn’t turn out as expected, but not all plans for it were scrapped, and there are some movies that are still happening, although a bit differently. Spider-Man has had an interesting history on the big screen, beginning in 2002 with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, introducing Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin.
The movie was followed by two sequels – Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and Spider-Man 3 in 2007 – and brought characters like Doctor Octopus, Venom, and Sandman to the big screen. The Spider-Man universe was rebooted in 2012 with The Amazing Spider-Man, now with Marc Webb as director and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. With this new version, Sony intended to create a shared universe of Spider-Man characters that included Venom and the Sinister Six as a way to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sadly, the underperformance of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 put a stop to those plans, and with the Sony/Marvel deal that brought Spider-Man to the MCU, plans for a third and fourth movie were effectively canceled.
However, some of the planned movies that don’t include Spider-Man haven’t been exactly canceled, instead changing their original plans or simply being delayed. Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man shared universe isn’t happening as initially planned, but the studio has already taken some big steps towards the right direction, making way for some anticipated movies that seemed to be trapped in pre-production limbo. Here’s everything from the Amazing Spider-Man shared universe that’s still happening.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
In 2013, Sony announced a third Amazing Spider-Man movie and gave it a June 2016 release date. The movie would have had Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner back as writers, with Webb and Garfield saying they would be up for it. A fourth movie was also announced, with a release date set for 2018, but Webb and Garfield weren’t sure about their involvement in it. This was all before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released, as the studio wasn’t counting on the movie underperforming.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was criticized for being overstuffed with plot lines and villains (Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino, even if the latter only appeared at the very end) and focusing too much on visual effects rather than on bringing an interesting story with well-developed characters that viewers could connect with. As a result, Sony was forced to rethink its plans for a shared universe, Orci left the third movie to work on Star Trek Beyond, and the project was delayed to 2018, with the fourth installment left in the air.
In 2015, Sony and Marvel finally joined forces to make Spider-Man’s inclusion in the MCU possible, and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 were officially canceled. Spider-Man, now played by Tom Holland, made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War before jumping to his first solo movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spidey returned in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, with his second solo adventure, Spider-Man: Far From Home, closing the Infinity Saga. After the Sony/Marvel deal fell through in August 2019, Spider-Man’s future was uncertain, but a new deal was reached a few weeks later, and a third Spider-Man movie, titled Spider-Man: No Way Home, is now scheduled for a December 2021 release.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is on its way to being one of the most important movies in the MCU’s Phase 4, as it will continue to explore the multiverse (which has already been teased and partially explored in Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, and Loki) and its many dangers. After Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) revealed Spider-Man’s identity to the whole world and framed him for his murder at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter will now have to deal with the consequences of this and will seek Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help. In an effort to keep the ones he loves safe, Peter will ask Strange to cast a spell that makes everyone forget he’s Spider-Man, but it won’t go as planned and they will end up further messing with the stability of space and time, making way for the multiverse madness and the arrival of villains from other timelines (and previous Spider-Man movies), as are Doctor Octopus and Electro. Spider-Man: No Way Home will pave the way for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and can also make way for some interesting and highly-anticipated crossovers with the characters living in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (especially Eddie. Brock/Venom), as originally intended with the Amazing Spider-Man shared universe.
Along with Venom, The Sinister Six was one of the most anticipated projects from the Amazing Spider-Man shared universe, more so after the second movie set up their arrival. At the end of the movie, when Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) sends Gustav Fiers to Oscorp to form their own team (starting with Rhino), Fiers walks past Doctor Octopus and Vulture’s weapons, before stopping in front of Rhino’s suit. During the end credits, the schematics of the weapons and technology used by Rhino, Vulture, Doc Ock, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter are revealed, confirming them as members of Sony’s Sinister Six team. The Sinister Six was scheduled for a November 2016 release and had Drew Goddard on board as writer and director, but the Sony/Marvel deal put an end to the project – for a while.
The current version of Spider-Man has already teased the Sinister Six’s potential appearance, introducing Adrian Toomes/Vulture and Quentin Beck/Mysterio as villains in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, and with Shocker and Mac Gargan/Scorpion appearing in minor roles. In addition to that, Vulture will appear in Morbius and Spider-Man: No Way Home will bring potential members to Peter’s timeline, further setting up a future Sinister Six movie. In December 2018, producer Amy Pascal confirmed the studio still intends to move forward with The Sinister Six with Goddard’s script and were waiting for him to be ready to direct as well. Though not confirmed yet, The Sinister Six can still happen, as Sony and Marvel have already set it up and Sony hasn’t canceled the project.
Spider-Man Spin-Offs Are Happening (& Successful)
As previously mentioned, Venom and The Sinister Six were the announced Spider-Man spin-offs when the Amazing Spider-Man shared universe was still a thing. Venom was planned to be written by Kurtzman, Orci, and Ed Solomon, with Kurtzman on board to direct as well, and was intended to release between The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4. Following the Sony/Marvel deal, and even though Sony still planned to produce the spin-offs on its own, Venom and The Sinister Six were believed to be canceled.
Venom was rescued in 2016, with Dante Harper writing a new script, which was later reworked by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner. Ruben Fleischer was then brought in to direct and Tom Hardy was announced as Eddie Brock/Venom. Although Venom wasn’t well-received by critics, it was a hit with viewers and a big box office success, and so it officially began the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (now renamed Sony’s Spider-Man Universe). Venom’s success opened the doors for Morbius, which holds some connections to the MCU, and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which in turn can make way for other planned spin-offs.
Perhaps it wasn’t the right time for a shared universe of Sony’s Marvel characters, or the studio simply needed more time to truly know what it wanted and how to achieve it, but there’s a new ray of hope for the projects that were once part of the Amazing Spider-Man shared universe, and hopefully, they will finally happen in a near future.
- Morbius (2022)Release date: Jan 21, 2022
- Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)Release date: Oct 01, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
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