With the debut of Sony's "Amazing Spider-Man 2" less than a month away, now is the time for more updates on the status of the universe of films they plan to build around it. Since virtually every major film studio which has ownership of any superhero franchises wants to emulate the success of the shared universe of films that Marvel Studios have established since 2008, this means that Sony plans to produce spin-off films to Marc Webb's era of "Amazing Spider-Man" films. Between sequels and spin-offs, Sony even imagines producing one web-slinger related film per year from now on.
The first two spin-offs planned will be "Sinister Six" and "Venom", which have been announced before. Trailers seem to indicate that "Amazing Spider-Man 2" will not only be a sequel, but will be a prologue to both of these films. While basing an entire film around Spider-Man's infamous team of rogues is risky, "Venom" in theory would be a spin-off of a character who hit a peak of popularity in the 1990's and comes off a successful comic book run featuring Flash Thompson as the anti-heroic figure. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Drew Goddard ("Cabin in the Woods"), who was already hired by Sony to write the script to "Sinister Six", has now been tapped to direct the film as well. It is unknown which villains would be featured in it, but "Amazing Spider-Man 2" will already introduce audiences to Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan). Split second bits in a trailer have already alluded to the Vulture and Doctor Octopus being down the pipe.
"Venom", meanwhile, will be directed by Alex Kurtzman, who will also co-write the script alongside Ed Solomon and Roberto Orci. They and Goddard will also be under the watchful eyes of producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, as well as "Amazing Spider-Man 2" director Marc Webb to form a cohesive universe. It is unknown whether this film would utilize the original Eddie Brock version of Venom, or run with the recent era of Flash Thompson using the suit to make up for his missing legs as a black ops agent. What the producers did tease was that his long time arch nemesis Carnage would be taken "into consideration". Both are characters which saw their peak in the 90's, but remain fairly well known to mainstream audiences and frankly, Sony's spin-off options may be limited. After all, an "Aunt May" film is likely a non-starter.
"Captain America: the Winter Soldier" wins second weekend in a row!
Despite a challenge by the kid flick "Rio 2", Marvel Studios' "Captain America: the Winter Soldier" is once again atop the North American box office tallies for the second weekend of release. It fell 57% from its' debut to rake in $41.3 million domestically, and another $60.6 million overseas. It has so far grossed $158.9 million domestically and $317.7 overseas for a worldwide total of $477 million in two weeks. It is already out-performing the first five Marvel Studios films in overseas box office tallies. Who would have thought that a superhero film that makes hay of the overzealous American paramilitary surveillance state would be popular with countries around the world?
Character designs from "Cyclops #1" revealed!
Next month, the next X-Men spin off is due to hit shelves. It is "Cyclops", a spin off of "All-New X-Men" written by Greg Rucka ("Punisher", "Lazarus") and drawn by Russell Dauterman. Now, Comic Book Resources has an exclusive look at character sketches for the series for not only Cyclops, but his resurrected father Corsair and his mate, the alien feline woman Hepzibah. Note that this is not the adult Cyclops who stars in "Uncanny X-Men", but the time flung teenage version of himself who stars in "All-New X-Men". This is already a universe that not only features those two, but the time traveling son of (adult) Cyclops who is now older, an alternate reality version of that aforementioned son in X-Man, and an alternate reality version of a potential daughter in Rachel Summers/Marvel Girl. Yet somehow, Spider-Man being married was a bridge too far for the Marvel Universe.
In fairness, the art looks splendid and Rucka talks up the series as being the space faring adventures of a father and son trying to bond and make up for past tragedies albeit after a series of unlikely events reuniting them. Marvel are attempting some different spin-offs lately in addition to their usual ones with Wolverine; "Nightcrawler" just got another stab at a solo series last week. Rucka has a strong pedigree for comics, even if his Marvel work hasn't garnered top sales. It will remain to be seen if his dip into the X-Men universe will bare fruit for him.
Movoto gives us hero hide-outs!
The hit blog Movoto has provided a visual look at 35 superhero home bases, which provide an interesting glimpse at the size and scale of many of them in relation to each other. Check it out here!