Sony's 'Spider-Man' Plans Reportedly Include Carnage, Female Superhero Movie, and More

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It will never stop seeming weird that a film grossing over $200 million domestically (and more than $700 million in all) is viewed as a flop, but the fact remains that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is one of the bigger disappointments of 2014, and its failure to meet expectations at Sony has triggered what's looking more and more like a complete franchise shakeup -- starting with the slew of spinoff projects the studio has planned.

The latest reports indicate that Sony is now planning to add a female-fronted, Spidey-associated superhero picture to the mix, and although details haven't been forthcoming yet, there's a relatively short list of characters who could conceivably fit the bill; at present, most rumors are focusing on the character of Black Cat, a.k.a. Felicia Hardy, who was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man 2 and -- in the comics, anyway -- has a long and rather sordid history with Spider-Man.

We absolutely need more strong female characters in the movies, so this is welcome news, but as always, it comes down to bandwagon-chasing at the studio level; as one insider is quoted as saying in the report, "What other movies we could do was something everyone started talking about when shooting the last movie. With Salt, Wanted and Lucy, there is a huge appetite for this right now."

Drew Goddard's Sinister Six is still in the mix, and execs are reportedly still bullish on that project, which will unite some of Spider-Man's more troublesome villains for a spinoff adventure. And then there's the Venom film, which spins off the alien symbiote previously seen in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3; that's reportedly now titled Venom Carnage, which would seem to indicate that it's bringing on board the Carnage character, which has its own tangled backstory with Venom.

All in all, it seems like an awful lot of Spider-stuff to chew for one studio, let alone an audience whose enthusiasm for these things seems to be dimming by the movie. But even if the Spider-Man franchise isn't the cinematic darling it once was, it still racks up hundreds of millions in worldwide grosses, and that's something Sony's exceedingly reluctant to give up in a sequel-driven, brand-dependent international marketplace. As the aforementioned source added, "The one thing you can’t ignore is the fans. There was a rejection going on with having another Spider-Man come out so soon, and you have to listen to the fans in this world. We all took a good look in the mirror and said, we have to try to have to figure it out and revamp it."

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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