'Venom' and 'Sinister Six' Will Get Their Own 'Spider-Man' Spinoffs

Sinister

Remember all those hints that Sony was planning something really big for the Spider-Man franchise? Turns out they were on the money -- lots and lots of money. In fact, Spidey's about to birth a pair of spinoffs: As the studio announced late Thursday, Venom and Sinister Six movies are currently in the works.

Because you're nothing these days unless you've got an overarching universe behind your costumed characters, Sony has gathered a self-described "brain trust" to oversee the projects, including five writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard. Kurtzman, Orci, and Pinkner are writing The Amazing Spider-Man 3; Kurtzman, Orci, and Solomon will write Venom, with Kurtzman planning to direct.

Meanwhile, Goddard -- who, remember, is also working on the Marvel/Netflix Daredevil series -- is at work on the Sinister Six script, the seeds for which appear to be sown, in part, from the closing moments of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, where viewers will catch a glimpse of the weapons used by the Vulture and Doctor Octopus.

"The Spider-Man film franchise is one of our studio’s greatest assets,” said Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad. “We are thrilled with the creative team we have assembled to delve more deeply into the world that Marc, Avi and Matt have begun to explore in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We believe that Marc, Alex, and Drew have uniquely exciting visions for how to expand the Spider-Man universe in each of these upcoming films."

As longtime Spidey fans know, both Venom and the Sinister Six have a lot of history behind them. The Venom character started life as an alien symbiote that grafted itself onto Peter Parker's skin during the early '80s Secret War crossover series, eventually corrupting his mind and forcing him to do battle with the creature and ridding himself of it (presumably for good). Presumed dead, the symbiote has since found other hosts, including Eddie Brock (portrayed by Topher Grace in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3) and Peter's high school bully Flash Thompson.

While Venom currently plays a Punisher-like vigilante role in the Marvel universe, there's no such ambiguity at play with the Sinister Six, a shifting rogues' gallery that has popped up at various points in the Spider-Man series to wreak havoc. Typically led by Doctor Octopus and rounded out by whoever else happens to be around -- including Electro, the Beetle, and the Vulture -- the Six has been responsible for some of the better-received stories in Spider-history.

Of course, building a movie around these characters is a trickier proposition -- just ask the writers who have already taken a crack at a Venom movie, or Raimi, who lobbied against shoehorning him into SM3. The odds are still stacked against Sony, but at least we can say they're off to a good start with the talent they've assembled.

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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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