Movies & TV / Columns

How Venom is a Game Changer for Sony

November 24, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

Sometimes all it takes is one movie to exceed expectations to change the outlook of a franchise. At first glance you wouldn’t think it but Venom helped Sony in a major way and all it took was for it to over-perform at the box office, as it has grossed over $780 million worldwide, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2018 and set several box office records for the month of October.

While critics have savaged it with a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences have supported it with an 86%. With that, new life is given to the Sony Spider-Man universe.

The plan going into Venom was if it opened well and performed solid, Sony would follow things up with a series of sequels and standalone films featuring heroes and villains who populate the Spider-Man universe. Sony has already announced plans to make Morbius, with Daniel Espinosa directing Jared Leto and they also have signed up Richard Wenk (The Equalizer 2) to write a screenplay focused on Kraven the Hunter. The studio is also in the process of developing movies based on Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch, and is actively looking for writers to write scripts.

Now we have word that an untitled Sony-Marvel project will hit theaters on July 10, 2020, with an untitled Sony-Marvel sequel following on Oct. 2. Nothing more was given as far as details but it’s safe to assume that the July project is likely Morbius, another anti-hero from comics, making his debut back in 1971 in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man. He’s a scientist seeking a cure for a blood disease and his search for a cure leads him with vampiric tendencies.

The gamble and success of Venom is giving this project renewed buzz, with Sony hoping to Morbius mirrors that performance. “We’re focused on being faithful to the comics,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, and the executive who has been overseeing what is being dubbed internally, Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, or SUMC.

Upping expectations is the sequel to Venom, which the second date is presumably for. Back when the Venom project was first announced, Panitch indicated that future Venom films could crossover with the Spider-Man movies. In an interview earlier this year, Woody Harrelson shared that he was expected to have a larger role in a Venom sequel. Tom Hardy has said that he’s signed on for two more Venom movies.

Money opens many doors so it’s no surprise that Sony is proceeding full speed ahead. They’re track record has been spotty at best and it makes sense that they’ll mine any success as quickly and thoroughly as possible. But just like one big box office can make things happen, one box office disaster can halt things in an instant.

What are your thoughts on the future of the Sony Spider-Man universe?

article topics :

Sony Pictures, Venom, Steve Gustafson