Is Sony Pulling The Plug On The Amazing Spider-Man Series?
Written by Steven Panzarella(@ProCreateSteve)
Correction-I talk about X-Men and Spider-Man under similar circumstances, X-Men is owned by Fox, Spidey by Sony.
This is the question that has been floating around a number of websites in the last few days, is The Amazing Spider-Man Series about to die? It’s an honest question and IGN has put forth the main argument. Their main point is that writing/producing team Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman has amicably decided to go their separate ways. Orci will take over Star Trek from JJ Abrams who is now working on Star Wars and Kurtzman is set to produce The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and direct Venom. The first two Amazing Spider-Man films made a combined $463 million dollars domestically and the first one out performed this year’s newest installment by a pretty healthy margin.
It’s also good to note that most people believed the first one was better than the second and the bomb that was Spider-Man 3 scared fans off from ASM2 because it had more than 2 villains set to appear (Only 2 villains actually showed up for most of the movie but a grand total of 5 villainous characters did appear). If you are looking for reasons why The Amazing Spider-Man series did not burst onto the scene it’s probably because the Sam Raimi/Toby McGuire Spider Man series was still fresh in everyone’s mind, both movies were separated by about 5 years. My opinion on why it failed was mainly because of the time difference, Spider Man fans were still getting the bad taste out of their mouths from Spider-Man 3 and here comes a brand new origin story. It may have made more sense to handle the origin briefly but jump years into the future. It may have allowed fans to move on but either way I was never quite sure we needed a Spider-Man movie at this point in time. The Amazing Spider-Man wound up with a worldwide take of just over $700 million but when you look at Spider-Man 3 which was arguably one of the worst superhero movies of all time and still made over $335 million domestically and $860 million worldwide you see the difference and it may be too big a difference for Sony to deal with at this point. Now let me stress that this does not mean Spider-Man will find his way back into the hands of Marvel in time for their Phase 3 and it does not mean that Orci leaving is enough to force Sony to cancel everything they have planned. They have 3 movies planned at this point and are looking to expand the universe, ASM3 is expected in 2 years, with Venom getting a standalone movie after that and then a movie about Spider-Man’s biggest enemy’s The Sinister Six is expected later on.
Sony has the rights to Spider-Man as long as they make movies, if they were to put all Spider-Man films on hold for an extended period of time the rights can revert back to Marvel. The question is why would they? Spider-man still made Sony $700 million dollars this year and they still have the opportunity to make at least one more film with Andrew Garfield as the lead. Garfield has hinted that he will leave the franchise following the third film but that doesn’t mean they can’t just recast the role if they decide to put ASM3 on hold or decide to move ahead with Venom and Sinister Six instead. So back to the question in the lead, is Sony pulling the plug on the Amazing Spider-Man series? I don’t believe they will, I do think they may take a year or two off from making anything just to see if the need for more ever becomes apparent but I sadly don’t think Sony sells off its major cash cow back to the guys who are dominating the comic book genre year in and year out. To quote Marvel Head Kevin Feige "Well, I've gotten into the habit of saying never say never… But the contracts are such that as long as they keep making those movies, they can keep making those movies. So I don't see that changing any time soon”. If Feige is being optimistic then I would tend to listen to what he has to say but Marvel would basically have to make Sony an offer they can’t refuse. Besides giving them 50% profit and enough money to have it make sense I don’t see that happening. As long as Spidey is making Sony millions of dollars they should continue to throw him out every two years. Let me know what you think on twitter or in the comments section.