All remains quiet on the Spider-Man front. At a Variety sponsored event on Thursday, the chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures, Tony Vinciquerra, talked at length about the franchise, focusing mostly on his confidence in Sony’s plan moving forward.
“Spider-Man was fine before the event movies, did better with the event movies, and now that we have our own universe, he will play off the other characters as well,” Vinciquerra told Variety. “I think we’re pretty capable of doing what we have to do here.”
He’s talking, of course, about the success of Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the sequels coming for both of those films, the “five or six” potential Spider-Man themed TV shows in development, and Jared Leto vehicle Morbius, to start.
“We had a great run with [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige] on Spider-Man movies,” Vinciquerra said. “We tried to see if there’s a way to work it out... the Marvel people are terrific people, we have great respect for them, but on the other hand we have some pretty terrific people of our own. Kevin didn’t do all the work.”
Now, obviously this is true. Feige is not the sole reason why audiences ate up Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home. But his penchant for huge world-building no doubt played a big part in the success of those films — and, to date, it’s not something Sony has shown much talent for.
Remember the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies? Those were each littered with Easter eggs and cameos that were supposed to set up more Spider-Man movies, a Sinister Six movie, a Silver Sable and Black Cat movie... the sky was the limit. And yet, it all went down in flames because those films didn’t live up to audience (and therefore, studio) expectations.
“Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of [The Amazing Spider-Man 2], and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people,” Andrew Garfield said back in 2014. Ouch.
The difference this time, though, and the thing Vinciquerra did not say but certainly seemed to tiptoe around, is that Feige’s hard work is done. Meaning, he helped make movies that got fans invested in Spider-Man once again.
The next chapters in Peter Parker’s journey don’t have to be about Thor, Captain Marvel, or Black Panther. There are plenty of characters coming from plenty of different directions that can facilitate a very robust shared universe on their own.
However, maybe not all hope is lost. Another person with a very important take on all of this also spoke at Variety’s event, and his name is Jon Favreau. He’s one of the godfathers of the MCU and played large roles in both Spider-Man movies — and he still feels it could all work out.
“I’ve been talking to everybody about it… I’m cautiously optimistic,” Favreau told Variety. “I think it’s a long way away and I think the collaboration has been really strong up to this point so I’m hopeful that there’s a way for us all to play together going forward.”