Oh, boy, more comic book villains!
Sony Pictures, the studio that owns the movie rights to Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man, has decided to expand its comic book universe over several films and has tapped several familiar names to do so. The goal is "to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films." The first two projects named are Venom and The Sinister Six.
All the major Hollywood studios are reliant upon franchises nowadays, spending hundreds of millions of dollars in search of a return of even more hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office and through merchandising. It's a high-stakes game of poker that won't come crashing down until the public at large rejects super-powered adventures en masse.
Sony has already staked out release dates for the third and fourth installments of The Amazing Spider-Man -- June 10, 2016, and May 4, 2018 -- so we can assume that Venom and The Sinister Six will be timed to support those dates.
As to those creative talents, they're part of what Sony is calling a "franchise brain trust." Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard all have franchise experience, and they'll be working with director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach to oversee the story that will develop throughout the films.
Now we have the prospect of Sony, Disney, and Fox all releasing multiple Marvel properties, each with their own expanded universe. And let's not forget Warner Bros. releasing DC properties. How many superheroes are too many? Are the studios killing the goose that laid the golden eggs?