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UPDATE: 12/10/2013 – When asked about The Amazing Spider-Man 4 in an interview with Yahoo Andrew Garfield responded, “I mean I’m under contract for another one after this… as far as a fourth one? That’s not anything to do with me.”
One quote. That’s it. That’s all it takes to set the internet on fire. Today, that quote came from Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal. Speaking in Los Angeles at an event known as Sony Entertainment Investor Day, Pascal dropped this little bomb (via TheWrap via ScreenCrush):
What does that even mean? In truth, we have no idea. It is a hint meant to get us talking even though we may not know for sure what we’re talking about.
The assumption is that Paschal must be referring to plans to create spin-offs of The Amazing Spider-Man. The supporting evidence is Sony’s known history of failed development of a film centered around the character of Venom meaning they have at least been trying to leverage their Marvel rights to create non-Spider-Man projects.
In response to the recent expansion of the D.C. and Marvel franchises owned by Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, and Disney, Sony could be aiming to respond by expanding their own super hero franchise beyond just the star character, i.e., Spider-Man. They could be committing to actually making a Venom film work this time. It’s hard to know because we don’t actually know for sure which Marvel characters Sony has the rights to use. Since the Marvel characters cross-over so much with one another in the comics, the film rights get crazy complicated [see Disney and 20th Century Fox’s recent fight over the character Quicksilver]. It’s most likely that whichever characters Sony intends to highlight would be spun off of the existing Amazing Spider-Man franchise, mimicking Disney/Marvel’s shared cinematic universe approach to their films the same way Fox is currently trying to do with The Wolverine/X-Men: Days of Future Past.
There is another possibility as well, which is that maybe The Amazing Spider-Man 4 won’t actually be a proper Spider-Man movie at all. When it was first announced in June, current Spider-Man Andrew Garfield and franchise director Marc Webb were reportedly as surprised as the rest of us. At that point, Garfield was supposedly not contracted beyond Amazing Spider-Man 3, and Webb admitted that perhaps story elements beyond Spider-Man could fill up Amazing Spider-Man 4. The current speculation is that they appear to be building toward incorporating the super villain team-up group the Sinister Six from the comic books. In Sony’s version, all of the Spider-Man villains from the prior films would band together in the end to take him on as a collective unit, sort of like an inverted version of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers with Spider-Man in the role of Loki and the Sinister Six evil versions of the Avengers. What if that still happens, but takes place in Amazing Spider-Man 3 to set up a fourth film centered around a new hero or villain introduced in one of the prior movies?
Or are they puling what Disney is doing with Star Wars and sticking to a schedule of a main group of Spider-Man films which will now have spin-off movies on the side?
We have no real idea. Amy Pascal said we should be on the lookout for more on this in the future. So, let’s just wait until we get more details. You know, as in something more than just a single quote delivered to a group of investors.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently scheduled to be released in the UK and other worldwide markets on April 18, 2014, and in the US on May 2, 2014.
What do you think about this news? Let us know in the comments section.