Spider-Man is no longer apart of the MCU and is back with Sony. He is expected to join Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters (SUMC for short). We here at Full Circle have gone through the Sony email hack of 2014 and pulled various films and ideas the studio was working on to continue their The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. Some of these ideas have already been adopted into various other Spider-Man properties, so it’s safe to assume Sony isn’t against reusing past ideas. This first part of this series will explore the films that were further along in development than others in The Amazing Spider-Man franchise.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3
Plot: This film was in very early development before plans were scrapped following the Marvel Studios deal. The plot of the film would have revolved around Peter using his “super blood” to reanimate Gwen Stacy (and potentially her father, Captain George Stacy). The plot was inspired by the “Ultimate Comics” storyline where a deceased Gwen Stacy is brought back to life and becomes Carnage. Marc Webb has since revealed that Chris Cooper’s Norman Osborn was to be the main villain in the sequel, even though the character met his end in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
This falls in line with what Captain Stacy himself, Dennis Leary, said back in an interview in July of 2015 after the deal with Marvel Studios was made. This leads us to believe the script was far enough along before the Disney deal that Dennis Leary was told the proposed plot.
This film would have also been the final film in Andrew Garfield’s contract before the franchise would have seen a soft-reboot. Garfield was fed-up with the studio after the mangled The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was poorly received and decided he was done with the franchise after his contract was up. Another Garfield-led Spidey film was proposed in the Sony email hack but more on that in Part 2.
Thoughts: I don’t think ruining The Amazing Spider-Man 2 only to take a huge leap backward in the follow-up by bringing back Gwen and George Stacy, as well as Norman Osborn, would have been the right move. Seeing Peter mourn Gwen without ever really moving on would feel disingenuous to his character. He needs to grow as a hero and learn from his mistakes; not try for mulligans.
The Sinister Six
This film was the furthest along in development and the closest to being made. There were also already talks for a potential sequel. The film brought on writer/director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). Goddard’s pitch excited Sony executives so much that it took the original release date of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and was even considered to be the next installment for the webhead, as he was going to be featured prominently. The film went through various scripts and rosters for the team:
The Sinister Six – Plot 1
The film originally had 9 (NINE?!) villains facing off against Spider-Man throughout the movie: Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Vulture, Kraven, Mysterio, Rhino, Black Cat, Venom and Carnage. The film would have seen Spider-Man chasing down Black Cat only to get ambushed by The Sinister Six. They lead him to Oscorp where he becomes infected by the symbiote and, with it, can overpower the Six. Peter learns that Oscorp wanted him to get infected by the toxin and that the Sinister Six aren’t ACTUALLY evil (despite, you know, being called the SINISTER Six). The Sinister Six then arrive to convince Spider-Man to get rid of the costume, he does and it latches itself onto Eddie Brock, who was trying to get pictures of the skirmish. Spider-Man eventually fights Venom and the ensuing battle leads to the creation of Carnage. Venom and Carnage would team-up to infect the entire city which would have led to The Sinister Six, Spider-Man and Black Cat to team-up and stop the duo. Curt Connors, now cured of The Lizard, helps the team to stop the symbiotes. Once they’re defeated; Spider-Man defeats The Sinister Six and they’re sent to jail. They break out not long after, setting up their inevitable sequel.
Thoughts: Making The Sinister Six a group of anti-heroes instead of straight-up villains is a little surprising. Especially since the supposed leader, Harry, killed Gwen Stacy (which is never brought up in the plot). It would have been interesting to see what faction of “Oscorp” was trying to get the symbiote latched onto Spider-Man. This movie was incredibly ambitious and I would have been interested to see where it would have gone. Aside from the ambitious scope, Sony asked to have Venom and Carnage removed from the film so they could be the main focus of the Venom solo movie. I’m pretty sure this film would have eventually been titled Spider-Man and His Sinister Friends.
The Sinister Six – Plot 2
This film would have had a roster of Dr. Octopus, Black Cat, Sandman, Vulture, Mysterio, and a reluctant Spider-Man. The plot revolved around the 5 villains blackmailing Spider-Man to join the team. Plot points included fights in London and Paris, Space-Time Continuum Rifts, as well as the Savage Land from the comics. The proposed villain of the film would have been Gog; an enormous alien monster. The film would have ended with Sandman becoming a giant sand monster in the third act. In an email from Goddard to the Sony executives, he had this to say about the character and the actor he wanted for the role; Tom Hardy:
“He’s gonna storm through London at the end like God-f***ing-zilla. That is not purple prose. He’sgoing to be AS TALL AS A SKYSCRAPER in the third act of the movie. What does Dr. Strange have? Magic tricks? F**k you, magic tricks – we’ve got a skyscraper Tom Hardy knocking down buildings!!!!”
Goddard was trying to hype-up his movie in comparison to their competition at that time; Marvel Studios Dr. Strange.
In another email regarding the film, then studio head, Amy Pascal, was to meet with Marvel Studio’s, Kevin Feige, and ask about plot points to Dr. Strange as they had heard the film would deal with alternate dimensions; something they were working on for both The Sinister Six and Silver Sable.
Thoughts: This film was definitely less ambitious in scope but all over the place in terms of story. It would have also been interesting to see how general audiences reacted to Spider-Man being a member of The Sinister Six.
Westworld and Burn Notice writer Lisa Joy was hired to write the screenplay for the film.
Plot: The plot would have focused on Silver Sable working alongside her dad and his team of mercenaries known as The Wild Bunch. Her father, his team and Spider-Man are captured by Dr. Octopus and trapped in another dimension. Doc Ock is using the Space-Time Rifts introduced in The Sinister Six to find a dimension where his wife is still alive. This film would have also introduced Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, years before Spider-Gwen was even created in the comics. Paul Feige was asked to direct but turned it down in favor of directing 2016’s Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.
Thoughts: Silver Sable isn’t a character I was too familiar with before the PS4 game. The driving motivation of the villain, traveling to different dimensions to save his deceased wife, was used for 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, even though it was the Kingpin instead of Doc Ock. Including Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman was also used in the animated film, though by that time, the comic character had already been created in the comics. The fact that this film would have carried over from The Sinister Six and shed more light on Doc Ock’s true intentions with the Space-Time Continuum Rifts would have been interesting and different enough to feel unique in a slew of comic book films.
- Spider-Man using Snapchat (we saw a bit of this in Spider-Man: Far From Home).
- Spider-Man visiting other large cities in The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (the entire basis for Spider-Man: Far From Home).
Except for The Amazing Spider-Man 3‘s plot, any of these could be used as a continuation for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. These plots are close enough in-line to where we last saw Tom Holland’s web-slinger so it would take very little explaining or make a few simple rewrites. Holland’s iteration already has Vulture, Shocker, Scorpion, Mysterio introduced into the world (assuming Mysterio was able to trick him again).
Introducing the multiverse in a Silver Sable or The Sinister Six movie could give the mainline Spider-Man films room to breathe and find their footing in the Sony Universe of Marvel Characters.
Stay tuned tomorrow to see what Sony’s proposed “Phase 1” slate looked like!