There’s clearly an odd plan for Sony’s Spider-Man universe – could the studio try to emulate the MCU and create its own anti-Avengers team?
Sony’s plans for Venom, Morbius and Madame Web suggest the studio could be building its own anti-Avengers team. The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has led to many franchises trying to emulate their shared universe model. Sony in particular wasted no time; they owned the movie rights to Spider-Man and his associated characters, and believed they could create a Spider-Man universe out of them. Unfortunately, the studio tried to move forward too quickly, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed as a launch pad. Following that failure, Sony struck an unprecedented deal that allowed a new Spider-Man to be rebooted as part of the MCU.
However, that didn’t mean Sony had given up on its shared universe ambitions. Instead, they launched what they eventually called “Sony’s Spider-Man universe,” which kicked off in 2018 with Venom. Some have complained about the absence of Spider-Man himself, but it grossed over $850 million worldwide and was followed by a successful sequel. He is now followed by Morbius, starring Jared Leto as Marvel’s “Living Vampire.” The choice is surprising, as Morbius lacks Venom’s trademark recognition; and look beyond Morbius, some of Sony’s other choices seem even stranger. They seem to be moving forward with a Madame Web movie, a particularly unlikely project that nonetheless attracted talent such as Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney, who many believe play Black Cat.
There’s clearly a plan in play for Sony’s Spider-Man universe, however, it’s odd because it seems to involve characters few fans would expect to become cornerstones of a shared universe, or even to appear on the big screen in the medium term to all. Some recent comments may hint at Sony’s plans, as it’s possible the studio is still trying to emulate Marvel’s model by creating an anti-Avengers franchise.
Sony’s Spider-Man Universe Could Mirror The Avengers
Many viewers take the success of the MCU for granted. But it’s important to remember that in 2008, the MCU was seen as a gamble. Marvel was dealing with characters who had never appeared on the big screen before, who had been mocked by Hollywood, and who lacked the power of big brands like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Even Marvel execs knew they weren’t working with top superheroes. A decade earlier, they offered Sony the chance to buy all of Marvel’s characters for $25 million. There’s a sense in which Sony shouldn’t be mocked for trying to build a shared universe out of unlikely characters, since Marvel has done the same before.
But the similarities between Marvel’s approach and Sony’s don’t end there. The proof is that Sony is essentially building its own dark version of the Avengers, using Spider-Man characters that can serve as twisted mirror images of MCU heroes. Venom himself is essentially the dark Spider-Man, a comparison that’s been deliberately minted in the comics many times. Meanwhile, Morbius appears to transform into someone who looks like a darker version of Tony Stark. Morbius is the head of a company called Horizon Labs, which in the comics has become a source of superhero and vigilante technology much like Stark Industries sources the Avengers. Interestingly, Madame Web is rumored to be Doctor Strange from Sony’s Spider-Man universe.
The parallels are striking, and they seem to suggest that Sony is taking an imitative approach to building its shared universe. Of course, other opportunities also become available through the multiverse. Morbius Director Daniel Espinosa recently confirmed that Sony is following a model of the multiverse where each dimension has its own Spider-Man, explaining the apparent references to certain versions of the crawler in the trailers.
Will Sony’s Anti-Avengers work?
Assuming Sony is indeed attempting to create its own anti-Avengers using Spider-Man characters, the natural question is whether this strategy has any chance of succeeding. While it’s true Venom well done, and Venom: let there be carnage broke franchise records in its opening weekend, the future of this shared universe must simply be in doubt right now. Unfortunately, Morbius doesn’t look so promising. The character isn’t as firmly established in the public consciousness as Venom, early reactions are mixed, and box office projections are concerning. Even the cast doesn’t seem sure what to think Morbiuswith Matt Smith admitting he’s confused by his Morbius character.
Sony’s Spider-Man universe is still in its early stages, where a stumble could cause major problems. It’s true that the MCU has thrived despite additional missteps. 2008 The Incredible Hulk was generally considered a disappointment and remains the MCU’s lowest-grossing film to date. However, there’s no reason to assume that viewers will be so lenient with Sony’s Spider-Man universe. The first comments on Morbius, with several critics saying the film is unsure of the universe it inhabits, suggest it could yet force a change in direction from Sony.
Ironically, the potential is already there for such a pivot. Espinosa’s comments about his universe’s Spider-Man raise the possibility that Sony decides to simply introduce its own version of Peter Parker, convinced that the multiverse allows multiple iterations of a character to flourish on the big screen without causing much harm. problems to the public. They might even choose to respond to fan reactions after Spider-Man: No Coming Home bending Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man into this timeline, which would certainly be an ironic twist. Going this route would require Sony to deviate from the Avengers formula a bit, as they would have a real Spider-Man working alongside a dark one, but that wouldn’t necessarily preclude an Avengers mirror team from forming. It might be better with Venom, Morbius, and Madame Web become something that is a bit more original rather than imitative.
More: Sony’s Spider-Man Universe Spider Totems Explained
- Morbius (2022)Release date: April 01, 2022
- Kraven the Hunter (2023)Release date: January 13, 2023
- Madame WebRelease date: March 26, 2022
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