Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Does Sony rely too heavily on Spider-Man, or not heavily enough? As analysts take stock of the studio’s performance and find it wanting with respect to big-ticket franchises, studio chief Amy Pascal says in no uncertain terms that the whole point of developing the Venom and Sinister Six movies is to have a Spider-Man movie every year.
Variety reports on analysts taking on Sony, with quotes such as this, from analyst Harold Vogel: “It’s creative entropy, and I think there’s been too much of a reliance on ‘Spider-Man’… They need some other things to build out.” Sony has distribution rights on Bond films, but doesn’t own them, and hasn’t been able to develop even the super-hero slate of Fox, much less of Marvel.
Pascal says, “We are expanding the ‘Spider-Man’ universe into ‘The Sinister Six’ and ‘Venom,’ so that we have ‘Spider-Man’ movies every year.”
Frankly, that feels like a misstep. Marvel’s strategy involves a lot of variety, with a dedicated effort to branch out into new genres while still presenting stories with Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. And while Fox’s set of films has seen less overall diversity, the fact that they’re primarily centered around the massive X-Men cast of characters means there’s always someone new to focus on without straying too far from the core dynamic.
Spider-Man is great, but he’s just one guy, and stories without him but involving his character set just don’t have a lot of heft. There might be room for a Venom movie that works, but since we’re working off the impression left by the messy and lackluster The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s difficult to become excited about a one-per-year plan. When even Star Wars feels like it would be in danger of over-saturation with one film per year, can Spider-Man — with Marc Webb confirmed to be at the helm for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 — keep swinging?