Like Warner Bros, Sony Pictures is trying to emulate the successful interlinked franchise-building approach pioneered by Marvel Studios. Last month, they announced their plans to do a “Spider-Man” spin-off with standalone films featuring villains Venom and The Sinister Six.
To manage this prospective cash cow, Sony hired a so-called brain trust comprised of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon and Drew Goddard. Their goal is to build on the cinematic foundation established by the first two Spidey movies. The studio hasn’t revealed much since the announcement but in a new interview with IGN, Orci let on that they’re hard at work on establishing the kind of tone they want for the spin-offs.
Orci touched on The Sinister Six and how they would be handled: “That’s the discussion we’re having right now; how exactly do you do that, and how do you do it without betraying the audience and making them all mean? Drew Goddard is going to be writing that one, so it’s kind of his problem. [Laughs] I’m kidding. We’re all working on each other’s stuff. So we want to be true to it, but there are some antiheroes in this day and age. There’s been examples of that even on TV: Vic Mackey on The Shield, one of the great antiheroes of all time. There are ways to milk that story. Audiences have seen everything. They’ve seen all the good guys who never do anything wrong. Is there a story in seeing the other side? That’s the challenge, and that’s the fun. I’m not sure how we’re going to do that yet.”
Orci also spoke about the Venom spin-off, which he is co-writing with Kurtzman & Solomon: “I think they’re ready to have things shaken up. I think we’ve all seen everything. You’ve seen everything. You can probably predict the ending of most things even better than a general audience, but a general audience is still pretty good at it. They can see it all coming. So we have to shake it up. You can’t just keep telling the same stories every day.”
If there is one unifying factor, it will be the nefarious company known as OsCorp, seen in both Spider-Man films thus far. Orci revealed the organisation’s role will be expanded in the spin-offs: “Oscorp plays an important part in how our villains get created, obviously, in the first one. So because Peter becoming Spider-Man came out of that, rather than saying, “And then this alien came from space,” or whatever, they’re doing human-hybrid, weird stuff at Oscorp. That’s where Gwen Stacy works anyway as well. So the idea of it representing the good and the bad of science, that it can do great things, but it can also mess you up and do weird things and transform people — as all science can be used for good or bad. So it’s nice to have that organizing principal, but it wasn’t like, “We must keep it at Oscorp.” It flowed naturally from the story development.”