It’s been a rough week for Sony Pictures. Hackers claiming to be North Korean but who knows for sure, leaked thousands of personal email exchanges between the higher ups at the company. These emails revealed a lot, like the company wide hate for Adam Sandler movies, questions about President Obama’s taste in movies, and a potential Spider-Man deal with Disney and Marvel Studios.
According to the emails, Sony Pictures president Doug Belgrad details a plan to co-chairman Amy Pascal that involved a possible co-production between Sony and Disney for a brand new Spider-Man trilogy. Marvel Studios would handle the actual film, possibly bringing back popular director Sam Raimi, the man who helmed the more widely loved and critically successful original trilogy, but keep current star Andrew Garfield. Sony would retain creative control and marketing rights, still a huge bonus considering Spider-Man is Marvel’s most financially successful property by far. Yet another email reveals that Sony Pictures wanted Spider-Man to be included in Captain America 3: Civil War, which makes sense considering that in the comics Spider-Man plays a central role in the event, with Captain America and Iron Man battling for Spidey’s loyalty.
Unfortunately for the fans, these talks seemingly fell through, and we’re left with Sony Pictures retaining control over the popular super-hero. This is especially bad news for those who didn’t enjoy the latest outing, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which wasn’t exactly considered a fantastic movie, and severely underperformed at the box office. What we’re left with, according to the Wall Street Journal, is this:
“As of late November, executives were planning a “Spidey summit” for January to discuss future plans. Among projects in development are an animated Spider-Man comedy that would be produced by Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the team behind “22 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie,” as well as previously disclosed Spider-Man spin-offs focused on villain team Sinister Six, super-foe Venom, and women from the webslinger’s life.”
Oh, thank goodness, we ARE getting that Aunt May romantic comedy everybody has been asking for.
Hope is not entirely lost though, as the rumours continue to swirl around this topic. According to the website Latino Review, which in the past has been both completely right and totally off the mark when it comes to Marvel news, the parent company of Sony Pictures, Sony Japan, isn’t happy with Ms. Pascal and her team’s handling of such a goldmine property like Spider-Man.
The website claims that the deal Sony decided against was in fact a totally new trilogy, with Marvel and Sony co-producing and Marvel fronting most of the bill. Apparently Sony Japan is pretty cheesed with some of the execs over at Sony Pictures and wants to start lining them up against the wall.
The article, who has unnamed sources at the company, claims that “ Sony’s parent company in Japan are apparently very angry at how this is all playing out. I’ve heard that the atmosphere is that anyone could end up getting fired over this if it begins to cause serious financial damage,” and follows up with “Sony Japan thinks the Marvel deal for Spider-Man is still on the table and they want to renegotiate as a return to quality, the 60/40 split is can be negotiated and Sony Entertainment’s October hardline stance of wanting creative control is now mostly moot in the eyes of the higher-ups.”
Whether or not any of this is true remains to be seen, but more and more emails and intercompany exchanges are being leaked every day, so it’s a wait-and-see game at this point. Hopefully even just the reaction to these rumours will be enough to see some changes made. I know I can’t be the only one who claims to be a diehard Spidey fan and decided against seeing the latest movie because of its questionable quality. If this is the kick in the ass Sony Pictures needs to stop running the franchise into the ground that would be great. If this is the final screw up that causes the rights to be sold back to Marvel, all the better. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to see Robert Downey Jr. and Andrew Garfield trading quips as they battle in the streets of New York.