The story of Tom Holland rocking in a Spider-Man costume may have finished with the release of No Way Home. But the story and universe of Spider-Man certainly doesn’t stop there.
Sony Pictures Entertainment as the licensee for the Marvel character for the big screen since 1998 has actually built the foundation for the expansion of the Spider-Man universe more than a decade ago, namely Venom.
The news that Venom will be an expansion of the Spider-Man story has appeared since 2008, a year since Spider-Man 3 (2007) introduced for the first time the figure of a creature from the alien symbiote.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that at the time, the announcement of Venom to be released from Spider-Man came in the midst of a boisterous version of Heath Ledger’s Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008) attracting public attention and gaining box office.
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Through Venom, Sony called the Hollywood Reporter “hope the character can serve as an antidote to the aging Spider-Man franchise just as Fox used Wolverine to add to the longevity of the X-Men franchise.
But the news just passed. Sony even later came up with The Amazing Spider-Man saga after its intention to make Spider-Man 4 was canceled.
The Amazing Spider-Man saga, which is directed by Marc Webb, is actually a trilogy concept with a number of spin-offs and is centered on Venom and the Sinister Six.
However, conflicts between the studio and Andrew Garfield as well as piracy at Sony Pictures made all plans canceled. The Amazing Spider-Man saga only ended with two films, 2012 and 2014.
Sony’s intention to rebuild Venom emerged after they formed a partnership with Marvel which had been acquired by Disney.
In 2015, Sony and Marvel announced that Spider-Man would be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A year later, 2016, Sony announced Venom was in the works. Even though at that time, they were also working on the MCU version of Spider-Man with Marvel Studios titled Spider-Man Homecoming (2017).
The dream of having a Venom film since 2008 was realized in 2018. The result was arguably not disappointing, the US$116 million budget film was able to gain US$856.1 million despite a lot of criticism.
Sony’s passion for developing Spider-Man Verse has continued despite its partnership with Marvel through the Homecoming Saga, which was a tremendous success, both commercially and critically.
This is fairly understandable. At that time, Sony was the only studio that held a Marvel license other than Disney.
Disney is known to have acquired Marvel in 2009 and Fox in 2017 which allowed the Mickey Mouse House to license more than 7,000 Marvel characters. So Sony, which only has a license for 900 characters related to Spider-Man, clearly doesn’t want to waste the opportunity.
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In 2018, Sony released another part of the Spider-Man universe: the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). Unexpectedly, the film that carries the concept of a multiverse like current Marvel and the colored Spider-Man character named Miles Morales is gaining success.
The film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) managed to gain US$375.5 million from a US$90 million budget, and even won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA.
Miles Morales is a character in the Spider-Man universe created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli and first published in August 2011.
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), Miles appears after Peter Parker’s death and he is taught by Peter Benjamin Parker, Spider-Man from another universe.
Now that No Way Home is out, the fate of the next Spider-Man has yet to be announced. Even so, Sony has at least two promising projects that are developments from the Spider-Man universe: Venom and the animated Spider-Verse.