Yes, Sony Is Still Doing That Whole “Animated Spider-Man Movie” Thing


SIX SPIDEYS AND AN (ANIMATED) MOVIE!


Sony Pictures is in a pretty rough place. In fact, they might be in the weakest position amongst the Big Five studios, as sad as it might be to say. Simply put, the new cinema order is a franchise one, and Sony can’t complete with Disney or Warner Bros. on that front. In 2016 they tried to relaunch their bigger properties with films like the Ghostbusters reboot and Inferno, but neither particularly set the world on fire. In fact, said Ghostbusters reboot is something of a financial disaster for the studio…and was also Sony’s highest grossing movie of 2016.

Oh, boy.

But there’s one shining star in particular that is keeping Sony alive, and the studio knows it — Spider-Man. Even though the character is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, Sony still owns the rights to the highly lucrative property, and is exploiting it as such. They have already dated a sequel for Homecoming (because that worked so well the last time), and as far as we know, have Venom and Sinister-Six spin-offs still in the pipeline. But at this point, Sony’s focus outside of Spider-Man: Homecoming seems to be resting on a standalone, animated film — one that will apparently be landing next year.



This has been suspected for sometime, but was confirmed yesterday by the official Sony Twitter account. Also confirmed is the directors for the project, Bob Persichetti (head of story for many Dreamworks Animation projects) and Peter Ramsey (who is a storyboard artists with credits on Fight Club, Minority Report, etc.)

This will be the directorial debut for both men, so they’ll certainly have a challenging task ahead. Thankfully they’ll have producers and writers Phil Lord and Chris Miller to help them — the pair have quickly become a rubber stamp of quality in the industry, and I’m hopeful having them on board will make this (as always) a more worthwhile project than it is on paper.

Because the paper in question here is very much a balance sheet — Sony NEEDS big blockbusters, and this project was clearly built based off that need, rather than any creative desire to actually tell a particular story. All we can hope for at this point is that the talented people involved can find the creative drive after the fact. This form of reverse engineered film making is not anything new, but it’s always disheartening to see happen. But despite the clearly monetary reasons behind this endeavor, I’m still praying we end up getting something fun out of it.

And if there’s any silver lining, it’s this: as also revealed by the Sony tweets, this animated version will indeed star Miles Morales as the title character, rather than the now standard Peter Parker. Miles is significantly younger than Peter, AND a person of color….a.k.a. not the same character we’ve commonly seen for decade after decade. Which means we won’t have to see Uncle Ben murdered for the billionth time, which is one net positive at least.

We’ll see if this is just an empty handed cash grab, or a legitimate artistic pursuit, when the film lands on December 21, 2018.