Sony has had some mixed results in their attempts to jump on the superhero bandwagon. Their main property is Spider-Man (their Fantastic Four movies are best ignored), and after giving Peter Parker two series, they now seem content to sell his films to Marvel while instead giving spin-offs to his supporting cast. The question is, will this prove to be a viable strategy now that Venom and Into the Spider-Verse are coming out this year?
Venom (set for release October 5) focuses on Eddie Brock, a villain turned anti-hero (though this film seems to be skipping to the latter) who gains powers from an alien symbiote that, unfortunately, also threatens to make one crazy and violent. Into the Spider-Verse, meanwhile, is an animated film about Miles Morales, the Spider-Man of an alternate dimension where Peter Parker died early in his superhero career.
While many were skeptical about these movies when they were first announced, both have managed to gain some credibility. For Venom, this was the casting of Tom Hardy in the title role; the actor does not always choose huge hits, but his characters always have some good depth to them. For Into the Spider-Verse, it was its teaser trailer, which provided some stunning visuals and, with hardly any lines, helped to sell Miles as a character while also strongly implying that Peter Parker was still in the movie, too.
That said, will these unusual movies manage to find an audience, when they lack the recognition of Peter Parker or the legitimacy of an established franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Only time will tell, but hopefully Sony will manage to make these projects worthy successors to the web-slinger.