After 'Venom': Exec Talks Sony's Marvel-ous Future

Venom is important for Sony. Now that Fox is with Disney, Sony's Marvel characters are the only smaller-scale franchise left. The studio has the rights to about 900 characters, and according to a report from Variety, the company is looking to capitalize on its unique position. Internally, the franchise is calling itself SUMC: Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters.

After Venom, Jared Leto is set to star in Morbius, a Spidey villain who is also a vampire. There's also movies focused on Silk, Jackpot, and Nightwatch (with Spike Lee in talks for director) in the works. Silver & Black has been scrapped in favor of a standalone following each character, Silver Sable and Black Cat, with Gina Prince-Bythewood on board as producer.

"We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film," Sanford Panitch, who oversees the SUMC as president of Columbia Pictures, tells Variety.

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'Into The Spider-Verse' is animated in a comic book style. Sony

Panitch says Sony is interested in R-rated films (No, not with the family-friendly webslinger), with adult tones along the lines of Deadpool and Logan. He wants to push the limits of PG-13 with Venom to test the boundaries for Sony's slate down the line.

"Spider-Man connects to a lot of the characters," said Panitch. "There are villains, heroes, and antiheroes, and a lot are female characters, many of whom are bona fide, fully dimensionalized, and utterly unique."

One very unique property will be Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse, set to arrive in theaters Dec. 14, 2018. "There's no reason the Marvel characters shouldn't be able to embrace diversity," Panitch says.

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"Venom" arrives October 5. Sony

Variety's report also confirms "Sony is open to having other characters from its Spider-Man films pop up in Marvel movies." And Panitch hopes Marvel will return the favor.

Venom arrives Oct. 5. Do you think Sony is on the right track to build a franchise that can stand up to Marvel and DC? Let us know in the comments.