Sony’s new Spider-Man spinoff movie is a mystery, but there are plenty of clues

Sony Pictures finally seems to have its Spider-Man movie franchise back on track with some help from Marvel Studios and its Marvel Cinematic Universe. A new, mysterious movie added to the release calendar confirms that there will be plenty of Spider-verse spinoffs in the years to come.

What could the unidentified Sony/Marvel film hitting theaters in 2021 be? Fortunately, there are plenty of clues that might point Spider-fans toward an answer to that question.

As first reported by industry newsfeed Exhibitor Relations, Sony staked out October 8, 2021, for a project simply labeled “Untitled Sony/Marvel.” No further details were given, and neither Sony or Marvel have officially confirmed a movie with that premiere date.

Sony's web continues to grow.

UNTITLED SONY/MARVEL pic now set for Oct. 8, 2021.

— Exhibitor Relations Co. 2: Box Office Boogaloo (@ERCboxoffice) February 11, 2020

While it wouldn’t be the first time a studio has optimistically called dibs on a release date for an in-progress film, only to push that date back or outright drop it at a later point, what we know about the upcoming slate of Spider-Man and related projects does offer some potential hints about the untitled film.

Where it fits

In the lead-up to the mysterious movie’s October 2021 premiere, there are currently three Spider-verse films on the calendar.

Sony’s spinoff film Morbius, featuring Jared Leto as the titular vampire antihero, will arrive in theaters this year on July 31 and is confirmed to be set in the same corner of the MCU occupied by Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequel. Venom 2 will premiere October 2, 2020, and is expected to introduce another iconic Spider-Man villain, Carnage, played by Woody Harrelson. Spider-Man franchise star Tom Holland is also rumored to have a role in the film.

In 2021, the third film in the Spider-Man solo franchise is scheduled to premiere in July. That film still doesn’t have an official title, but will extend Sony’s partnership with Marvel through yet another installment of the shared Spider-verse franchise.

And speaking of the Spider-verse, Sony also has a sequel to its Oscar-winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse scheduled to premiere in spring 2022.

That puts the new, untitled Spider-Man spinoff on the calendar between the third Spider-Man solo movie and the Into the Spider-Verse sequel.

Kraven, we presume?

Given the aforementioned release calendar for Spider-Man films and spinoffs, there’s one project in particular that would make sense at that point in both studios’ plans — both official and rumored.

In August 2018, The Equalizer 2 screenwriter Richard Wenk was hired to pen a script for a film based on Spider-Man villain Kraven. There haven’t been any updates on that project for a while, but that could mean Wenk’s script is in a good place and the studio is looking to move forward with it.

First introduced in 1964, the character known as “Kraven the Hunter” quickly established himself as one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous enemies. A big game hunter, Sergei Kravinoff continually seeks to prove his dominance by defeating Spider-Man, who he sees as the most formidable prey any hunter could pursue. In one of the most famous story arcs in Spider-Man’s history, Kraven sets a complicated plan in motion to hunt and kill Spider-Man that ties into every facet of his life — both costumed and in his teenage life as Peter Parker — and tests the limits of the wall-crawler’s resilience.

Of all the possibilities out there right now, a Kraven the Hunter film seems like the most likely project for the October 2021 slot — particularly as Sony sets plans in motion for its villain team-up event, Sinister Six.

Building the Sinister Six

Sony has been trying to make a movie based on the Sinister Six — a group of villains who team up to take on Spider-Man — since 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel tried to set up the project. That iteration of the Sinister Six movie was shelved after the two-film Spider-Man saga sputtered, but the seeds were planted again in Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced minor henchmen characters connected to popular villains Shocker and Scorpion — played by Bokeem Woodbine and Michael Mando, respectively — while also introducing Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture. Keaton popped up again in the latest trailer for Morbius, with his character attempting to entice Morbius with a partnership.

By the time Sony’s mysterious film hits theaters, the studio will have introduced Vulture, Shocker, Scorpion, Morbius, and possibly Carnage (in Venom 2). There’s also the possibility that we haven’t seen the last of Jake Gyllenhaal’s villainous master of illusion, Mysterio (given that distorting perception is kind of his thing).

Kraven the Hunter movie hitting theaters at that point in the schedule could provide the final piece of the Sinister Six puzzle.

Other possibilities

Of course, we could be reading into this too much, and the unidentified film could be any number of other projects Sony has hinted at in the past or not even mentioned so far.

Sony previously announced plans for a Silver and Black movie based on Spider-Man characters Silver Sable and Black Cat, for example, as well as a solo film based on the vigilante Nightwatch. Spike Lee was even rumored to be interested in the latter project years ago.

All we know for sure at this point is that Sony has big plans for Marvel’s webslinger, and we’ll probably have more details about the untitled film in the near future, as October 2021 isn’t all that far away when it comes to movie production schedules.

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