Oh, boy, another Sony greenlit another Spider-Man spin-off that no one asked for

Originally published at: Oh, boy, another Sony greenlit another Spider-Man spin-off that no one asked for | Boing Boing

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Wait…”another Sony greenlit another Spider-Man spin-off…”

Does that mean we’ve officially gotten confirmation that Sony itself is now creating multiverse projects from a multiverse? Is Sony-616 in competition with the other Sony or will they collaborate? This really is peak cosmic Marvel weirdness!

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Do we know exactly what the terms of Sony’s deal with Marvel? Particularly how often they need to be in production on projects to keep the Spidey rights? There’s just so much obviously bad decision-making that to me reeks of desperation.

Even their less bad decisions show some impulsivity. They share the main Spider-Man films with Marvel, but they can’t seem to help themselves. Far from Home had marketing that was rushed ahead so much that the (foregone) conclusion of Endgame was somewhat spoiled. Apparently the Marvel film that was supposed to setup the current phase was supposed to be Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which makes sense. But Sony needed Spider-Man out ASAP, which is why No Way Home has the idiot ball storyline it does. (I enjoyed the film, but the setup required characters to not act quite like themselves.) I know there’s a Sony exec who is obsessed with Venom, so there’s some indirect passion for the Spidey family. But it really seems like these are nothing but hastily made business decisions.

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Hopefully it will be the Sony from the universe where DAT was successful and so we can also get DAT Walkmans.

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Planet Money did an episode on why Sony keeps hammering out bad Spider-Man movies. Interesting stuff. The TL;DR:

Sony must commence production on a new “Spider-Man” film within three years, nine months and release it within five years, nine months after the release of preceding picture.

The full episode, well worth a listen:

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Ooh, thanks for the share! Also, yeah, this makes total sense regarding why they try to shovel these movies out so quickly. Doesn’t give them much time to breathe between productions (and why they would give Tom Holland another franchise, because that gives them better control of his schedule).

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No one asked for it, yet they keep making money. Which means it will keep happening until they screw it up so badly there’s no money in it any more.

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It seems that the potential of the license is worth so much more than it costs to crank out a bad movie every few years, so they keep doing it to hang on to the IP. Like servicing a debt or waiting for a stock option to vest.

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I don’t think any Spider-Man movie has bombed, so it’s a license worth sitting on. A handful of bad movies as well as a musical that was ridiculed nationally weren’t enough to tarnish the brand. Probably one of the best investments Sony could have made. I just wish they didn’t have rush things out. As a lifetime Spidey fan, I can accept that there will be many things that won’t turn out well – but I want things to be approached with some level of appreciation for the property itself.

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El Muerto spin-off film

El Santo or GTFO.

image

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So far as I know those are the terms of the original deal or rights purchase. Which is probably still in effect.

No one quite knows all the terms of the current agreements. But I think that would be covered by the MCU Spider-Men. Since the way that works is Sony is producing them, by hiring Marvel Studios to make them.

The part where Marvel gets a flat fee to produce and like 5% of the revenue is also probably also outdated. It was part of the spat in 2019 that lead to the deal getting extended. Sony wanted Marvel to front more of the budget, Marvel wanted more of the box office.

Apparently they can’t use Spider-Man in any non-MCU, live action projects.

And they don’t have, and have never had any merchandizing rights.

So if they don’t have movies in theaters, they aren’t really making money off the license. They also have the games license though.

It might have changed recently. Like I think maybe Pokemans or Mario beat them out the last couple years.

But Spider-Man was the single most money making IP in history from around the Raimi Movies till just now. It’s still up there, and still the single most valuable Comics Character by far.

Sony’s studios have been financially weird for a long time now. And there’s long standing rumors of a sale. A LOT is reliant on the Spider-Man license, that seems to be why they made the co-production deal with Marvel.

None of them have bombed.

But the second Garfield/Web Spider-Man was apparently not profitable, down to the particulars of their rights deal with Marvel and some production problems. That’s why they cancelled the series. Sony could do not do the job right.

And then Moebius apparently had the single largest 2nd week box office drop in history. It looks like it was pretty profitable, but it was cheap and it was almost entirely opening weekend.

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This feels like it’s a combination of two things:

  1. Sony is desperate to toss out anything they can to keep the rights locked down, and
  2. Sony is throwing garbage out as fast as it can to pollute the market and give fans “Marvel Fatigue” - a lot of people won’t know or care about the difference between the two studios, they just say “Oh, it’s another Marvel superhero movie! Man, the quality sure has been slipping these days, I think I’ll give the next one a miss.” And then Disney’s next MCU movie gets lower sales as a result.
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I think number 2 is off base. It’s more that they’re trying to piggy pack off the MCU following to bank whatever money they can.

A lot of Sony’s financials are wrapped up in Spider-Man, they don’t really have a ton of other tent poles on this level. It’s basically Spider-Man, then Jumanji and some animated successes.

And they’re making most of the money off the license through the Marvel produced Spider-Men right now. The original terms of that had them taking almost all of the money from those releases, Marvel just earned a flat production fee and (basically) a bonus off good box office.

However that’s changed, they still control distribution and home release for them entirely.

They’ve also continued to tie themselves further to Disney. They recently cut a deal to replace all their streaming partners with Disney+/Hulu, and ditch Stars for first round home release. Once their current deals finish off everything goes right to Hulu, and Spider-Man material direct to Disney+. Including their entire back catalog. There’s rumors of a big TV deal as well.

Sony needs the next MCU movie to be a billion dollar hit as much as Disney does. To keep the main Spider-Man franchise making money, and now to build the audience for their major streaming distributor.

China was a big market for them, and China’s started severely limiting western releases since COVID hit.

They also seem to have played very hard for the Russian market the last couple of years. Which is probably looking pretty dumb right now.

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what most surprises me is that, with all the spiderman characters they could choose from, i don’t even know who this one is. i think i’ll just wait for kraven the hunter

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an El Muerto spin-off film starring Latin rap sensation Bad Bunny

Everything about that sentence feels wrong. “We’re going to build the Spider-Man cinematic universe out of Spider-Man characters even Spider-Man readers have never heard of! Also, no Spider-Man!”

I wonder if that’s changed recently - the last movie seemed entirely set up to divorce Spider-Man from the MCU and start fresh at a different scale. (There’s also the rumor that Sony are setting up a separate Spider-Man for the non-MCU rogue’s gallery… but if that’s not true, it makes the whole “Sinister Six” build-up extra weird.)

Just like when DCU announces tentpole franchises built around the most obscure of properties, Sony comes along and says “Hold my beer…”

It is possible Sony is after the Latino $$. Maybe there are existing superheroes in that community that aren’t so stereotyped… but whatever… it just seems very apparent this is a targeted money grab. Along the same lines when you see a big-name Chinese actor in one of these movies… it certainly isn’t in aid of the story line, more to secure foreign financing & box office.

Just reeks of packaging assembled by executives, who throw writers at it as some kind of production asset, rather than as a screenplay written by someone who loves the character.

I don’t really see the last movie as divorcing Spider-Man from the MCU. It’s pretty consistent with the overall arch of the character. And from the public details Holland is contracted for 3 more stand alones, cross overs, rumors of a Disney+ tv series. All with production from Marvel Studios

It seems more like it’s intended to move him close to the Comics iteration. Less tech suits and big space shit. More missed bills and day jobs. Along with undoing the identity reveal. Push him away from Iron Man, not the MCU.

Marvel only made the deal with Sony to get Spider-Man in the MCU, and I highly doubt they’d re-up without that. It was also reported that Holland helped clear up the dispute in 2019, when he refused to renew his contract if he couldn’t continue to make MCU movies.

It’s possible Sony managed to get some kind of addendum to the newer deals giving them some kind of access to live action Spidey, if not Peter Parker and Holland.

But given the way they seem to have cut MCU references out of Morbius between the trailers and the actual release. And Marvels “um no” reaction to Sony’s claims of things being in the MCU. I kinda doubt it.

That was apparently a hard line for Marvel in the original deal. They didn’t want to de-emphasize the MCU by having Spider-Man appear in any other series, and nothing about the reporting on new contracts says that’s changed. They’ve just allowed some light multiversal cross over, which they could do with the fucking Flintstones if they wanted the way this works.

The only real significant thing is the Venom symbiote leaving a bit behind. Which seems more like using the multiverse instead of secret wars to introduce it. And kinda points away from Spider-Man moving to a Sony Verse. That’s set up for an MCU Venom, not to move Spider-Man to Sony Venom.

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