Nearly a year before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters, Sony has announced they’re already working on a third and fourth installment in their successful film series based on the iconic web-slinger.
In a press release, today, Sony made the announcement that they’re so confident in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that they already plan to release The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10, 2016, and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4, 2018. This may seem like they’re getting ahead of themselves, but the track record speaks for itself; this film series works, and they know it.
Here is the press release, in its entirety:
CULVER CITY, Calif., June 17, 2013 – With Sony Pictures Entertainment now in production in New York on The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2, slated for release on May 2, 2014, the studio is planting its flag on two future release dates for one of the most successful franchises in studio history, it was announced today by Jeff Blake, Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures. The next two films in the story of Peter Parker will be released on June 10, 2016, and on May 4, 2018, respectively.
Commenting on the announcement, Blake said, “Spider-Man is our most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise, so we’re thrilled that we are in a position to lock in these prime release dates over the next five years.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner, with a previous draft by James Vanderbilt, and based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are the producers. The executive producers are E. Bennett Walsh, Stan Lee, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci.
The Amazing Spider-Man took in over $750 million at the worldwide box office last year.
I have a feeling they could go ahead and pull a Disney/LucasFilm–with Star Wars–and announce they plan to release a Spider-Man film every two years, in perpetuity, if they wanted to. Why not? Every movie makes them a billion dollars. What this move also signifies is a big “screw you” to Marvel and those fans who would want the film rights to all of Marvel’s characters to revert back to them. In case anyone still had hopes of that happening, this reaffirms the fact that it won’t (unless Disney decided to throw billions of dollars at Sony; then it might happen). I happen to think it’s okay that Spider-Man is in Sony’s hands; they’ve shown they can handle the character well (unlike, say, how Fox handled Deadpool). I’d still like to see Sony and Marvel figure out a way to at least have some Spider-Man cameo action happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (perhaps even in The Avengers 2). It’s also a bit of a spotlight steal from DC and Warner Bros. who are busy celebrating the beginning of their cinematic universe with Man of Steel‘s success.
As an aside, I’ve contended all along that The Amazing Spider-Man films should utilize a pound sign (or a “hashtag”, in the contemporary lexicon), as a nod to comics fans; I still hope that’s something Sony will finally, somehow, listen to me about.
The Amazing Spider-Man #2 stars the returning Andrew Garfield, reprising his role as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, as well as Emma Stone returning as Gwen Stacy. However, the sequel is poised to introduce Mary Jane Watson (played by Shailene Woodley), so we can definitely expect some sort of love triangle business to pick-up (and then cool down, in the next two films). The film also reintroduces the characters of Norman and Harry Osborn (portrayed by Chris Cooper and Dan Dehaan, respectively) and is certainly not lacking in villains: both Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti) are present. On top of all of that, we still have the rumors that Sony plans to have the Sinister Six assemble in the third film. I’m out of breath just typing all of that; if nothing else, Sony seems to have mapped everything out meticulously. Now they just need people to see the movie.
Marc Webb is also returning as the director of The Amazing Spider-Man #2, but I’d guess it’s not likely he’ll direct both the third and fourth films, unless they’re filmed simultaneously (which would make the most sense); in that case, there’s really no reason to think he couldn’t stick it out with the franchise.