Sony Expanding Spider-Man Shared Universe With Black Widow/Silver Sable Film

After the failure of Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, public and corporate pressure resulted in them partnering with Marvel Studios resulting in the character becoming a part of their cinematic universe, with appearances in Captain America: Civil War as well as the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War. This also seemingly killed their own prospective cinematic universe (fan-dubbed the “Spider-Verse”) they were forming around a Sinister Six film, a Venom film and a film featuring several female Spider-Man related characters.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Sony was in fact moving forward with Venom, which they had secured in the release date of October 5, 2018, which was recently vacated by Warner Bros.’ Aquaman. Now, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the studio is also bringing their female Spider-Man related characters film back from the dead as well, set to feature the characters Black Cat and Silver Sable.

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Black Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979). She was the daughter of Walter Hardy, a world-renowned cat burglar known as The Cat who, as a child, was fooled into sneaking into an American lab during World War II to memorize the super soldier formula that created Captain America and report back to the Red Skull, but he refused and escaped. He was later arrested and sent to prison. During her freshman year of college, she was raped and traumatized by her boyfriend and decided to train herself in various fighting styles and acrobatics in order to seek vengeance by killing him. When he was killed by a drunk driver before she could get to him, she then decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and assumed the identity of the Black Cat, amassing quite a fortune. She then attempted to break her father out of prison, wherein she encountered Spider-Man for the first time. The two developed feelings for each other, but his opposition to her continual criminal career and her misplaced feelings that her lack of superpowers made her a liability to him made a relationship difficult. She further strained things by undergoing the same process that empowered Scorpion and the Fly, which granted her the ability to psionically affect probability fields; essentially, allowing her to produce “bad luck” for her enemies. The character appeared in early scripts for Spider-Man 2 and was set to appear in Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man 4 to be played by Anne Hathaway; who would end up becoming a new super-powered figure called the Vulturess. Both attempts ended up not coming to fruition. A third attempt came in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which originally featured scenes with Felicity Jones portraying the character who had a “special relationship” with the Osborns and was intended to become the Black Cat in future films in the series.

Silver Sable, created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, made her debut in Amazing Spider-Man #265 (June, 1985). She’s from the fictional European country of Symkaria, which is adjacent to Latveria, the nation that ruled by Doctor Doom. Her father was a Nazi hunter, whose harsh training of her following the death of her mother by his enemies resulted in her following in his footsteps. After his death, she took command of his mercenary group the Wild Pack. Her work often led to her crossing paths with Spider-Man, whom she grew to have enormous respect for. The character’s most high profile appearance was in the “Six Forgotten Warriors” saga of the Spider-Man TV series, voiced by Mira Furlan. There, she was an antagonist working for Electro, aka Rheinholt Schmidt, son of the Red Skull. Jennifer Hale also voiced the character in numerous video games.

An interesting part of this is that, according to the article’s writer Borys Kit, the Venom and Black Cat/Silver Sable films will not be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, indeed making it appear as if Sony is re-visiting their earlier attempts to develop a cinematic shared universe independent of it. One of the original criticisms of that plan was the difficulty in developing standalone films centered around characters with such close ties to the one character who likely won’t be making an appearance. There’s also the possibility that Sony could feature their own shared universe version of Spider-Man, similar to how Fox and Marvel both featured the character Quicksilver in competing films.

Check back for more information on this as it becomes available.

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