Sony is officially moving forward with their own Marvel shared film universe, which will be centered around supporting characters from the Spider-Man comics. The first film has been confirmed to be a Venom solo film starring Tom Hardy, while the second one will feature Black Cat and Silver Sable.
According to a report yesterday by THR, the film now has an official title: Silver & Black. What’s more, it now also has a director signed on. Gina Prince-Bythewood, who just finished shooting the pilot for FreeForm’s Cloak & Dagger series, will helm the film from a script by Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: The Dark World) based on an earlier draft by Lisa Joy (Westworld, Burn Notice). Principal photography is slated to begin this fall.
Silver Sable was created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in The Amazing Spider-Man #265 (June 1985) as a mercenary who hunts war criminals and is the leader of a group of mercs called the Wild Pack, and CEO of Silver Sable International. Her activities have often led to her encountering Spider-Man, sometimes as a friend, other times as a for.
Black Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (July 1979). She is an acrobatic cat burglar with a long and tangled romantic history with Spider-Man. The character was slated to appear in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, and she had a few brief scenes in deleted scenes from Amazing Spider-Man 2 (played by Felicity Jones), although no mention was made of her Black Cat persona.
Prince-Bythewood’s feature debut was the 2000 drama Love and Basketball, for which she won acclaim and numerous awards. She’s gone on to helm several more lauded dramas such as Secret Life of Bees and the 2014 romantic drama Beyond the Lights. She also co-created the crime drama Shots Fired, currently airing on Fox. She will be the second female director (and the first minority one) to solo direct a Hollywood superhero film, following Patty Jenkins‘ work on the upcoming Wonder Woman for Warner Bros.
I’m still not completely sold on Sony building a shared universe around second-tier Spider-Man characters. Silver Sable would be the easiest to do this with, but Black Cat and Venom’s backstories are tied very strongly to the webslinger, especially Venom! The whole entire reason he basically looks like an evil Spider-Man is because the symbiote was bonded to Peter Parker first. I suppose it’s possible to remove Spider-Man from all of their back stories but then they would just be Alien Monster Suit Guy, European Bounty Hunter and Sexy Cat Burgler. Why make them comic book characters if they’re not going to include key parts of their world? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.
Here’s hoping Sony knows what they’re doing and proves all the naysayers wrong.