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She Has No Head! – Sony Makes Their Move

Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy Mash Up

Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman (or something similarly Spider-y)

Just an hour before my column about the ladies of the Marvel Studio movies went up, a column that in part lamented our lack of announcements on female-led films, we got an announcement about a female-led superhero film being developed.

UTTER JOY!!!

But that announcement came not from Marvel Studios but Sony.

MUCH MORE RESTRAINED JOY. :(

It’s not rocket science. While Marvel Studios have been killing it with their films – and they seem to be getting better and better – The Avengers (2012), Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) are their three best films (except perhaps Iron Man (2008) which set us off on this incredible superhero resurgence in the first place) – Sony has been kind of the opposite of killing it.

Their Toby Maguire Spider-Man movies are salt to taste at best – to be honest they don’t work at all for me, largely because I don’t respond to Toby Maguire as Peter Parker or Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane and those are very big hurdles to overcome. I was in the camp that thought The Amazing Spider-Man, for all its many flaws, was a far superior attempt if only thanks to brilliant casting. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May? SOLD. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are a nearly perfect Peter and Gwen and their chemistry is magnificent. But even with all those things in their favor, those are mediocre superhero movies at best when compared with what Marvel Studios is doing.

Anyway, I just really want Marvel Studios to get there first. They’re in no way infallible, but I certainly trust them far more at this point with film than Sony, Fox, or DC/WB. And it DOES matter how good the first new one out of the gate is. I don’t want it to matter, but it does. When these movies come out they need to be good or we’ll have ten more years of “Female superhero movies don’t work, just look at Elektra and Catwoman” which is as common a phrase as breathing is in superhero movie discussions. Only with a new flop they’d have even more titles to add to that list (we can already add Supergirl I suppose, but most people leave it out for whatever reason, age I guess).

So, yeah. Marvel Studios may not care about getting there first — and when I say first, I mean first in this “new” superhero movie boom we find ourselves in – there have always been and likely always will be superhero movies – but since 2008’s Iron Man proved that you can make a great and hugely successful superhero movie even if the character isn’t named Batman – we’ve had more than 30 movies based off of comics properties since 2008 – that’s more than 30 movies in 6 years and many of them are breaking box office records AND getting critical acclaim and fan approval. Those successes have spawned a potential superhero littered future with another 30 dates announced for just Marvel and DC properties through 2020! Anyway, now that we’ve clarified “first,” yes, Marvel Studios seems to not care about getting there first and it IS smart of them to care more about getting it right than getting there first. But I dunno, if I’m Marvel I see that announcement from Sony and it lights a damn fire under me. It’s a challenge. I WANT to get there first. In fact, I’d move heaven and earth to make sure we  got there first AND right. Those two things don’t have to be exclusive of one another. And getting there first and doing it right ensures the health and well-being of the superhero industry in general and female led films specifically, whereas letting someone else get there first and do it wrong…well, that’s not good for anyone.

In the meantime, as we wait for Marvel Studios to get their ducks in a row, who could the Sony female-led Spider Universe movie be? Let’s discuss!

Black Cat ProfileBLACK CAT

Felicia Hardy is perhaps the most obvious option. She’s a sexy thief cat character (which we all know is just the kind of thing Hollywood loves. Cue: EYEROLL). You add to that a Felicia Hardy cameo in the last Amazing Spider-Man movie and it almost feels like they’ve already made up their mind. But I really hope they don’t do this. And here’s why:

#1. It’s Sony. If it was Marvel Studios I’d be more willing to see them give it a try. They’ve proven they can do the skintight black bodysuit thing in a tasteful and practical way (with Black Widow). And one of the best things about Felicia Hardy is her sense of humor, she’s not Deadpool-funny, but she’s a freewheeling wisecracking chick, and Marvel Studios has proven they know how to do superhero comedy better than anyone else. With some small exceptions, this is not Sony’s strength.

#2. We’ve seen this already. Black Cat can easily get lost in all the Catwoman that’s already out there and might even be confusing to non-comics fans. Ironically, even though we’re pitifully low on superpowered female characters, the ONE thing we’re already full up on are versions of the “sexy cat burglar anti-heroine.” Even if those characters aren’t Felicia Hardy, it will be hard to break new ground here. And you’re going to be chasing ghosts – the ghosts of awful shit like Halle Berry’s Catwoman (2004) and the ghosts of great shit like Michelle Pfeiffer’s Batman Returns (1992) Catwoman and Anne Hathaway’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Catwoman. It’s harder to find a win here as you’re going to be up against both the greatest stuff and the worst stuff. Does a film like this really need MORE challenges?

#3. It’s just REALLY obvious and tired. While I like Felicia Hardy/Black Cat as a character, it just feels annoying and obvious that the “first” female led superhero film out of the gate would be a sexy cat burglar anti-heroine – again. That’s almost exactly what we got the last time film studios bit the bullet and tried the “female led superhero film” – in the form of 2004’s atrocious Catwoman. It would be nice for film audiences to see a lady with more legitimate superpowers on the screen – superpowers that don’t lean heavily on sex appeal, training and obscure “luck” powers. Not every lady has to be a brutal borderline femme fatale, right? Right? God. We’re doomed.

#4. White Hair. I don’t think this needs explanation so much as a “See: Storm and Quicksilver” note. For whatever reason, the white hair thing, very popular in comics, translates TERRIBLY to film. They keep trying and we keep getting EPIC failure.

Sidebar: has any artist ever drawn a cover with Felicia’s costume not cut down to insane levels of cleavage? If they have the Internet has not been informed of this fact. : /

Firestar ProfileFIRESTAR

To be honest, this would be great. Though she’s not my personal pick, it would be easy to get behind this choice. First, it’s a real departure from all the “spider stuff” so it doesn’t feel derivative but you can easily tie her to the Spider characters and world.  Secondly, She’s a great character that’s also on the young side (and with the bonus of not being called “girl”) and so she might appeal to young female audiences in a nice role-model/superhero capacity. Imagine young girls taking up the Firestar banner the way they’ve taken up the Katniss Everdeen banner. Also, unlike many women on the list she’s not overtly sexual, which is good in a few ways including keeping the rating lower and more accessible to young audiences.

Firestar is also not a damn anti-heroine. I LOVE a good anti-heroine, they are some of my favorite characters, but the obsession with women as anti-heroine/femme fatale is getting really old. Look at the list of male superhero movies — Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Green Lantern, X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc. Except the GotG there’s not a real anti-hero among them. They are dyed in the wool heroes. And that’s what Firestar is too. It would be nice to see some of that for the ladies instead of a sexy femme fatale with questionable allegiances rolled out over and over again. See: Catwoman and Elektra and their murky ideals/alliances/motives – we’ve already seen this a lot. Let’s see something else!

All that said, I suppose Firestar may not have the preexisting audience needed to get people pumped? I don’t know? With how small comic book audiences are these days compared to movie audiences it doesn’t really seem like it should matter, but I suspect everything matters at least a little.

Silver Sable ProfileSILVER SABLE

Some of the same reasons why this is a rough idea for Black Cat apply here, most notably the white hair thing and the overtly sexy thing.

Again, if this was Marvel Studios, after seeing GotG I’d say go for it. Make an awesome R-rated Silver Sable mercenary movie and TAKE MY MONEY. Silver Sable is a great character, but getting the tone right is going to be tough and this is not Sony’s strength.

Sable is again another overtly sexy character. There’s nothing wrong with that, but is that the best way to start off? As always this is a “context is king” argument. If there were other lady superheroes already out there headlining their own films then a super sexy badass would be a welcome addition to the tapestry, but there’s not, there’s basically nothing right now and so is that the best way to begin? We have enough male-led superhero films that it’s easy to understand that male heroes come in all kinds – nerdy spider-kids, billionaires that build armor, billionaires that build bat costumes, mythical gods, impossibly handsome human-looking aliens, cocky pilots, old-fashioned super soldier war heroes frozen in time, space pirates, etc., but if the only major headlining female character is a super sexy anti-heroine (again)? WELL, OF COURSE SHE IS! At the end of the day, it’s just not the best idea. It can work, but it adds a whole other set of challenges we just don’t need.

And if you want to think about what HAS already come before prior to our new boom then again you’re faced with Catwoman who was also a super sexy anti-heroine and Elektra who was you guessed it…also a super sexy anti-heroine.

There’s more than just that out there, right?

Perhaps even more frustrating is that, though Marvel Studios has done great work with Black Widow as a character that technically doesn’t have super powers and is just in peak physical condition and exceptionally well-trained, etc., it would really be nice to see a heroine with some “legit super powers.” Being an awesome “technically powerless badass” ala Batman is not a bad thing, but really, Black Widow, Catwoman, Elektra three of the biggest superheroines in film thus far are all version of the “technically powerless” female character that is also a superhero (or anti-hero)…let’s get us a lady with some LEGIT SUPERPOWERS. Seriously. What’s the hold up here?

Anya Spider Girl ProfileSPIDER-GIRL

I kind of hate the idea that the first one of these “new” comic book based female-led films would be not only technically derivative of a male property but also have GIRL attached to it. I can live with the derivative thing, but that plus the GIRL aspect is pretty frustrating…it’s not like we’ve all been laying out money to see Spider-BOY.

Peter’s daughter May Day Parker is a possibility as she has a nice fan base and she’s a good character, but I think that’s a rough leap for movie audiences. Daughter of Peter Parker is pretty confusing.

However, Sony could solve the sticky potential ownership problem of a Jessica Drew Spider-Woman (no pun intended) AND the lack of female led films AND the lack of diversity in these roles in one fell swoop by using Spider-Girl Anya Corazon.

Corazon also happens to be a fantastic character. She didn’t always work for me, but any doubts I had were easily erased by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Warren Ellis’s whip smart and hilarious take on her in Avengers Assemble. Spider-Girl Anya is my second runner up pick. Just look at this panel to see the tiniest taste of why:

Spider Team

Team Spider Lady! Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon), and Black Widow (Natasha Romanov). Ah, the tears I cry that we will never see these three together on screen!

If you want to avoid the Spider-GIRL problem you naturally go with Spider-Woman…except…

Gwen Stacey Spider-Woman Profile

Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman from the Spider-Verse. Illustration by Chris Samnee and Jordie Bellaire.

 

SPIDER-WOMAN

Oh, what a tangled web (sorry! More puns!) This is one of those legal tangles that nobody seems to really know the answer to (well, at least not anyone that’s talking). Seriously, I asked the Internet and it DOES NOT KNOW.

In a nutshell, like the odd quagmire that is Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and who owns them for film Marvel Studios or Fox – Spider-Man and related characters are owned by Sony…but Spider-Woman (the Jessica Drew version – which is definitely the most widely known in comics) is not really a Spider-Man character, she’s basically an Avenger character (which obviously Marvel Studios own) who happens to have a Spider-based name. Her costume is totally different and she really has no connection to Peter Parker or the Spider-Man Universe. She just has a spider-name and powers. She’s probably not owned by Sony. Sony could make an argument for her, but it seems like a nightmare best avoided.

Julia Carpenter and Mattie Franklin seem like they likely ARE Spider-Man characters owned by Sony since they wore versions of Peter’s costume and were more closely tied to that universe. I’m not that familiar with either Carpenter or Franklin (though the design for Franklin is all caps AWFUL, so let’s hope they stay away from that), so I have no real interest in either of them. They’re pretty minor characters in the scope of things. When most people think of Spider-Woman it’s Jessica Drew they think of, it certainly is who I think of.

Spider-Women

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Spider-Woman (Mattie Franklin), and Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter)

But she’s probably off limits. So what do you do?

Well, you think outside the box and maximize all your best assets and go with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey as Spider-Woman. It’s not that hard to resurrect her from the dead in some Spider-y way that ends up with her having Spider superpowers. And comics have actually paved the way a bit here as Gwen Stacey is debuting in Marvel’s “Spider-Verse” shortly as an alt reality Spider-Woman. She even has an utterly fantastic costume (see above by Chris Samnee and colorist Jordie Bellaire).

If for any annoying legal reasons you can’t call her Spider-Woman (which I think you probably can especially since Marvel has now actually created a Spider-Universe character that is exactly that character) but if for some reason you can’t use the name then you call her Spider or The Spider and you put her in the incredible Samnee outfit with a few film tweaks and well…you’re done.

It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to go out on a limb to bet on bankable star Emma Stone plus the popularity of her version of Gwen Stacy plus general Spider-Man popularity, right? A female led superhero film is gonna be some level of risk no matter what, so why not take all these things that already work and make something wonderful and new?

Spider-Woman Gwen Stacy Mash Up

TAKE MY MONEY!!!!

Anyway, I would THROW ALL MY MONEY at that movie. Even if they screw it up, which let’s face it, it’s Sony and superheroes, the odds are reasonable they will screw it up, it would still be pretty exciting to see.

So. That’s what I got. What about you guys? Thoughts? Comments? I’m sure you have them!


Kelly Thompson is a freelance writer living in Manhattan. She is the author of the superhero novel THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING recently optioned to become a film, and her new novel STORYKILLER is out now. You can find Kelly all over the place, but twitter may be the easiest: @79semifinalist

56 Comments

I hate to be “that guy”, but Sony did not make the FF movies; Fox did.

They’re certainly not an argument in Fox’s favor, though.

And now, actually commenting on the article: The fact that Harry’s secretary in ASM 2 was called “Felicia” makes me think it will be Black Cat, spinning out of a Sinister Six movie in which she’s either one of the Six or somehow tangentially related to them, all of which gives me visions of awful. Aside from the stuff you mention above (Black Cat has ALWAYS been a ripoff of Catwoman, so any allegations of a Black Cat movie being such would be 100% true), you’ve got a spin-off of a spin-off, featuring a character with like a minute of screen time so far. That just screams disaster to me.

Firestar could work if they take the Ultimate tack of “Peter Parker’s classmate gets superpowers, becomes Firestar” and just make her a college classmate instead of high school. You then get into a weird area of having Peter Parker be in the movie but as a supporting character, and worries about him overshadowing her, but it’s a sight better than most speculation I’ve seen.

Anya Corazon could work, as could just adapting Slott’s Silk character straight to screen (someone else got bit by one of Oscorp’s spiders; you’d have to explain why she stayed under the radar until after ASM 2, but “she reacted to the bite differently and it put her in a coma for a while” could do that).

I’m not as sure as you that audiences would accept Gwen coming back from the dead (or being a clone, which has its own minefield, because do we really want either Clone Saga up on screen?), but she was great as Gwen, so yeah, what she could do with a script that gave her some real meat could be great. I suppose “here’s an alternate reality where Gwen got the powers instead of Peter” is too simple to work?

Um, what announcement? You talk about it, but I don’t know what it is. I assume something about Emma Stone? Just wondering.

This is the first time I’ve (sorta-kinda) heard of it. Is there a link?

Based on what you wrote, you won me over on the idea of a Firestar movie. For one, Black Cat and Silver Sable do seem like ‘been there, done that’ ideas, and I would be more into a Spider-Woman movie, if she had a more cohesive origin. Let’s face it, Spider-Man is popular because he has a relate-able back story, a quick origin, and a motivation that’s spelled out in his origin. Whereas Spider-Woman had scientist parents with a spider ray or something and then she got kidnapped by Hydra…
Yes, she may not seem like a household name, but more people have heard of her than Black Cat and Silver Sable, because she was in a very popular cartoon, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Comic book people seem to forget that a popular comic sells maybe 200,000 issues, while unpopular TV gets seen my more and a million people, and this was extremely successful, enough that Marvel put her in their comic book universe. The only too bad is that Emma Stone would have killed at playing this character, but, oh well.

Firestar may be the only character who could equally likely show up in any franchise: she’s a mutant, she’s an Avenger, and she has clear ties to Spider-Man. I find that interesting.

@Michael P: Crap! Right you are! Thank you – and corrected!

@Greg & @buttler: Links added.

@Greg: Sony announced last week a “female-led” spider-man universe film

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/05/showbiz/movies/sony-female-superhero/

FYI: Sony does have Spiderwoman rights. They weren’t going to let someone else make a Spiderwoman movie to make money off their Spider-man movie. it was part of the deal.

Yeah, who owns the movie rights to Firestar? She’s a mutant, so Fox? She was an Avenger, so Marvel? An Amazing Friend so Sony? Damn. But if it is her, which is a far better scenario than the unfortunately more likely Black Cat, someone like Emma Watson could really shine (no pun) in that role.

Though an alt universe Emma Stone Gwen getting bitten by the spider is indeed the best case scenario.

I think the only way to have black cat be interesting would be to introduce her in a spider-man film and run through the 1980s storyline where her bad luck powers caused spider-man all sorts of bad luck to the point he had to break up with her before he ended up getting killed.

this is what i would like to see the marvel cinematic universe do for a female-led movie:

there’s been speculation that the alien that they used to heal Coulson in agents of SHIELD was their version of captain mar-vell

next season, introduce carol danvers on agents of shield

in the stinger of one of next year’s marvel movies, introduce the fact that the kree have been monitoring earth, and confirm that the alien in shield was mar-vell.

in agents of shield, have carol attain powers

ms marvel/captain marvel movie.

the hard part would be paying a big enough actress to front a movie to put that much time into the tv show

Oh and Kel, minor error but Batman Returns came out in 1992, not 1988. Kind of hard for me to ignore as it happens to be my favorite superhero film. Mainly due to Michelle Pfeiffer’s wonderfully layered and complex take on Catwoman. Still the BEST female performance in a comic book movie, IMO.

A sad state of affairs we have :(
Sony rushing to claim “first” in a matter that should be deal with more attention. Last time we got that awful movie with terrible characterization… I don’t know… Maybe this will at least put a little pressure on Marvel Studios/Fox/WB-DC. (Although the latter hopefully get as away as they can from the likes of Goyer)

Yeah, I’m think they’re probably planning the Black Cat. A female Spider would probably be better but it seems they are trying to do The Avengers with villains.

I personally don’t think they will get there first though. They already moved ASM3 back to the poor reception of AMS2, so they are going to try to build their villainous universe first with Sinister Six in 2016 and Venom and Black Cat in 2017. If Sinister Six doesn’t make a fortune (which i can’t see happening) they’ll panic and delay production until after AMS3.

The next studio up will be WB. They look like they are probably planning as Wonder Woman movie in 2017 or 2018, after a Justice League movie. However, this will probably depend less on gross (they’ll make enough money whatever happens) and on the reaction to Gal Gadot. If fans love her and Wonder Woman costumes fly off the shelves at Christmas they’ll make it quickly. If people hate her and they have to recast it will probably sit on the shelves for a long while.

It’ll probably be 2019 or 2020 before Marvel Studios get round to looking into making one. If Sony and WB have flaked they’ll probably finally do it.

But what do i know? I didn’t think Guardians would be a big success.

So Gwen died in ASM2?! Huh, I thought they were saving that for the third movie.

In that case I too would like to see her resurrected as Spider-Woman.

I agree. I would much rather have marvel do a black widow movie. I have to disagree with you about the spider man movies though. I loved the Tobey McGuire movies much more than the Andrew Garfield movies. Even the worst of Tobey McGuire movies (spiderman 3) was fun to watch. Tobey McGuire just had that geeky charm that made spiderman relatable to comic readers in the 60s. Andrew Garfield just didn’t look like the nerd to me. I also found the amazing spiderman movies to be boring and forgettable. I’m just not a fan of the new spider verse. Anyway, it’s only my opinion. But I’m really hoping for a black widow movie. Especially after reading Edmonsons new series.

It could be any of these, but I’ll bet it ends up being a Spider-Woman, or Spider-Girl.

This is kinda off-topic, but I find it strange that Sony is so focused on squeezing everything out of their Spider franchise when WB has zero interest in similarly milking the Bat franchise. Where are the Robins and Batgirls and the solo Alfred movie?

Anyway, I agree that the casting for the leads in the Amazing films was pretty good, but the execution of the films overall was really weak. I’ll just catch these movies when they get on Netflix or something.

I realize that Sony doesn’t have the rights, but I’d like to see a movie based on the current Ms. Marvel. Teen-age girl, not a sidekick, not a “new” take on a legacy character. (Yes, the name is being reused. Deal with it.) Super-powers that are just made for imaginative CGI like Groot. And, of course, Muslim. A diversity double-header.

Can we get her in a cross-over with Simon Baz?

How about a movie with Ms. Marvel? Since Captain Mar-vel hasn’t been introduced as part of the MCU she’s likely not going to be seen as derivative of any existing super-heroes that have been introduced to the live-action universe (the way She-Hulk or Spider-Woman would be) and she has a unique set of super-powers that easily distinguishes herself from an array of action chicks with weapons (e.g. Black Widow, Elektra).

@Michael P “Black Cat has ALWAYS been a ripoff of Catwoman”

Actually, Catwomen was a pickpocket and an unrequited love interest of Batman when Black Cat debuted in 1979. It wasn’t until almost a decade after Black Cat first appeared that Catwoman became a thief in a black outfit in Frank Miller’s Year One in 1987.

In addition, when Black Cat was created she was originally going to be in Spider-Woman, but her creator, unexpectedly, left that series and brought her with him to Spider-Man.

If anything, Black Cat set the tone that Catwoman later followed.

There is not really a great choice here, is there?

Firestar is probably the pick of the liter. She means something to folks that cut their superhero teeth on SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS. After the massive success of the X-Men franchise (to say nothing of the TRANSFORMERS), I am never under-estimating that again. She is also enough a blank slate in terms of back story that a strong director could put their stamp on her without outraging the fan community. That is a plus. The costume is a little on the boring side, but that is fixable. It is a shame that the reigning ginger Movie Star has already done a turn in this franchise.

Black Cat is probably next, but I am not a fan. She is everything DC did wrong with the nu52 Catwoman, but wrapped in a costume that doesn’t translate to live action.

Spider-Girl is easily that most successful solo female character Marvel has on the comics side, but derivative characters are death for the general audience. The same holds true for the various Spider-Women.

I literally cannot remember a single thing about Silver Sable, although you could’ve said the same thing about The Guardians of the Galaxy a few months ago, so ….

If Sony do any version of Spider-Woman, I’d say do Ultimate Spider-Woman, the clone. OsCorp’s evil science shenanigans are an easy way to skip the Clone Saga stuff.

That, or do Silk. I actually had that mad thought after the announcement.

Black Cat’s too Catwoman derivative, Silver Sable seems more like she’s suited to a straight action film. I’d put money on Firestar being at Fox since she’s a mutant and currently an X-Man.

Otherwise, use Anya and call her Arana to avoid the gender-ised title.

Nice try, Matches, but Catwoman was a thief in her first appearance, a thief in 1979 (pickpockets are thieves), and a thief in everything but that terrible movie we don’t talk about.

Also, I like how you mention Catwoman as a love interest as a distinguishing feature, as if Black Cat somehow wasn’t.

How about “someone new?”

Fairly unlikely, I’ll admit, but Sony does have a vested interest in spreading the idea that the most bankable film superheroes don’t necessarily have any comics history. Alternately, their “Spider-Woman” might end up being a mix of some or all the female characters to have “Spider Hyphen” names, or none of them.

Does Sony even own Firestar? She was created as part of Spider-Man’s animated TV series, but in the comics she’s mingled a lot more with the Avengers and the X-Men. I think it might be argued that the terms of Sony’s deal don’t go that far, and if there’s any doubt, it’s safer to assume Marvel retains rights.

@ MatchesMalone:

Actually, Catwomen was a pickpocket and an unrequited love interest of Batman when Black Cat debuted in 1979. It wasn’t until almost a decade after Black Cat first appeared that Catwoman became a thief in a black outfit in Frank Miller’s Year One in 1987.

You might want to read Batman (vol. 1) #1from June, 1940. It begs to differ.

… Or the ’66 TV show that is coming out on DVD soon and features a TON of Catwoman in thief/love interest mode.

… or Black Cat creator, Marv Wolfman, who said that Black Cat was different than Catwoman because of her bad luck powers and says that his inspiration was a Tex Avery cartoon called “Bad Luck Blackie”.

… Or even BRAVE AND THE BOLD #197 from 1983.

The thief/love interest angle on Black Cat is plainly a total rip-off, even if the character herself isn’t.

The whole anti-heroine/thief

Let Sony buy up the rights to Empowered by Adam Warren…what could possibly go wrong with that? If 50 Shades of Grey can be made, why not a film on her?

Extremely remote but, it’s not impossible they’d go the Ultimate Gwen route and make her Carnage. That could be cool, even if Sony had to put out a Venom film first.

I want to see the Beetle origin story from Superior Foes of Spider-Man #7 spun out to feature length. “I want to be the Hillary Clinton of crime lords” is a great hook for a movie, and if they’re setting up the Sinister Six anyway, this would be a good place to start.

011001010100011101

August 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm

i will respectfully disagree with you here.

Spidergirl is the way to go here. Specifically the MC2 Spidergirl, May “Mayday” Parker. Essentially, it is Sony’s get out of jail free card. They bring back Tobey and the gang in small supporting roles as the worried parents of May, and allow some young star the chance to make her name cutting her teeth on this super hero thing.

This likewise gives Sony something they really want, an entire universe that is legally theirs to play in. While he MC2 universe does not have the popularity of the 616 (arguably it doesn’t have the popularity of the 2099 universe, from which Doom and Spiderman 2099 are still making appearances) but if there is one thing GotG has taught us, its that fan popularity of a character is secondary to the power of the film.

By building out on the Rami Spiderverse, Sony suddenly has the option to not only plumb the depth of all the characters (including the New New Warriors and perhaps even ANext) that Spidergirl introduced, but can also play with far more legally dis-ambiguous characters like Agent Venom.

Agent Venom is hard to shoe horn into the Garfieldoverse, but both Venom and Flash are established in the Ramiverse. You can then open up for Sony, the idea of multiversal spider cross overs. Spidergirl, can meet, Miles Morales, can Meet Andrew Garfield Spiderman, can Meet a 2099 Spiderman, and the whole of the 2099 Marvelverse.

Once Sony embraces the Spiderverse, something Marvel itself is encouraging with its own cross pollination of the spiderverse, it can do everything that the Avengers have done.

It’s what Sony wants, and all they need to do is grab the fruit from the tree.

“Marvel Studios have been killing it with their films – and they seem to be getting better and better – The Avengers (2012), Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)”

Conspicuously absent from this list – Thor: The Dark World.

You’ve talked me into wanting Firestar. Bonus idea: introduce MJ as a supporting character in Firestar (as Angelica’s friend/possible confidante). Would give her some room to grow as a character before being inevitably shoved into the Love Interest role.

Emma Stones as Spider-Woman is brilliant, whether she is resurrected (or, never truly dead) Gwen or just a brand-new char leveraging, as Kelly points out, sincere fan love.

The problem with the Sony SPIDER-MAN movies — see also: Warner’s/”visionary” director Zach S’s MAN OF STEEL + franchise — is that they are simply trying to emulate the dark, gritty Nolan BatVerse. Aside from Ledger’s Joker, who even got a bit tired in act 3, the Nolan bats are not great films. They are barrages, and the man has no sense for choreography. I am terrified for DC’s film future because Nolan is pulling all the strings. Sony: SWITCH DIRECTIONS WHILE YOU CAN!!

I’m not sure the pre-existing audience factor is a problem. What pre-existing audience did the Guardians of the Galaxy have? That said, wouldn’t FireStar have similar problems for Sony that Spiderwoman has? She’s a Mutant and on the Amazing X-Men, and made her debut in Uncanny X-men. She has also been a New Warrior and Avenger. None of these things are owned by Sony. The only connection she’s ever had to Spiderman has been the Amazing Friends tv show. Iceman was on that team too and Sony doesn’t get him.

I agree that Black Cat and Silver Sable should be avoided. Some form of Spiderwoman/girl seems to be the only way to go.

*EDIT* Oh, I forgot that Liz Allen was Firestar in the Ultimate book. Not sure that’s enough though. If they could swing it, Firestar would probably be my choice.

It’s always disheartening to me to see people dis Raimi’s Spider-Man films in such a way that shows zero understanding of how pioneering they were. It’s like listening to hipster film school students talk about how Citizen Kane is overrated. The fact is, without the Blade films or the first Xmen film, we’d still have the superhero movie boom. You can thank Raimi and the Spider-Man films for the boom we now have. It was the Spider-Man films history making box office(yes, even for the third crappy entry) that made execs sit up and pay attention and see the possibilities. The Raimi films were dynamic in a way that the others couldn’t come close to matching. The Blade films and the first X-Men film have the stink of the 90s about them. There was no sense of something new on the horizon or of a oncoming boom in comic book movies after the Blade and first X-Men films were released. The audience vibe for that first Spiderman film was akin to that of the first Superman film and The Avengers movie. The box office and audience reaction and word of mouth simply make that an objective truth.

As for who is going to get to screen first with a female led Superhero film, my money is still on Marvel/Disney being first with a Captain Marvel film. Just because Feige hasn’t let fans in on his plans doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. Given the fact that they’ve remained ahead of the pack in all things Superhero Films, it simply stands to reason that they would not want to be in second place to anyone else. There could be any number of reasons why he hasn’t announced something yet, such as casting, having the right script or just waiting for the right time to break the announcement that works in the context of their other planned releases. I also think that the success of Guardians Of The Galaxy in a notoriously weak box office month like August pretty much puts to rest any nonsense about the superhero movie boom getting close to dying as the result of oversaturation or audience weariness with the genre. There’s just zero evidence to support that claim.

I’d also love to see Gwen/Emma Stone be a heroine in her own movie, But I can’t argue with the lack of faith in Sony as I feel the same way… I just don’t think they would be able to pull off a successful resurrection story that wasn’t completely corny or implausible, especially without including Andrew Garfield. I’m not saying she (Emma Stone) wouldn’t be able to do it, I’m saying whoever writes for Sony wouldn’t be able to make this roll good enough for what Emma is capable of.

I don’t know if Sony owns the rights or if this would even count as a female lead picture, but I would love to see Cloak & Dagger. They first appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man and they’re not mutants so Sony may have the right. Could be cool.

Whatever they do, I’ll basically judge on its own merit… but if I had my way:

PLEASE avoid any Spider-Man tie-in, filmwise. Keep doing Spidey films, and Garfield rocks as Spidey, but no tie-ins or crossovers.

Make a Black Widow movie, absolutely! But maybe not as the 1st in the Marvel Studios interconnected film franchise?

Ms. Marvel is my top pick. Done right, she could really make for at least a kick@$$ trilogy of films. And she’d make a good addition to the Avengers film franchise. Over-sexed costume from a few years ago is optional. While as a guy (i.e. a pig) I’d love to see it, but as a movie goer it would probably be poorly done or distract from the story… so maybe a toned down version of it? I love the yellow bolt on black design, ok?

Any time I read anything like this, I just wonder what it would cost/take for Marvel to get the rights to Spider-Man and the FF back…

I’m not so sure Firestar would be an option. I mean, who own her rights?
–>Debuted in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends (Sony)
–>Tied to Emma Frost and the Hellions (Fox)
–>Most commonly an Avenger or a New Warrior (Marvel Studios)

From a legal standpoint, it’s possible she falls under all THREE options, and could be used by all three film producers lol!

At this point, I would actually prefer it if Sony just didn’t make this film altogether. I think a female hero could do well in the current climate but I don’t think Sony is the one to do it. Their plans for future films just seem like bad decisions. I love Spider-Man but I am not interested in a PG-13 affair about his villains. I would love to see a female spin-off film but most of the characters above with the exception of Firestar seem like hard sells from a marketing perspective. Even worse, we know that any female led film is going to have the shoe-horned love interest because we all know how much Hollywood believes you got to have a love interest to get women into the theaters.

I’m all for a female lead in a superhero movie, but I’m all for it being the right female lead and for it to be done well. Sony doesn’t have the rights to a compelling enough female lead to also make up for the fact that they are terrible at making superhero movies.

Spider-Man is arguably the best character any studio could hope to have and they have had three movies in a row that were far short of what they should have been in my opinion, to put it as kindly as possible. WB and Fox have had solo female superhero films with Catwoman and Elektra, and both were terrible and might be why other female superhero films have not been made since. If Sony is the first out of the gate with a Black Cat movie and they (undoubtedly will) screw it up it could dissuade Marvel Studios from attempting a Ms. Marvel movie, and outside of Wonder Woman she’s probably the best candidate for a successful solo female franchise movie.

The Amazing Spider-Man franchise works better on screen than it does on paper. The first one belabors the familiar origin story and chooses a villain without much personality, but the casting and characterization rescue it from those oddball decisions. The second one overstuffs its plot in the interest of fleshing out the franchise — a mistake the Marvel movies have not exactly avoided — but Jamie Foxx steals his scenes as Electro, bringing some dramatic interest to moments that could have been perfunctory. Marc Webb does not seem as comfortable with spectacle as Sam Raimi, but like many of Marvel’s directors he was drafted from comedy into big-budget action, with the virtue that he keeps the performances lively and funny while the effects department renders the other half of the movie (and you could pay the same backhanded compliment to John Favreau or even Joss Whedon). With the right casting and director this project could work out fine.

And what’s this “salt to taste” crap about the Sam Raimi movies? The second one stands up to the Marvel movies just fine. It’s a movie that gives some room to the supporting cast and moves between scenes with a sense of purpose instead of stuffing throwaway banter between fights. It’s still the best screenplay in the genre, even if the effects have not aged very gracefully.

My money’s on a Golden Oldie movie.

I kind of think if they are going to “resurrect” Gwen they might want to just go all in and maybe set it up for a clone saga or something (That way you can go with the Ultimate universe version of Jessica Jones (a female clone of Peter Parker) as an extra character (so double female hero potential). That way you have a three fold safety net: can blame the “Clone Saga” curse, if it’s bad then it at least expands the story line and opens up a lot of potential, and you end up with two female heroes (The two heroes thing seems to be a theme in later marvel films that are not team based (Iron man and War Machine, Captain America and Falcon, etc.)

I don’t think Marvel is concerned with doing anything first. They’re more concerned with doing it best.

I’m content to let Sony be the one that brings some rushed pandering, and then Marvel can hit us with a good female-led movie when it’s ready.

KevinMatchstick

August 17, 2014 at 1:13 am

@Kelly, if you currently read Dan Slott’s run, Julia is currently the comatose Madam Web. However when she was Spider-Woman, she actually had a very cool story and could be easily integrated, especially because of the Oscorp angle they are using. (Check out her origin and such)

But also another angle that endeared her to me (and has made her character a favorite of mine for a long time) was she is not only a crime fighter, but she is a mother. Something about parents and their children in comics appeals to me. In film also, citing Aliens for an (metaphorical) example of the Mother/Daughter dynamic of Ripley and Newt.

But out of your other choices, I’d say Anya and Sable are my choices. Anya could pull a big draw from a much larger age range, but Sable is also another favorite of mine. Plus I’d love to see Kathryn Bigelow direct that movie.

I can see them bringing in the Clone Saga into the movie via Gwen Stacy becoming the Scarlet Spider or something. It’d be a heck of a twist on established comics canon.

I always thought it was a Black Cat movie as well. But I love any and all ideas to get Emma Stone back as Gwen Stacy. As mentioned above, twist around Clone Saga a bit.

My vote is go Ultimate Clone Saga – Gwen Stacy Carnage. Give Stone a chance to chew some scenery a bit as she ends up being stuck horrifically morphing back from Gwen to Carnage. Then at the end Venom sucks the Carnage out of her and she’s now Gwen again.

There is a Venom / Carnage movie in the hopper. Just do that!

My hopes are either Spider-Girl (the Anya one) or Ultimate Spider-Woman. The Emma one would be cool, too, but I don’t know about that one just yet. Oh! And Silk. I love Silk.

Adding onto my previous post, they could bring in a female Scarlet Spider.

There’s really not many options, are there? If they are restricted to characters that mainly are linked to Spider-Man I don’t think they have anyone worthy of a solo movie. Besides the ones already mentioned who else is possible; Madame Web?

Jessica Drew would be difficult to do, given her ties to SHIELD, HYDRA, and the Avengers. I mean, you’d have to circumvent that, which takes out large swaths of her backstory. Sure, you could use expies, but why?

Julia Carpenter would be an interesting choice to go for – her powers, a single mother superhero, her eventual evolution into Madame Web…there’s really a lot that you could do with her character.

Mattie Franklin’s a fantastic character in her own right as well, but she’s very much a legacy character, and not having had Julia or Jessica come before her…well. It loses something.

Like you said before, Firestar would be fantastic, but like Jessica, a lot of ties come into place, and who knows where her actual rights lie?

There are a lot of lesser-known characters in his universe – Jackpot, Bluebird – but I can’t see any of that happening.

Sadly, the top most contender does seem to be Felicia, and though she’s my favourite character in the Spider-verse, I really want them to stay away from her for awhile. It’s too obvious a choice, and too many parallels would be drawn to Catwoman.

Though I wonder if they might not choose White Tiger, given her appearances in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series.

Haha, I have not finished the article yet or read all the comments. But Sally Field nailed Aunt May so well, I want to see an Aunt May movie. I did not like Amazing but she nailed it. Have May gradually figure out what Pete is up to but keep up that she hates Spidey, bad guys get involved as usual. AUNT MAY THE MOVIE. Won’t happen but I would be there opening night.

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