Sinister Six

As Marvel Studios continues to set the benchmark for building a shared cinematic universe capable of finding critical and commercial success, Fox (who hold the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four) and Sony (the owners of Spider-Man’s big screen adventures) continue to try to follow in their footsteps.

In Sony’s case, that involves building franchises around Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.

However, fans are still scratching their heads over how exactly a m0vie focusing on The Sinister Six – which is set to be written and directed by Drew Goddard – will work, especially as they’re a team made of villains who only ever came together in order to kill Spider-Man! However, that’s not something which is lost on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 producer Matt Tolmach, who explains:

“It’s a challenge in every sense. Obviously questions of traditional hero/villain dynamics have to be looked at. At the same time it’s an awesome challenge, because some of the greatest characters are in fact villains, and how you construct that is so much fun. People love those bad characters if they’re good bad characters, and love to watch them. And nobody’s all good, nobody’s all bad, and so where we end up with that story, I think, is a really awesome challenge, and we all smile when we think about what you can do. It’s definitely a bad-ass group of people and I think it’s going to be a ton of fun to watch them.”

Longtime Spider-Man producer Avi Arad emphasised the fact that Sony are now looking to build new franchises based around the iconic Marvel character, meaning that we’re in store for yearly movies featuring either the character or his villains.

“Yeah, I think it’s a fair statement. With Marvel characters, the villains are victims of circumstance. If you look at our villains, none of them were born like that. Our villains are nice and complex and in the world of film writing you can play with that, you can make some wonderful things out of it. The Spider-Man universe has amazing villains, they are all character driven.”

The other major Spider-Man spin-off is Venom from Kurtzman, but Arad’s comments about it not mattering who is wearing the alien suit may not go down well with some fans, especially as Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson are two very different characters who have used the symbiote in extremely different ways over the years. The mention of him being a “Lethal Defender” could mean they’re leaning more towards Eddie…

“Venom hated only one guy – Spider-Man. He wasn’t innately bad, he was a shortcut guy, not really into fighting hard for achievement. That’s the Venom story. Can he also be a good guy? As you know, Venom was also called ‘lethal defender of the innocent’. We had a great history with him, especially caring for the homeless, which is a very sensitive issue and something that many of us are very concerned with. Our villains all represent a different side of the misunderstood, and some of them unfortunately turned to the dark side. Venom happened to be a phenomenal character. With Eddie Brock, or if you do Flash Thompson, it doesn’t matter who is going to be inside the suit – what’s important is that a man like him is going to realise there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say ‘How did I get here? There must be a better way.'”