10 Ways The Sony Spider-Man Universe Can Still Be Saved After Madame Web’s Disastrous Reviews

  • Spider-Man's absence needs to have a significant impact on SSU villains like Venom and Carnage to stay true to their characters.
  • Making Spider-Man villains anti-heroes like Venom and Kraven does a disservice to their menacing comic book counterparts.
  • SSU should consider introducing new Spider-Man characters like Black Cat as protagonists who don't need Spider-Man to exist.
After the disastrously poor reviews and commercial performance of Madame Web, the Sony Spider-Man Universe needs to rethink its approach to adapting Spider-Man’s corner of the Marvel mythos. Sony was initially successful with the Spider-Man intellectual property, with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 being cultural phenomena that forever redefined the superhero movie genre. While 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man reboot was successful, Sony’s plans to build their own Marvel movie universe based exclusively on Spider-Man characters fell through after The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s underwhelming critical and commercial performance.
Following Sony and Marvel Studios’ agreement to share the Spider-Man film rights and introduce a third live-action Peter Parker to the MCU, Sony repurposed its spinoff plans into the SSU, which – thus far – has been a Spider-Man universe that does not feature Spider-Man himself. 2018’s Venom and its sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, both performed well at the box office yet were poorly reviewed. The SSU’s other two films, Morbius and Madame Web, were each significant critical and commercial failures, which may not bode well for the upcoming Kraven the Hunter and Venom 3 without a franchise course correction.
Related Spider-Man's Complete MCU Timeline Explained Tom Holland joined the MCU as Spider-Man in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, and has since become one of the MCU's most important superheroes. 10 If Spider-Man Remains Absent, He Should At Least Impact The SSU Villains Skipping Spider-Man Does A Disservice To Characters Like Venom & Carnage Custom Image by Debanjana Chowdhury Sony’s initial Amazing Spider-Man spinoff plans made sense, considering that they would inhabit the same continuity as an established and beloved iteration of Spider-Man. Unfortunately, in an SSU that lacks its own Spider-Man, classic Spider-Man characters are having their histories and characterizations awkwardly contorted. While Tom Hardy performs well as Eddie Brock, he and the Venom symbiote are missing their crucial connections to Spider-Man. To make matters worse, the SSU’s Carnage and Cletus Kassidy have both died without interacting with Spider-Man. For the sake of future SSU characters, some version of Spider-Man needs to be introduced.
> Madame Web Madame Web is a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Taking place in Sony's Spider-Man Universe, the movie revolves around a clairvoyant woman who can look into different dimensions. Dakota Johnson stars in the lead role, with Sydney Sweeney, Adam Scott, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O'Connor comprising the rest of the cast.
9 Stop Making Villains Anti-Heroes Venom & Kraven Need To Be Far More Menacing While Morbius’ portrayal of its titular protagonist as an anti-hero is appropriate, Venom’s similar depiction is somewhat unearned. Venom’s comic counterpart was initially an extremely menacing enemy of Spider-Man before eventually adopting his role as a “lethal protector.” Aaron Taylor-Johnson has implied that his iteration of Kraven may also be an anti-hero, instead of the ruthless big game hunter and murderer that he is in the comics. For the SSU to authentically portray Spider-Man villains, it needs to portray them far less favorably.
8 Use Spider-Man Characters Who Don’t Need Spider-Man To Exist As Protagonists Spider-Man Is Not Initially Essential For Characters Like Black Cat Unfortunately, the SSU has already established characters like Venom and Carnage without either of their necessary connections to Spider-Man. In Madame Web’s case, despite Cassandra Webb not needing any initial connections to Peter Parker, she is a co-worker of Ben Parker and the birth of Peter Parker plays into the film’s plot. As such, future SSU films need to be more discerning in how they use Peter Parker. If the franchise wishes to tell a Spider-Man character’s origin story without including Spider-Man himself, a protagonist like Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) makes sense.
7 Introduce A New Version of Peter Parker Audiences Can Handle A Fourth Live-action Peter Parker The simplest way to solve a degree of the SSU’s woes is to simply introduce a new iteration of Peter Parker. Spider-Man is Marvel’s flagship superhero and one of the genre’s most popular characters overall. While Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery and supporting cast are beloved, the franchise can only go so far with them before needing to include Peter Parker in some substantial form. Unfortunately, an SSU Spider-Man now seemingly cannot wear his iconic black symbiote suit nor can he battle Carnage, given the events of Venom and Let There Be Carnage, so it would not solve all of the franchise’s problems.
6 Make Amazing Spider-Man Spinoff Films Instead Sony's Original Plan Was For Amazing Spider-Man Spinoffs If Sony cannot or does not want to introduce a new live-action version of Spider-Man, one partial fix for their Spider-Man franchise is to abandon the SSU and return to their original plan. Spider-Man: No Way Home brought Andrew Garfield’s iteration of Spider-Man back, renewing interest in his version of Peter Parker and reminding viewers why they loved his iteration in the first place. Since Sony initially sought to expand the Amazing Spider-Man continuity through spinoffs, they may see more success in setting their films in an established universe that many viewers are already invested in.
5 Make The Amazing Spider-Man 3 Viewers & Andrew Garfield Want Another Amazing Spider-Man Film Close Of course, setting spinoff films in the Amazing Spider-Man universe could be a partial fix, but simply reviving the Amazing Spider-Man films themselves could be even more successful. With renewed interest in Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man following No Way Home, there have also been viewer campaigns lobbying for an Amazing Spider-Man 3 movie. Moreover, Andrew Garfield himself has expressed interest in returning to the Spider-Man role. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 could be a massive crowd-pleaser and thus an excellent alternative to more SSU films.
4 Use A Spider-Man Other Than Peter Parker A Live-Action Miles Morales Or Miguel O'Hara Film Another route for Sony could be introducing a new iteration of Spider-Man other than Peter Parker. The Spider-Verse animated films and the Insomniac Spider-Man video games have more than demonstrated the popularity of Miles Morales. The recent Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has also increased the popularity of Miguel O'Hara. Sony can begin a franchise of live-action Miles Morales Spider-Man movies, set in the SSU, the Spider-Verse continuity, or a brand-new timeline, and a Spider-Man 2099 film could also be successful.
3 Make A Mayday Parker Spider-Girl Movie In The Raimi Universe Continue The Raimi Spider-Man Universe Close No Way Home renewed interest in not only Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man but also Tobey Maguire’s iteration. While a Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 4 would be more than welcome, there is great potential for a spinoff series in the Raimi universe starring Mayday Parker. Mayday is the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson as well as the superheroine Spider-Girl, and her MC2 comics would inspire a phenomenal sequel to Spider-Man 3, especially if directed by Sam Raimi. If Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man returns in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Maguire’s Spider-Man can return in Spider-Girl as a co-star and mentor to Mayday.
2 Introduce A Live-Action Spider-Gwen Spider-Gwen Could Even Be Brought Into The Amazing Spider-Man Universe Close The Spider-Verse films have also boosted the popularity of a Gwen Stacy variant, known as Spider-Woman (or Ghost-Spider in the comics). Sony could also find success in adapting Stacy's comic stories to live-action in a Spider-Woman film. Should Emma Stone play this alternate universe version of Gwen Stacy, she might even find herself interacting with Garfield’s version of Spider-Man, if one or both heroes are involved in another multiversal event.
1 Create Films Starring New Peter Parker Variants A Spider-Man Noir Film Could Be Successful The Spider-Verse films increased the popularity of unique Peter Parker variants as well, with Nicholas Cage’s Peter Parker (based on the Spider-Man Noir comics) being particularly noteworthy. Sony has announced that a Spider-Man Noir TV series is in the works, but if these plans were to fall through, the idea could be repurposed into a movie. The Sony Spider-Man Universe struggles due to its lack of a Spider-Man, so movies based on Spider-Man variants could be far more successful.


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