Sony's Marvel Universe has an official name. The SUMC, or "Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters." I personally think this is a terrible name, so for the sake of my sanity I'm going to call it Sony's Marvel Universe.
Sony currently owns around 900 Marvel character properties, and they have plans for most of them.
“We’re focused on being faithful to the comics,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures, and the executive overseeing what is being called internally, Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters." I hope Panitch isn't responsible for the name .
Sony currently owns approximately 900 Marcel characters. Which is basically every villain Spiderman has ever come across. With the release of Venom, Sony has Morbius The Living Vampire, Black Cat, Silver Sable, Kraven, Nightwatch, Silk, and Jackpot all lined up for release.
If there's one thing we learned from Venom, it's that maybe a movie based on a villain isn't the best idea. The film was torn apart by critics, but it made a ridiculous amount of money, so Sony has made it very clear that SMU is happening.
Their are some big name attached to some of these projects. Jared Leto is going to be in another comic book adaptation. He's set to play Morbius in Morbius The Living Vampire. Spike Lee is also set to direct Nightwatch. In addition to this Tom Hardy is reported to have signed on for two more films.
I really don't know how I feel about this. A part of me has hope, but the other part of me that saw Venom thinks it's a bad idea. My worse fear it's that they don't plan it out, and just wing it like DC has been doing. Just moving from film to film.
Venom wasn't the best film in the world, but it did show a small glimmer of potential. Potential that gives me a little hope in this universe, but if Venom set the standard for the rest of the universe then we're in trouble.
I wouldn't be surprised if Venom made a billion dollars. You can tell Sony's building this universe based almost entirely on the financial success of Venom.
One thing I am worried about is how financially successful these films will truly be. Venom is one of Spiderman's most popular villains, and one of the most recognizable names in comic book history. Even if you've never read a Spiderman comic, chances are you'll still know who he is, but I can't say the same for the rest. While comic fanatics might recognize all these names, casual fans more than likely will not. I personally only recognize a few. Other then Venom I only recognize Kraven, Black Cat and Silk. It makes me wonder how successful these films will be.
Popularity doesn't always decide success. Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't the most well known comic book, but it still managed to make almost 800 million at the box office, but how many people really want to see a Black Cat film.
I'm not saying it's going to bad, but Halle Berry's Catwoman did happen. Unfortunately all I can think of when I hear about the Black Cat film is the Catwomen film (for obvious reasons) and it doesn't get excited to go see it.
I saw Venom which means I'm most likely not going to see the sequal. Although I'm a huge Woody Harrelson fan and I enjoyed watching Tom Hardy, chances are I'll stay at home and watch Spiderman 3 (not really).
As for the rest, they currently have a clean slate with me. I might go see it, and I might not.
Venom has been a huge commercial success, but it has been panned by critics. I think this will have a negative impact on the series as a whole. As we saw from DC, the negative reviews Batman V Superman not only hurt that film, but it also had a negative impact on Justice League. Venom didn't completely destroy the SMU, as Marvel was able to recover from The Incredible Hulk.
However I do still believe that the SMU is more of a get rich quick scheme cooked up by Sony to cash in on the Superhero genre's success.
I believe the SMU has potential, but it doesn't seem as if Sony is too focused on making quality films.
I think as of right now the only people that can make SMU work is Sony, and hopefully they do. Over the next few years we're going to get the first few films in the SMU. Will it be the next Marvel, or will it fall victim to DC's lack of planning and eventually fall on it's face.
I don't think it's going to completely fail, but in no way do I think it's going to even come close to competing with Marvel, and even DC.
I don't think these films will ever be criticality praised, nor do I think they will all be huge commercially successes. I think the SMU is going to be filled mediocre films that (with exceptions) just barely keel their heads above water financially.
I wish the SMU the best, and a word of advice, don't do what DC did. Stop and think before you do, and please change that name.
© 2018 Royce Proctor