'Luke Cage' Showrunner Teams With Spike Lee for Spider-Man Spinoff 'Nightwatch'

Director Spike Lee looks to be teaming with Marvel’s Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker for a new Spider-Man spinoff movie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee is circling Sony’s movie based on the Marvel Comics character Nightwatch. The project is still in its early stages and has Coker attached to write the screenplay.

Lee’s rumored potential involvement with Nightwatch was first reported by That Hashtag Show.

Nightwatch is the alter ego of African-American scientist Dr. Kevin Trench who first appeared in Web of Spider-Man #97 in 1993. Trench discovered his own dead body where a strange and powerful suit of armor. He took the armor from the corpse and began wearing it in order to fight crime and discover the origin of his mysterious other self. Nightwatch has primarily been an ally to Spider-Man, though he has made appearances elsewhere in the Marvel Universe and headlined his own short-lived series.

Nightwatch’s suit enhanced his physical capabilities, provided him with nanotechnology that healed his wounds, and a cape that responded to his thoughts so that he could glide through the air.

Nightwatch would become another installment in Sony’s Marvel Universe of movies. Tom Hardy’s Venom will launch the universe this October. The Silver Sable and Black Cat team-up Silver and Black, which has Gina Prince-Bythewood attached to direct, is expected for 2019. A movie based on Morbius the Living Vampire is also in development.

As a gritty street hero, Nightwatch could easily fit into Sony’s R-rated vision for its Spider-Man spinoffs, as explained in a Variety report:

“The studio isn’t tasking any single exec or producer with building the web of Spider-Man characters. Instead, it wants each picture to have a distinct style. That means the characters might be featured in R-rated outings or in lower-budgeted offerings. Sony also isn’t interested in producing just conventional comic-book movies.”

“Superhero movies have now transcended [the point] where they’re no longer superhero movies per se; they are essentially genre movies,” Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch said. “It’s not so much that characters have a cape and fly. In Silver & Black, these two women are modern and coo...They may wear costumes, but [they’re] very real and very grounded.”

Lee's last Sony Pictures film, Oldboy, made $4 million worldwide. He is currently working on Black Klansman, a film about an African-American detective who infiltrated the KKK in 1978.

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