Sony Has Rights to Roughly 900 Marvel Characters

Sony Pictures will rapidly expand their cinematic corner of the Marvel Universe this year with Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, though other changes have been made to their production slate.

A new report shed light on Sony's plans for their Spider-Man franchises, including the news that their deal with Marvel gives them access to roughly 900 characters in their library.

We’re focused on being faithful to the comics,” Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch told Variety.

The Spider-Man-centric films has an unofficial name internally at the studio, with Panitch overseeing what they're calling Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters (or, the SUMC).

Though Sony Pictures is reportedly cancelling plans for Silver & Black, the Black Cat and Silver Sable spinoff with director Gina Prince-Bythewood, there is an opportunity for both characters to receive solo films in the future, with Black Cat taking priority.

"We believe Black Cat is enough of her own character with a great backstory and a canon of material to draw from to justify her own film," Panitch said.

Sony is also moving forward on films based on Morbius the Living Vampire, and Kraven the Hunter, while plans are in the works for characters Silk, Nightwatch, and, perhaps most surprisingly, Jackpot.

"Spider-Man connects to a lot of the characters," Panitch said. "There are villains, heroes, and antiheroes, and a lot are female characters, many of whom are bona fide, fully dimensionalized, and utterly unique... We feel there’s no reason the Marvel characters shouldn’t be able to embrace diversity."

Even though Sony is developing their own corner of a Marvel Universe, there are still hopes that they will cross over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond Spider-Man's inclusion in the Avengers. It was also reported that the studio is planning for Venom to push the boundaries of a PG-13 rating, with hopes that Spidey could appear in a future installment down the line should it be successful enough to warrant a sequel.

But Spider-Man isn't the only character they're hoping to include. Apparently Sony would be open to having some MCU characters appear in their other films.

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All of this remains up in the air, but Sony seems dedicated to the success of their franchise beyond the Venom movie. We'll see if it pans out, as they've already hit a snag with the cancellation of Silver & Black.

Venom premieres in theaters on Oct. 5th. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will hit theaters on Dec. 14th.