The Sony Data Breach is a big story, and the amount of information and the nature of its content is what makes it so big. Sony might try to waive a few lawyers in the faces of news outlets to stop them reporting on the leak, but as long as there are juicy tidbits to be revealed, the stories will be continue to march on. However, the latest info to come to light might encourage other studios to chip in for Sony’s legal team. The latest round of leaks includes behind-the-scenes information pertaining to Warner Brothers and Fox’s movie slate, in addition to Sony’s troubled Spider-Man franchise.
What has been released in the latest round? Let me tell you:
Jeff Robinov has found a new job, and he has an idea for a Spider-Man reboot: Yes, you read that right. Former Warner Brothers Jeff Robinov has found a new job (he’s founded his own studio called Studio 8) and Sony is contemplating rebooting the franchise for the third time in less than fifteen years.
Comic book film fans will read Robinov’s name an wince. He was the Warners’ executive in charge of fumbling the studio’s attempts to bring DC Comics properties to the big screen. He most famously was a proponent of making all superhero films “grim and gritty” like The Dark Knight and might be part of the reason why Superman turned into a neck breaking vigilante in The Man of Steel.
So it should come as no surprise that The Daily Beast reports that that Robinov’s idea to reboot the Spider-Man franchise is to adapt perhaps the grimmest and grittiest arcs from the comics, “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” a storyline where Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter gains the upper hand over the hero, shoots him, and leaves him for dead, buried alive. While the real Spidey is out of commission, Kraven adopts his identity and tries to carry on in his name in a far more violent fashion. The story ends with a defeated Kraven taking his own life via a shotgun in the mouth.
Cheery, summer blockbuster material it is. Also fitting that Robinov picks an arc where Spider-Man is barely in the work that acts as his big comeback.
The film would feature an older Spidey, and there would not be another origin story. Robinov also has an apple-pie-in-the-sky list of potential directors, including Brad Bird, Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee (Frozen), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love), James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Don Hall & Chris Williams (Big Hero 6), Phil Lord & Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie), Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki), Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), Edgar Wright, and David Yates.
Sony was doing the hard press to get Spider-Man into Captain America: Civil War: The Daily Beast covers a different e-mail exchange between Michael De Luca, co-president of production for Columbia Pictures, to Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment that reveals a whole passel of scoops. One is that De Luca really thought loaning Spidey to Marvel for a cameo would be a good idea:
I really feel, in my heart of hearts, that the new spiderman [sic] in cap 3 could just appear in his own film, be it sinister six or a kick ass spidey film of his own, after that intro in cap 3 and people would be cool with it.
There have also been leaked e-mails where Marvel appears to be totally into the lend/lease of Spidey. So how can we make this happen?
Fox IS working towards a Fantastic Four/X-Men crossover: In the same e-mail chain, as De Luca encourages Pascal to create an expanded universe with the Spider-Man characters, he states that Simon Kinberg told him that Fox is working to an eventual crossover between the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. This is the same Kinberg who has been shooting down that possibility for months.
Of course, De Luca doesn’t give us a timeline, but the meeting between the two franchises might come sooner than you think if the FF reboot is dead on arrival.
Jeff Nichols will be directing 2018’s Aquaman : In news that not even a whisper has appeared anywhere up to now, De Luca mentions that Mud director Jeff Nichols will be directing Jason Momoa in 2018’s Aquaman for Warner Brothers. While Nichols is anything but a household name, Mud received very good notices. And, lest we forget, Marvel built its film empire by hiring great directors that normally would fly under the radar.
Marvel is high on Spider-Ham, Sony on Santa Claus Burglar, neither on Tordenkakerlakk aka The Thunder Cockroach: While which studio owns the rights to what character is a fun game for comic book film websites to play, Sony and Marvel have it down to a science. And, apparently, a spreadsheet. Business Insider states that a spreadsheet listing the Spider-Man characters broken down to which ones Sony might want to use one day, ones that Marvel might want to keep, and ones neither seem to have an interest in has been leaked by hackers.
What characters? How about every single character to appear exclusively in a Spider-Man comic book from the very beginning. There is no character too obscure, as the list ranges from The Black Abbott to the Hypno Hustler. The spreadsheet states that Marvel has “frozen” the rights to Spider-Ham, an anthropomorphic version of its character,which apparently means that Sony can’t use them. Sony however is very interested in a character called the Santa Claus Burglar, a petty thief how dresses as Santa to dupe young kids into letting him rob their houses. The character has appeared in only one issue (as far as I can tell) and was eventually defeated by Spider-Man and the real Santa Claus.