Sony Pictures plans expanded 'Spider-Man' universe

Spider-Man-2

Image Credit: Niko Tavernise

Spider-Man’s world is about to get bigger.

“We do very much have the ambition about creating a bigger universe around Spider-Man. There are a number of scripts in the works,” Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Lynton told investors Thursday. And any character within Spider-Man’s universe is fair game for a spinoff, including villains and girlfriends.

The details are going to be a little tricky since Spider-Man is a Marvel character, so, Lynton said that Sony is working alongside Marvel and Disney. He didn’t go into specifics about the nature of the collaboration,  according to Deadline, though Sony owns Spider-Man and the characters in his world, Disney owns the merchandising rights. It’s also very unlikely that the masked arthropod will join up with the full slate of Avengers characters.

Sony Pictures launched the Spider-Man franchise in 2002 with Tobey Maguire leading up what would become a $1 billion trilogy. In 2012, Sony rebooted the franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man, bringing in a new cast and a new director. Starring Andrew Garfield in the lead role, that film earned over $262 million domestically. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set to hit theaters May 2, 2014.

The marathon meeting with investors reported clocked in at almost five hours and was partially an effort to address Sony’s underperforming 2013 releases, including After Earth, White House Down, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Smurfs 2. Though they have had some major successes this year, such as Grown Ups 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Captain Phillips, and This is the End, the disappointments likely triggered the need to assure investors that the studio does have plans to capitalize on properties it already owns. An expanded Spider-Man universe might just be their answer.

Sony Pictures did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

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