The Marvel/Sony deal may have breathed new life into the #SpiderMan franchise, but it's left Sony in something of a tricky spot. With Tom Holland's Peter Parker now part of the MCU, what can Sony do with the remnants of the Spider-Man franchise?
We're already getting an animated Miles Morales movie and that's fantastic. But one of the greatest things about the web-head is the sheer quality of his rogues' gallery; second only to Batman, Spider-Man's villains are easily the most well-developed in superhero comics. Sony's response was inevitable; first, a Venom movie. And now... an as-yet-untitled film starring Black Cat and Silver Sable!
Here's What We Know!
The script was originally written by Lisa Joy, co-creator of #Westworld, and it's now being given an update by Chris Yost. Yost is a major name in superhero circles, and is best known for his work on the Thor films. Dig a little deeper, though, and you realize just how big a name he is; working alongside Craig Kyle, he successfully brought the character of X-23 over from an animated series to the comics, and penned the tremendously popular New X-Men series. So his involvement is a pretty big deal. Producers Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal have already been assigned to the film, which is hoping to start shooting in the fall.
Who Are Black Cat And Silver Sable?
Better known as Felicia Hardy, Black Cat is one of Spider-Man's hottest old flames. She was created by Marv Wolfman back in 1979, and was originally intended to be a female foil for Spider-Woman; when Wolfman took over writing duties on The Amazing Spider-Man, he brought #BlackCat with him. Contrary to popular belief, Wolfman insisted that she wasn't inspired by Catwoman; instead, she was based on a 1949 cartoon, Bad Luck Blackie!
Black Cat's story is a fascinating one. Raped at Empire State University, Felicia resolved to never again be a victim, and trained in combat and acrobatics. Her original goal was to seek bloody revenge, but ironically the rapist was killed in a drink-driving incident. Felicia decided to dedicate her skills to the same career as her father - he'd been a notorious cat-burglar. She became the Black Cat, a frequent thorn in Spider-Man's side.
The relationship between Spider-Man and Black Cat has been an entertaining one, noted for a certain romantic frisson. Black Cat herself has often switched sides, even working as a hero for a time, but she's currently a major crime-boss.
#SilverSable, meanwhile, is a very different - and far less well-known - character. She was created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in 1985, and has proved to be quite an enduring third-tier character. Silver Sable is a mercenary by profession, frequently leading teams of superhumans (Sandman worked for her for a while). Her mercenary career is the main source of income for the small Eastern European nation of Symkaria - Silver Sable's homeland. As with Black Cat, she's been both an ally and an enemy of Spider-Man; she was believed killed in 2012's "Ends of the Earth" event, but was resurrected just last week in Amazing Spider-Man #25 (this is comics, after all, and death is a revolving door).
What Can We Expect?
It's hard to say what to expect from this film. At first glance, it seems to promise to team up two skilled female superheroes - one who wears a black catsuit, the other who wears a white one. What's more, while there have been rumors Sony was considering a Silver Sable movie for years, Black Cat's brand is so tightly interwoven with Spider-Man's that it's hard to see how it can be separated.
On the plus side, though, we do have the fact of Chris Yost's involvement. Yost is well-known in #comicbook circles for his love of character work, and his New X-Men run showed he has particular skill with younger stars. If the film were set early on in Black Cat's career, with a younger Felicia Hardy in a starring role, then it would definitely be playing to Yost's strengths.
All in all, though, I have to confess that this project is something of a mystery. Silver Sable and Black Cat have never been linked to one another in the comics, so there's literally no comic-book precedent for this film. What's more, we don't know if this will be a team-up or if they'll actually be antagonists, working at cross-purposes. The project's at an early stage, although Sony has now signed up director Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees).
So there you have it, Spider-fans. Two more of Spider-Man's rogues' gallery are joining #Sony's developing Spider-villain universe! Given the lack of comic-book precedent, we simply have no idea how this is going to play out. That said, with Chris Yost involved in the project, I'm definitely curious...
Are you excited at the idea of a Silver Sable / Black Cat film?
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Comics)