Sony surprised us all last month when they announced their intention to expand the world of Spider-Man on the big screen to include two spin-off films that include Venom and The Sinister Six. Coming from the collective brain trust of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon and Drew Goddard, the team will build on the cinematic foundation laid by the first two films in the series in the interest of a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.
Little has been said about the films themselves since the announcement, but now in an interview with IGN, Roberto Orci says they're hard at work on establishing the kind of tone they want for the spin-offs.
When asked about their approach to the The Sinister Six, whether the title characters would be straight-up bad guys or more anti-heroes, Orci replied:
"That's the discussion we're having right now; how exactly do you do that, and how do you do it without betraying the audience and making them all mean? Drew Goddard [The Cabin in the Woods] is going to be writing that one, so it’s kind of his problem. [Laughs] I'm kidding. We're all working on each other's stuff. So we want to be true to it, but there are some antiheroes in this day and age. There's been examples of that even on TV — Vic Mackey on The Shield, one of the great antiheroes of all time. There are ways to milk that story. Audiences have seen everything. They've seen all the good guys who never do anything wrong. Is there a story in seeing the other side? That's the challenge, and that's the fun. I'm not sure how we're going to do that yet."
When asked about the Venom spin-off, which he is co-writing with Kurtzman & Solomon, Orci says they'll need to be sure and surprise everyone.
"I think they're ready to have things shaken up. I think we've all seen everything. You've seen everything. You can probably predict the ending of most things even better than a general audience, but a general audience is still pretty good at it. They can see it all coming. So we have to shake it up. You can't just keep telling the same stories every day."
Something fans may have noticed in the promotion for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the importance of Oscorp to the origins of the film's villains, which Orci says will continue into the spin-offs.
"Oscorp plays an important part in how our villains get created, obviously, in the first one. So because Peter becoming Spider-Man came out of that, rather than saying, "And then this alien came from space," or whatever, they're doing human-hybrid, weird stuff at Oscorp. That's where Gwen Stacy works anyway as well. So the idea of it representing the good and the bad of science, that it can do great things, but it can also mess you up and do weird things and transform people — as all science can be used for good or bad. So it's nice to have that organizing principal, but it wasn't like, "We must keep it at Oscorp." It flowed naturally from the story development."
Finally, when asked if The Amazing Spider-Man 4, currently dated for May 4, 2018, was actually a fourth entry in the franchise or a placeholder for one of these proposed spin-offs, Orci replied:
"I think with Spider-Man 4, the intention is for it to be 'Spider-Man.'"