As superhero fans worldwide will probably agree, we are happily living in the golden age of superhero movies. While the previous decades did see some good moments, they gave us many more disappointing ventures at bringing our favorite heroes to the big screen; now though, the developments in special effects and story-telling made possible some of the best live-action adaptations of comic book iconic characters in recent years. Is it perhaps time to move even further forward and – finally! – see a female-led instalment in the Spider-Man franchise?
Silver & Black in the Works for Years
The superhero cosmos is full of characters that could easily stand alone in their own movies. A couple of years back, the idea of a female-led Spider-Man spin-off was reportedly in the works between Sony and Marvel. Spider-Woman and Spider-Girl were the frontrunners to star in the movie that was reportedly written by Lisa Joy, creator of hit TV series Westworld, but others like Silver Sable, Black Cat, or even Firestar and Stunner were also in play. Now it seems that the movie is finally going forward – and right on time, after this year’s successful Spider-Man: Homecoming reboot reminded us of exactly how good a Spiderman movie could be when done properly.
But it appears that we will not be seeing much of Spidey in the upcoming movie, all thanks to the complicated world of movie rights: Marvel just regained its share of the right to use the Spider-Man character (which, for many fans, explains why the latest movie was so, so much better compared to the previous ones – Peter Parker finally got his share of Marvel’s Midas’ touch!) yet Sony is still in charge of the rest. The working title of the movie is Silver & Black, as it will focus on characters Silver Sable (alias of Silver Sablinova, mercenary, and CEO of Silver Sable International, a company that hunts down war criminals) and Black Cat (aka Felicia Hardy, a famous acrobatic cat burglar) – who, honestly, were underdogs in the run, so it will be exciting to see a movie about them. In the comic books, they are often Spiderman’s allies but, with no details released on the movie’s plot yet, we’ll just have to wait and see what Sony will do with them.
Gina Prince-Bythewood Set to Direct
The studio has already set February 8th, 2019 as the film’s release date, obviously in an attempt to tap into Spiderman’s recent increase in popularity after Homecoming. However, Tom Holland will not be appearing in the movie as it will not form part of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. This is not actually a bad thing, as it will allow the characters more room to develop outside of Spiderman’s long shadow. Sony hired Chris Yost, a screenwriter with significant experience writing for Marvel – most notably on the Thor movies – to pick up where Lisa Joy left off and work on her script.
They also signed on Gina Prince-Bythewood as a director, making her the first black woman to direct a superhero movie – and it is also rumored that she will have her take on the script, too. The director, most famous for her work in directing and writing the script for the acclaimed 2008 drama The Secret Life of Bees (based on the novel by Sue Mon Kidd), is also set to direct the pilot for the Marvel teen superheroes series Cloak & Dagger. Several villains are rumored to appear on the upcoming film, including geneticist and cyborg Gaunt, Scorpion and Tarantula as his minions, as well as criminal mastermind Tombstone and Chameleon, master of disguise. The last two were thought of as possible antagonists for Homecoming’s sequel, so it will be interesting to see how it all ties together.
Movie Continues Joins the Rising Trend of Strong Female Leads in Superhero Films and TV
This movie in the works will not only cash into Tom Holland’s successful portrayal of the iconic wallcrawler but also in the shift that one can discern in the superhero film industry lately. Marvel is finally getting a female-led superhero movie with Brie Larson starring as the title character in the 2019 Captain Marvel movie – also the first MCU movie to be directed by a woman, Anna Boden, while the script will be entirely penned by a female writer (also an MCU first), as Geneva Robertson-Dworet will take over from Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve. Also, Marvel’s president Kevin Feige has reportedly agreed to a certain angry Valkyrie’s (Tessa Thompson from Thor: Ragnarok) request for an all-female Marvel movie.
Earlier this year, DC broke its strain of underwhelming superhero movies with the first female-led instalment in the series: Gal Gadot starred as Wonder Woman and female director Patty Jenkins was behind the wheel. The film quickly became not only a fan favorite – especially from numerous female superhero enthusiasts – but also an unexpected box office success: it grossed over $820 million globally and more than $410 million in North America, which makes it the most successful non-sequel and most successful origin story to date. It has also inspired an insane range of merchandise, from the usual hoodies and figurines to iPhone cases and shoes – and merch sales after the movie’s opening weekend hit an estimated $500 million to $1 billion.
Wonder Woman follows in the steps of other strong female characters in related industries like gaming and TV series – most notably the current hit HBO series Game of Thrones, which has gained an immensely wide and dedicated fandom. The show’s mainstream appeal inspired merchandise ranging from multiplayer strategy mobile games and even through to bringing in nostalgia and psychology using online games like slots featuring the iconic dragon eggs to the Three-Eyed Raven Beer and a life-size Iron Throne. Unconventional characters like Arya and Brienne of Tarth, Sansa and Cersei, and most of all the last hope of the Targaryen dynasty and the show’s protagonist, Daenerys, have all been trailblazers in terms of strong women on TV – and they have hopefully paved the way for more strong female characters in blockbusters.
The world of Hollywood moves slowly and with great difficulty – yet the presence of more female creators both behind the scenes and in front of the camera guarantees that we will continue to build upon this change. Wonder Woman was a great start – let’s hope that Black Cat and Silver Sable will live up to expectations!