Sony Announces Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio Spinoff Movies

Come Hell or high water, Sony is going through with it’s Spider-Man plans.  Never mind the fact that they never made any sense to begin with, if Sony smells profit in the air, they’re not about to pass it up.  I guess if I was in their shoes, I probably wouldn’t either.

After giving Spider-Man back to Marvel Studios in time to appear in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, Sony has insisted that it’s not done with everybody’s favorite wall-crawler.  Not content with just their planned animated movies — the first of which is set to come out in December of next year — they’ve resurrected their previously abandoned plans for a Spider-Man only shared universe: expanding on the one franchise with the various villains and anti-heroes attached to the Spider-Man brand.

The first of these movies is Venom, which may or may not double as a sequel to the otherwise unrelated movie Life.  Next, they announced a Silver Sable and Black Cat teamup fittingly called Silver and Black.  Now, spinoffs for Spider-Man villains Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter have both been announced, proving that there is literally no Spider-Man character that isn’t up for grabs with this ill-considered venture.

Mysterio is one of the web-head’s better known villains.  Originally a special effects genius and stuntman, he eventually realized that in the Marvel Comics universe, his skill set made him ideally suited for supervillainy.  He donned a green costume with a fishbowl helmet and used his ability to create illusions to go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man on a regular basis.

Kraven the Hunter is a bit more of an interesting case.  Whereas most of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery consists of animal-themed nemeses — The Lizard, the Rhino, the Vulture — Kraven is their opposite: a hunter so adept that the only prey worth his notice is the superpowered animal kingdom of New York City.  His most famous story involves Kraven seemingly killing Spider-Man, burying him and then wearing a version of his costume to further prove himself as his better.

The problem inherent to either of these stories is the same problem Sony is facing with all of these Spider-Man movies.  While they might have access to what ultimately amount to side characters, the main man — Peter Parker — is firmly in Marvel Studio’s grasp.  All they have are villains and love interests without the one person who could tie them all together.

What’s worse is that there’s no clear indicator as to whether these movies are their own, separate thing or if they’re a part of the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe with Captain America, Iron Man and, yes, Spider-Man too.  Although Marvel Studios denies any connection between them, Sony’s been telling anybody who’ll listen that they are, just that they won’t have Spider-Man, include the mega-franchise’s other characters or reference the events of other movies.

The more I hear about Sony’s plans for a Spider-Man Cinematic Universe that somehow doesn’t include Spider-Man, the worse the idea sounds.  Yes, he has one of the best group of villains in the business, but that’s not what people love about him.  They love the character, and that character is noticeably absent from anything involving these movies.

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