Spider-Man spin-off centered on Black Cat/Silver Sable is in the works at Sony

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Sony Pictures is looking to capitalize on Spider-Man’s popularity by developing a spin-off centered around two of the web-slinger’s female cohorts. THR reports that the studio has hired Thor: Ragnarok writer Chris Yost to write the script for a Black Cat/Silver Sable movie, but it doesn’t sound like the film will take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So what gives?

First, here’s a brief introduction for those who haven’t read the comics. Black Cat is Felicia Hardy, one of Peter Parker’s love interests by day and a talented thief by night. Silver Sable is the leader of a mercenary group who hunts war criminals. She and Black Cat have been depicted as both enemies and allies of Spider-Man throughout the years, depending on the story being told.

But from the sound of it, this movie might not include Spidey at all - or at least not Tom Holland’s new version of Spider-Man. THR notes that this spin-off is not an offshoot of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. That movie is a co-production of Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, while this one is being produced by Amy Pascal and Matt Tolmach, who produced The Amazing Spider-Man films. Instead, this is being considered to be “spun from the overall franchise and based on Sony's Marvel's Spider-Man universe.”

That sounds a bit wonky, but I think I can straighten it out. Earlier this month, word surfaced that Sony was resurrecting a Spider-Man spin-off centered on the character of Venom. This new Black Cat/Silver Sable movie is similar to that project, because that one won’t be a part of the MCU either. So the big question then becomes, are they going to cast a separate actor to play Spider-Man in these spin-off movies? Because that seems like it would be incredibly confusing for audiences. But if they don’t include Spidey, then what’s the draw for this movie? I mean, I’m thrilled that a studio is considering greenlighting another female-led superhero movie because, let’s face it, there aren’t very many of those these days, but I’m just not quite sure how they’re going to handle some of the hurdles of the rights issues between studios.

The first draft of the script was written by Lisa Joy, a co-creator of HBO’s Westworld, so let’s hope Yost can keep the project moving and help to make this a memorable, worthy spin-off.

Image: Fox Kids/Marvel Studios