Sony's attempts to create a Marvel-like franchise out of their Spider-Man have been fraught, but a new report implies that the studio has a new project in the works that could satisfy a lot of fans: a movie centered around a female superhero.
Anita Busch of Deadline reported that Sony has hired Lisa Joy to write a script based around a female character in the Spider-Man universe. Though it's not clear who the movie would focus on, Busch threw out Silver Sable, Black Cat, and Spider-Woman as potentials, among others. The studio, she wrote, is looking to have the movie out in 2017. (The Hollywood Reporter has also reported the news.)
As superhero movies continue to be a dominating box office force—Guardians of the Galaxy made $94 million in its opening weekend—the lack of female driven projects seems more and more conspicuous as female-led movies continue to prove they can draw audiences. (See: Lucy.) Though it's been reported that Marvel is developing a Black Widow project for Scarlett Johansson, the studio hasn't officially put it on the slate. When asked about a female-driven movie in a recent interview with Comic Book Resources, Marvel head Kevin Feige danced around the question. "I hope we do it sooner rather than later," he said. "But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don't take for granted, but is a challenging thing."
A major studio producing a standalone movie about a female superhero would be great no matter what. Still, the news should be taken with a dose of skepticism. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 disappointed, and Sony does not seem to be on stable ground with its franchise.