Skip to main content

Sony is screwing up Spider-Man

Sony is screwing up Spider-Man


Rumors of an Aunt May movie hint at what's wrong with the franchise

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Sony wants Spider-Man to be as big as The Avengers, and no property is too good to milk for all it's worth. On top of The Sinister Six and the third Amazing Spider-Man film, Latino Review now reports that Sony executives are batting around the idea of a movie focusing on Peter Parker's Aunt May. And she'll, of course, be a spy in the swinging Mad Men era. Even if Sony comes out and says this isn't happening, that it's even a rumor worth addressing hints at how bad the Spider-Man franchise is already getting.

Sony is stretching the Spider-Man mythos to its limit

Sony isn't shy about its ambitions for Spider-Man. All The Amazing Spider-Man 2 really did, aside from ending what was a genuinely likable onscreen pairing, was tease sequels and spinoffs. Did it make one lick of sense that Harry Osborn became the Green Goblin, other than the fact he's supposed to? No. But he did, and now he's poised for appearances in the followups. All this is because Sony wants to do the kind of world-building that Marvel is doing with The Avengers and what DC plans on doing with the Justice League. And in its desperation to play superhero catch-up, it's stretching the Spider-Man mythos to its conceivable limits.

And it's not working. Spidey doesn't work that way. The reason why The Avengers and even Man of Steel in its best moments worked was because both films understood scale. Spider-Man, at his heart, is a small-town hero, and his best stories tend be focused largely on him, his relationships, and his struggles. Making him the heart of an expansive movie universe is wrongheaded, betrays the soul of the character, and makes it clear that Sony just wants the money.

A story about Aunt May isn't a story about Spider-Man

The thing is, Sony can't even really be faulted for wanting those sweet superhero dollars. Everyone's doing it. But making a hypothetical Aunt May movie of all things would be the worst move in a string of bad moves dating back to Spider-Man 3, and it would hint at a cynicism that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. First, it's a risky, downright nonsensical project, especially as it took this long to give Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel — hugely important characters, don't forget — movies of their own. Second, the Parker backstory in the films, already full of corporate intrigue, was one of the most disliked plotlines in the rebooted series. Third, the one comic story from May's youth being mentioned in these rumors, Trouble, was booted from generally accepted canon because it was terrible. Fourth, telling a story about Aunt May isn't telling a story about Spider-man, which is already the biggest problem with Sony's present plans.

We already know that Spider-Man's New York City (let's not even call it a world) is being carved up to contain the Sinister Six, Venom, and maybe even Black Cat in the coming years. Meanwhile, Sony won't be bringing its main draw back to theaters until 2018 and can't even seem to keep big-name screenwriters around for the project.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Sony isn't actually this stupid. I, for one, will just keep on hoping against all hope for a Marvel deal that lets Peter Parker become an Avenger by 2019. If an Aunt May movie somehow rests in the realm of possibility, that should, too.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Not just you

External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.