Sony Pictures has just announced that they’re planning an animated Spider-Man movie for theatrical release in 2018. They made their presentation yesterday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, saying that Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 22 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were on board to write a treatment and produce the film. Neither has been signed to direct, though Deadline notes it as a possibility.
The animated film is said to “co-exist” with live-action Spidey film projects, though it “will exist independently of the projects in the live-action Spider-Man universe, all of which are continuing.” Spider-Man franchise veteranss Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce, along with former Sony Pictures Chairperson Amy Pascal, who will be working with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to produce the new live-action Spider-Man film. The Spider-Man franchise is the biggest money maker Sony Pictures has going right now, and Amy Pascal has been a central figure in developing it for the studio. The recent leaks of Sony emails may have forced her to step down as head of the studio, but the move was apparently largely cosmetic, as they can’t afford to just let her walk away.
It was Sony chairman Tom Rothman who made the announcement at CinemaCon. He didn’t reveal anything about the live action Spider-Man movie due out July 28, 2017. Marvel’s Kevin Feige and Sony’s Pascal will produce that movie, which will feature the Peter Parker iteration of the web-slinger.
Stolen emails from Sony Pictures last December revealed that the studio previously tried and failed to recruit Lord and Miller to take over its animation division last summer. The emails revealed that Pascal and studio topper Michael Lynton were looking to “turn the studio around,” trying to court Lord and Miller to head a Pixar-style “brain trust” of filmmakers. The two met with Pascal last summer to discuss what that brain trust might look like. Lord, however, wrote in an email that “it’s too hard to do great work there” in regards to the Sony job.
Spidey will make his next film appearance in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” which bows May 6, 2016.
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