Remember when Sony said they were going to do an expanded movie universe using Spider-Man characters and we all wondered what heroes there were in the arsenal? It turns out none! The studio has announced - via their Electro-themed viral site - the production of Venom and Sinister Six movies for sometime after Amazing Spider-Man 3, which hits in 2016. Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will write Venom, with Kurtzman directing; this is now the most easily ignorable movie of the last decade.
Sinister Six is another story. Drew Goddard will be writing that one, and could direct. HIs touch - smart and funny - could make for a truly unique superhero film, a slightly comedic movie where these six villains (which six we don't quite know) bounce off of each other.
But Venom? Even in the best of hands I would have doubts about that film. In the hands of Orci and Kurtzman? Forget it.
Here's the thing: Sony is pitching this as a 'shared universe,' a la the Marvel movies, but these are just spin-offs. These aren't unique character concepts that inhabit the same world as Spider-Man, they're all characters inextricably linked to Spider-Man. Sony is going to pretend that they have a universe, but what they really have are glorified sequels. This sounds like a niggling detail, but it's proof that Sony doesn't quite get what Marvel is doing. Marvel is creating a world inhabited by characters who have their own niche; if you don't like Thor and his space elves perhaps the adventures of Captain America and his spy buddies are more up your alley. Spider-Man's rogues gallery is made up of characters who inhabit the same niche as Spidey. Marvel is creating independent franchises that have connections; these Sony movies will all be attached by the umbilical cord.