Superhero canon is famously complicated, but legal rights might just be the only thing more confusing than Marvel mythology. Sony, the movie studio that owns the film rights to Spider-Man, is developing a new Spidey spin-off about the side characters Black Cat and Silver Sable. However, just like Sony’s recently announced Venom standalone, the movie won’t be in the same continuity as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man won’t be featured in these films at all.
Confused? It’s okay.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Sony is looking to kick off production on the movie, which was originally codenamed “secret female spin-off project,” this fall. Chris Yost, a TV and comics writer, who worked on the script for the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, is tackling the Black Cat/Silver Sable script as well. THR says Yost is going to start off with a story written by Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy.
Black Cat is a pretty major Spider-Man character. Felicia Hardy, a cat burglar with subtle bad luck superpowers, has been a friend, foe, and lover to Spidey over the years, though it’s still unclear if Spider-Man is even going to be in Sony’s spin-off films. Black Cat has never appeared in a live-action movie before, though Rogue One star Felicity Jones did make a cameo as Black Cat’s civilian alter-ego in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Silver Sable, meanwhile, isn’t as big of a character. Her real name is Silver Sablinova, and she’s a war criminal-hunting mercenary from a fictional European country. Her methods are deadly, but she’s a sometimes ally to Spider-Man. Think of her as a platinum version of the Punisher.
Sony is in an interesting place when it comes to Spider-Man. After the Amazing Spider-Man series tanked, the studio agreed to play nice with Marvel and let them include Spidey in the MCU. However, Sony still has partial rights to a bunch of side characters. Between Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable, it seems like they’re sure going to try to make the most of it.
THR says that the movies are “not offshoots from the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming but rather projects spun from the overall franchise and based on Sony’s Marvel’s Spider-Man universe.” What, exactly, that means, remains to be seen.