Intent on exploiting its Spider-Man resource to the fullest, Sony confirmed rumours by announcing last month that it was planning spin-off films for the symbiote villain Venom and the group of baddies known as The Sinister Six. It’s a big order, and a group of writers is involved with making it happen. One of those overseeing this new drive – Amazing Spider-Man 2 co-writer/producer Roberto Orci – has opened up to IGN about how they’ll get it all wrangled.
“That's the discussion we're having right now; how exactly do you do that, and how do you do it without betraying the audience and making them all mean?” he says. “Cabin In The Woods’ Drew Goddard is going to be writing that one, so it's kind of his problem… I'm kidding. We're all working on each other's stuff. So we want to be true to it, but there are some antiheroes in this day and age. There have been examples of that even on TV – Vic Mackey on The Shield, one of the great antiheroes of all time. There are ways to milk that story. Audiences have seen everything. They've seen all the good guys who never do anything wrong. Is there a story in seeing the other side? That's the challenge, and that's the fun. I'm not sure how we're going to do that yet.”
In terms of logistics, Orci, along with regular partner Alex Kurtzman and fellow writers Goddard, Jeff Pinkner and Ed Solomon, are using a method well known to most of them, who got their start in TV writing rooms under the likes of J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon. “In television, you get a great team of writers together, a writing staff, and you're working on five episodes at once. You're prepping one, you're shooting one, you're writing one, you're posting one, and you're trying to make sure they're consistent over 13 or 22 episodes. That's how we learned how to do things. So it's funny in the movie business, and you have different things being done by different teams and they're not all communicating with each other.
“So when we talked about our interest in all this stuff, we said, ‘Well, the way would want to do it is kind of go to a TV model,’ and then the distinction between the quality of TV and film has gone away. They're both equally viable, awesome storytelling formats. So the idea of, let's get a core group of writers and producers and directors – and even though I might not be the one writing Venom, I'll be in the meetings talking about how to make it interesting. We could be putting in Easter eggs and planning ahead in the previous movies, and then that guy over there is going to write that movie, and Ed Solomon's gonna write another one with us. So having a committee, a board, of people who are creative, who are filmmaker, who just keep it all together, that's kind of going back to the way we started.”
Of course, there is also the not-so-small matter of getting The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 made too, and all the time hoping that the superhero movie bubble doesn’t burst in the meantime. But at least Orci and co. have a plan to make everything hang together. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in our cinemas on April 18.