Why Isn’t Sony Making Live-Action Spider-Woman And Spider-Girl Movies?

With the release and total bombing of Madame Web, it’s brought into question the entire existence of the Sony Spider-Man Universe. While Sony’s deal with Marvel Studios allows them to share Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, the studio has a stable of hundreds of other characters that they are not using. Not until Venom kickstarted a trend of using Spider-Man villains for their own solo movies. While Venom surprised audiences, Morbius tanked, and now with Madame Web dead on arrival, all eyes are on their next release, Kraven. However, something in Madame Web asks a much larger question about the Sony Spider-Man movies.

Please note that the following will feature many spoilers from Madame Web.

What Is The Sony And Marvel Studios Deal?

Sony Spider-Man movies Holland.
Image via Marvel Studios.

Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man and all of that franchise’s, villains, sidekicks and over 900 other characters. While their deal with Marvel Studios allows the character to appear in the MCU, it also creates limitations for Sony to create their own Spider-Man movies with Holland, since the MCU canon has to be preserved. This is why the Sony’s version of Spider-Man movies are all about villains from the character’s rogues gallery, who are turned into anti-heroes for each movie. It began with Venom, then Morbius, now Madame Web and Kraven later this year. All are Spider-Man movies which cannot feature an actual Spider-Man character. Which is also the reason for some other odd choices in Madame Web.

There was a report a few years ago that leaked emails outlining the details of the Spider-Man rights deal that Sony had with Marvel Entertainment originally. Those emails stipulated that Sony’s live-action Spider-Man or Peter Parker must be white and straight. It also specified the story circumstances that always need to be present for any Peter Parker as Spider-Man iteration. This explains the pivot to Sony’s Into The Spider-Verse movies that feature the original character of Miles Morales; a different universe’s Spider-Man. So clearly, Sony can adapt the stories of other Spider-themed characters into feature films. This is also evident in the new Madame Web movie.

Other Spider-Heroes Appear In Madame Web

Sony Spider-Man movies Trio.
Image via Sony Pictures

The main plot of Madame Web is how the main character has to protect 3 young women from the villain. Why? Because the 3 women will eventually gain powers and kill the villain, so he’s trying to kill them first. However, the 3 characters who get Spider powers are actually the comic characters of 2 different Spider-Women and Spider-Girl. Madame Web even shows them in some pretty amazing comics-accurate costumes. Albeit, only for a total of a few minutes of on-screen time. But more baffling than that, the inclusion of these 3 Spider-powered heroes in the Sony Spider-Man movies asks a much larger question.

Sony Spider-Man Movies Could Feature Other Spider-Heroes

Sony Spider-Man movies trio
Image via Marvel Comics.

Given that Madame Web prominently features 3 heroes from the Spider-Man universe, all with their own distinct spider powers, why aren’t they doing more of that? We always just assumed that the reason they are doing movies with Spider-Man villains is due to some restriction of featuring a spider-powered hero. But if they can appear in Madame Web, why isn’t Sony doing origin stories or solo-hero movies with these characters?

All 3 of the women in Madame Web, have spider-themed powers, but their origin stories are separate from Peter Parker or Spider-Man himself. So Sony could easily do solo-hero films of these characters, and begin a Spider-Hero franchise without Spider-Man, without infringing on any of their restrictions with a Peter Parker Spider-Man story. They could still introduce Spider-Man villains, potential spin-offs and sequels and a shared universe of Spider-Man characters on their own. Especially one that features more Spider-Women too, which is in and of itself a very cool idea.

It’s difficult to know whether Sony not pursuing a Spider franchise with these characters is a specific approach by the studio, or due to a legal restriction or limitation. But they have an incredible opportunity to begin their own Spider-Man shared universe even without the presence of that hero himself.

Madame Web is now in theatres.

What do you think of the current state of the Sony Spider-Man movies? Let me know in the comments below or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid for more Spider-Man discussions.

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Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad