Sony's ambitious plan for a Sinister Six spinoff from Amazing Spider-Man is, according to its producers, at least in part a "redemption" story.
Things are looking more and more concrete for the Sinister Six project these days. Its writer, Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, The Cabin the Woods), who's also working as writer and director on Marvel's upcoming Daredevil Netflix series, has signed on to direct the flick as well, and we're also hearing that the film (along with a Venom spinoff movie) will likely arrive sometime before the planned Amazing Spider-Man 4 release in 2018.
While details of who's behind the film and when we'll see it are getting easier to come by, though, just where the film's focus will lie is still a big question mark, particularly when you consider the difficulty of making a film led by supervillains in the hero-happy blockbuster world we live in. Writer Roberto Orci -- who's playing a big part in the future of Sony's Spider-verse as co-writer of Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 3, plus that Venom spinoff -- has discussed an "antiheroes" vibe for the project in the past, drawing connections to the great antiheroes in various hit TV series of the past decade or so.
Now producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad are stepping up to discuss Sinister Six, and though they're not giving away any plot details or discussing whether Spider-Man himself might make an appearance, they are focused on how to make audiences care about the bad guys. For Tolmach, though, making movies about people who aren't exactly nice is not a new development in Hollywood.
“There's no such thing as just a villain," Tolmach said in a new interview alongside Arad at IGN. "There are villains by virtue of choices that people make but they always begin as humans, as characters. As flawed people; as tragic people. You know great movies have been made about a bunch of bad guys who get together to do something.”
At this point, Arad interrupted to reference the classic Akira Kurosawa film Seven Samurai.
"Yeah, I mean, there's a huge tradition of it," says Tolmach. "Those are sometimes the greatest characters to watch. A bunch of broken people coming together for whatever reason."
Arad then noted that the key thing uniting the villains was a common enemy and brought up the subject of redemption, something he says audiences hunger for when it comes to villains.
"As long as there's that one thing in common: they'll hate Spider-Man," he said. "They'll hate him because he's so different from them. But then, you know when you sit by yourself somewhere and you think about it, they all had a different life at one time and that's what's so beautiful about the Spider-Man universe. They have amazing stories if you look at it.
"And everybody's looking for redemption; they're unforgiven. Would you see one of the Sinister Six starting to feel like that? Yes. And people love it, by the way. They love when a villain finds his way back because we're all very forgiving."
Redemption stories are certainly nothing new in the comic-book world. We've seen plenty of villains come around in the past, including Magneto and the Eddie Brock version of Venom (though in both cases, things were ... complicated), and we've seen our fair share of villains who were simply misunderstood as well. The Sinister Six film could certainly go that way, with at least one of its members (depending on which lineup Goddard and Sony focus on), but Tolmach also noted that there's an inherent power to these characters the film will explore.
After Arad made his remarks about redemption, Tolmach said the film is also "a bunch of badass characters doing something. It's like, 'Let's admit that we love watching that.' And so, where that goes ..."
I don't know about you, but I think "a bunch of badass characters doing something" is a better start for a Sinister Six movie than "redemption," but who's to say both couldn't work in the same film? What do you think? Are Arad and Tolmach heading in the right direction?