We’re one step closer to the inevitable fiery collapse of the comic book movie. Maybe. Sony, one of the four studios (count ’em: Marvel, Sony, Fox, Warner Bros.) currently building an expanded comic book movie universe, has just put another piece into its gargantuan, multi-movie puzzle.
That piece? Drew Goddard. Who, technically, had already been ensnared in Sony’s many-Spiderman’d web — he was announced as the writer of Sinister Six back when Sony first rolled out their cinematic Spidey-verse. But now there’s more, as Variety reports Goddard will be directing Sinister Six as well.
Goddard’s first and only directorial effort was The Cabin in the Woods, a film that took typical slasher movie conventions, whisked them together with LSD and then laid them all out in a jumble (or something to that effect). Sinister Six is the first big superhero movie in the Big Superhero Movie era that doesn’t have any superheroes (at least, as far as anyone knows). So a director with a knack for outside-the-box thinking is a director well-suited to the project.
Making a supervillain movie isn’t impossible. It’s never been done before, but plenty of comics tell a story from the villain’s point of view. Anyone interested should just look at Marvel’s “Superior Foes of Spider-Man,” which is basically Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels if its Vinnie Joneses and Jason Stathams had robo-boomerangs and super-speed.
Plus, Sinister Six fits in snugly with what we know of Sony’s superhero strategy. Goddard is one of the company’s “franchise brain trust,” five filmmakers who will be overseeing the continuing saga of Spidey and friends, like a five-headed Kevin Feige. The other four are Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner and Ed Solomon. And unlike Marvel, where Feige knows all and sees all but operates from the shadows on a throne mounted with gravity disks, Sony has its franchise leaders doing all the thinking and most of the filmmaking. Kurtzman is writing Venom (with help from Orci and Solomon), and will direct that one too. Orci, Kurtzman and Pinkner handled screenplay duties for the second and third Amazing Spider-Mans.
We’ll see how that works out. Recycling the same filmmakers, the SSMMCU (Sony’s Mostly Spider-Man Cinematic Universe? Marvel’s competitors seriously need to up their acronym game) might resemble one continuous franchise more than a widespread world where superheroes fight diversely different battles and only hang out once every couple years. That’s the advantage of a Feige-in-charge strategy, that you can farm out a film or two to James Gunn or Edgar Wright, just to add a punch of genre flavor.
Right now, Goddard is Sony’s James Gunn. Unlike the other four brain trustees, Goddard is working on Sinister Six and Sinister Six alone. He’s known for genre stuff like Cloverfield and Cabin in the Woods. Plus, he’s (kinda, sorta) been poached from the competition — Goddard’s also showrunner and executive producer for Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series. No better way to prove a guy can direct superheroes than if “Marvel Studios” is on his resume. And I’m guessing that after Sinister Six and 13 episodes of Daredevil, Goddard will have had his share of superheroes (and villains) for a long, long time.