Another strand in the web of the Spider-Verse is spun into place as Marvel’s first Korean-American heroine swings into development.
Despite Silver and Black falling off Sony’s production schedule, the Spider-Verse refuses to deteriorate. With Spider-Man: Homecoming reestablishing their foothold in the franchise wars, producer Amy Pascal is determined to milk the license for every drop. Later this year, Venom and the animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse are geared to showcase the endless potential of their particular corner of the Marvel dynasty. The comic books have thrived on crossovers and spin-offs for decades, and there is no reason to doubt Hollywood can’t follow suit.
According to Deadline, Pascal’s production company is in the early stages of developing a movie for Silk. Who? Don’t be shocked if you’ve never heard of the character as she is a fairly new addition to the comic book community and has only been swinging through skyscrapers for the last four years. In her short tenure, Silk has developed a strong fanbase and has played a significant role in several recent event storylines.
Cindy Moon is a Korean-American teenager and a classmate of Peter Parker. She was bitten by the same radioactive spider that cursed him with genetically-mutated superpowers, and she developed similar, albeit slightly altered, attributes. Her web shooters are of the organic variety (a la Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man), and her spider-sense is much more extreme. This “Silk-Sense” also heightens her attraction to Peter Parker, and the two vow to stay away from each other as much as possible due to uncontrollable spider-urges. Yeah, let’s not adopt that problematic plot point.
We’ve actually already seen Cindy Moon within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actress Tiffany Espensen portrayed the character in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War. She was a practically silent member of Peter’s decathlon team, but her reappearance on the school bus in Infinity War certainly suggests that Sony has more in store for her beyond maintaining continuity.
As Homecoming delighted in flashing back to previous significant events as a backdrop to The Vulture’s origin, could we finally witness Peter’s spider-bite genesis through the POV of Cindy Moon’s sci-fi beginnings? Or is another cinematic alteration required to distance Cindy from the master plan of Kevin Feige? So far, all signs indicate that Marvel Studios is only interested in Peter Parker, and Feige is happy to observe Pascal from afar muck about with the minor players.
For my money, the Spider-Verse is only compelling if Peter Parker exists within it. Who knows what the details are of the contract that allowed Marvel Studios to add Spider-Man to its Avengers roster, but for Sony’s own set of spider-franchises to work there has to be a spider. Venom, Miles Morales, Black Cat, Silver Sable, and Silk are gripping characters. No doubt. Yet, all of them are intrinsically tied to Spider-Man. Peeling them away from Peter is not impossible, but that demands several extra strands of narrative wizardry to achieve.
Pascal has strived to broaden diversity in the blockbuster market, and Spider-Man’s vast cast of heroes and villains allows her to champion that goal even further. The fan community has fallen hard for Tom Holland. We’re going to follow that guy anywhere, but the jury is still out on the Spider-Verse. We can speculate on these characters till we’re blue in the face, but until we see Venom or Miles Morales succeed on their own, it is hard to muster excitement for tangential character threads.