Last week, Sony Pictures handed out a 2018 release date for their new Venom spin-off that will expand the studio's Spider-Man universe, although it will not be connected to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Today we have word that the studio is expanding this universe even further, developing a new spin-off that will feature the popular female characters Silver Sable and the Black Cat. The studio has brought on screenwriter Christopher Yost to write the script, building on a previous script that was originally worked on by Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy.
The Hollywood Reporter doesn't reveal any specific story details, but it does indicate that the studio wants to find a director soon, eyeing a fall production start date. Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal are producing the project, which was previously known as the "secret female spinoff project." While Sony Pictures has a shared rights deal with Marvel Studios for the main Spider-Man character, the studio still retains the rights to the rest of the characters within the Spider-Man universe, with the most popular characters being the villains in Spidey's rogue's gallery, which is what has lead to these spin-offs being put into development.
Much like the Venom spin-off, this Black Cat and Silver Sable spin-off will not have any connection to Spider-Man: Homecoming, but is said to keep expanding Sony's Marvel Spider-Man universe, which may be a tricky task to pull off, without featuring Spider-Man himself. Black Cat, a.k.a. Felicia Hardy, was created by Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard, she first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #194, which hit the shelves in July 1979. This character's father was a famous cat burglar, and after a traumatic event during her freshman year of college, Felicia decides to follow in her father's footsteps, training herself in various fighting styles to become the Black Cat. Felicity Jones played Felicia Hardy in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but the actress said in a 2015 interview that she had no plans to revisit that character in future movies.
Silver Sable, a.k.a. Silver Sablinova, was created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, making her first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #265 in June 1985. Silver Sable is a mercenary who leads a group known as the Wild Pack, who specialize in hunting down war criminals. She has been portrayed as both an ally and enemy to Spider-Man at different points in her Spider-Man comic book history. As for Silver Sable and Black Cat joining forces, it remains to be seen how these characters will first come together in this superhero spin-off.
Christopher Yost is no stranger to the Marvel Universe, both on and off the big screen. The writer is best known for co-writing Thor: Ragnarok with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and he also received a story credit on the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. He also co-created the comic book version of Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23 with Chris Kyle, who was portrayed by Dafne Keen in the current box office blockbuster Logan. He also wrote the big screen movie Max Steel, two episodes of Star Wars Rebels and numerous episodes of several Marvel animated TV shows such as Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Wolverine Vs. the X-Men, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Iron Man: Armored Adventures.