In a move that is not too surprising, but disappointing nonetheless, the second installment in Sony's Spider-Man spin-off series, Silver & Black, has been pulled from Sony's release calendar. While this was expected, considering the amount of delays and issues Silver & Black has hit in the past year, it's still disheartening to see that a replacement release date was not created in the process.
As the movie's title suggests, Silver & Black would have starred the two Spider-Man anti-heroes / villains Silver Sable and Black Cat in their own adventure. For quite some time, Sony has been trying to set up their own cinematic universe centered around the Spider-Man properties that they own. While these movie would not technically be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has clarified on a number of occasions, Sony's cinematic universe would still manage to align with the MCU.
This is actually Sony's second attempt at making a Silver & Black movie. During the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, Rogue One actress Felicity Jones appeared as Felicia Hardy, who later became Black Cat in the comics. Shortly after the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony announced that they were developing a female-led Spider-Man spin-off. After Sony made a deal with Marvel Studios to include Spider-Man in the MCU, this mystery spin-off was revealed to be about Black Cat and Silver Sable. While the original concept starring Felicity Jones was scrapped, Sony still kept working on developing the movie, but this time set in a different universe.
Silver & Black was slated to release on February 18, 2019, but it has since been removed from Sony's release calendar. While Sony is said to still be looking for a time to release the movie, it's not a great sign for fans who have been anxiously awaiting this movie. It's very rare for movies that have been pulled completely from a release calendar, rather than just being delayed, to manage to actually find a new release date.
Take for example Gambit, the X-Men spin-off that has been stuck in development for years. The movie was originally announced in 2014 with a 2016 release date. However, like Silver & Black, Gambit ran into a number of issues, with the movie indefinitely being removed from FOX's release calendar. While there are rumors that Gambit is finally starting to come together, most people are genuinely doubtful that it will actually come to be. Silver & Black appears to be in the same boat.
According to a number of rumors, Silver & Black would have featured the fan favorite villain Kraven the Hunter as the antagonist, who presumably would have come head to head with Silver Sable's criminal operations. This would have been exciting for a number of Marvel fans who have been begging Sony to bring Kraven to the screen. Additionally, another rumor said that the new "MCU" version of Norman Osborn would have debuted in Silver & Black, but only briefly, setting up his character in a similar way to Thanos.
Another exciting part about Silver & Black was that it would have been the first major studio superhero movie to be directed by an African-American woman. The Secret Life Of Bees director Gina Prince-Bythewood was set to helm the spin-off, and will still most likely be kept on board as Silver & Black continues through its development stages.
While it's still possible that Sony will release Silver & Black, as Hollywood Reporter claims, its removal from Sony's release calendar is certainly a bad sign. Fortunately, there are still a plethora of other Spider-Man spin-off movies that Sony currently has in the works. Venom releases later this year, and other movies starring Morbius and Nightwatch are still in the works. Hopefully these other spin-offs won't meet the same issues as Silver & Black.