After Sony Pictures announced The Sinister Six and Venom spin-offs in December, many fans wondered if The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would set up these stand-alone movies. Today, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal confirmed that speculation with Entertainment Weekly, which also debuted this week's magazine cover featuring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Take a look at the cover below, then read on for more details about the future of this growing superhero franchise.

<strong><em>The Amazing Spider-Man 2</em></strong> Entertainment Weekly Cover

While she wouldn't say exactly which characters will pop up, Amy Pascal did confirm that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will serve as a direct link to The Sinister Six spin-off.

"At the tail end of this movie we set up some of the other characters that will probably end up being in The Sinister Six. We're going forward on all fronts."

In the Marvel comic books, there have been several different versions of The Sinister Six, although the recent trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 offers hints that Doctor Octopus and The Vulture may be included in this line-up. Andrew Garfield revealed that he personally prefers Venom, Doctor Octopus, The Vulture and Kraven, but it remains to seen if these characters will be included.

The most interesting part of Sony's plan for an extended Spider-Man universe is that they are focusing on the villains, instead of potential allies for the webbed wonder. Here's what producer Avi Arad had to say about the appeal of these villains.

"Villains can be very entertaining. It's not like somebody's born and they're a villain. Something happens and it changes their lives. Some people can deal with it - they become the heroes. Some people can't and hate the world because of what they felt was done to them - they become the villains."

Producer Matthew Tolmach added that fans can identify with villains, since nobody is perfect all the time.

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"Great villains are the characters you remember. There's a lot of us in those people. It's hard to identify with people who are good all the time."