Will Sony's Marvel Movies Doom The Comic Book Genre Amid Continued Claims Of "Superhero Fatigue"?

Will Sony's Marvel Movies Doom The Comic Book Genre Amid Continued Claims Of "Superhero Fatigue"?

Sony Pictures will release Madame Web, Kraven the Hunter, and Venom 3 in 2024, but will these Marvel movies do more harm to the genre than good as critics continue to make claims about superhero fatigue?

Feature Opinion
By JoshWilding - Dec 29, 2023 11:12 AM EST
Filed Under: Madame Web

2023 has been a hit-and-miss year for comic book movies, but will 2024 turn things around for a genre which finds itself besieged with claims of "superhero fatigue." 

It's become apparent that there are those hoping to will these adaptations out of existence, sending them the same way as Westerns and romantic comedies. However, just like the DCEU and Marvel Studios' misfires have done little to help the genre this year, can three Marvel movies from Sony Pictures in 2024 help or will they do even more harm to the place of superheroes in theaters? 

Unfortunately, we believe it's the latter. Madame Web, Kraven the Hunter, and Venom 3 are all heading our way over the next 12 months and there are a great many reasons why we think they'll do little to help turn the tide. 

In this feature, you'll find an in-depth analysis of why these titles could be problematic and what it is about them which will add weight to the argument moviegoers have grown tired of spandex-clad do-gooders. 2024 is set to be a pivotal year for Marvel and DC, but even in the wake of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse's success, Sony is doing as much damage to its live-action characters as Fox did with the likes of Fantastic Four and Dark Phoenix

You can read our thoughts in full by clicking the "Next" or "View List" buttons below. 
 

More Multiversal Madness

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It's fair to say fans and regular moviegoers alike are sick to death of the Multiverse. That's a problem for Marvel Studios when it's waist-deep into the "Multiverse Saga," but if Madame Web drops the ball on this premise in the same way as The Flash, it will do the genre no favours. 

While that ill-fated DCEU movie did a fine job of exploring the notion of an older Barry Allen meeting his younger self, it complicated the concept by building a whole new timeline around a single decision which, upon closer examination, made no sense. Needless to say, we don't expect the writers behind Morbius to have a firm or particularly clever grasp on the Multiverse concept, suggesting they'll find a way to screw this up. 

On the plus side, Madame Web appears to be a relatively simple story about someone from the future setting out to kill the people who he believes eventually murder him. Providing Sony keeps it simple and doesn't start trying to find ways to explain Spider-Man's absence or tie this story into the MCU - we'll never forget Vulture's meeting with Morbius - we might be okay. 

Unfortunately, it's hard to shake the feeling this movie will justify all those complains about Multiverse storytelling having outstayed its welcome!
 

Morbius All Over Again

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With J. C. Chandor at the helm, Kraven the Hunter seems to be in relatively good hands. Alas, we've seen many filmmakers fail under Sony's watch thanks to its "Spider-Verse," and we don't have a huge amount of faith in the writing team of Richard Wenk (The Expendables) and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (they penned Iron Man, but also Punisher: War Zone). 

The cast is impressive, but we'd have said the same about Morbius' ensemble once upon a time. 

That movie feels like a fitting comparison because this is yet another Spider-Man villain who is getting an origin story without the wall-crawler. On the one hand, that's for the best, particularly when we know Sony can't handle Peter Parker without Marvel Studios or a very strong creative presence such as Phil Lord and Chris Miller on its animated Spider-Verse franchise. 

On the other, Kraven without Spidey is just boring. Yes, the R-Rated action might lead to a few gore-heavy highlights but between the fact this origin story feels wholly unnecessary and the liberties being taken with the comics - Rhino will be a man who transforms into a Rocksteady-like mutant - we're not getting good vibes at all. 
 

Venom Gonna Venom

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At this stage, the Venom franchise is what it is. If Andy Serkis couldn't really change it for the better, then we doubt the woman who wrote those first two instalments (and helms this threequel), Kelly Marcel, will. However, of all the movies we've focused on here, it does stand the greatest chance of finding box office success. 

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Juno Temple are undeniably impressive additions and we'd be lying to say we're not intrigued to see who they're playing. Following Carnage's defeat and death, finding a villain as compelling as Cletus Kasady won't be easy, though it would be refreshing for Venom to fight someone other than a villainous Symbiote...which probably means we can expect to see him battle Toxin!

Regardless, it's hard not to be concerned with rumours Venom will track down his world Peter Parker in this movie, particularly if that's Sony's way of trying to establish Earth-616's Spidey as originally hailing from this reality. 

That dumb sort of Multiversal madness will do the genre no favours but, whereas Madame Web has all the makings of a mediocre mess and Kraven the Hunter looks every bit a B-movie as Morbius, at least there may be fun to be had with Venom 3
 

The Problem With Sony

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It seems strange to criticise a studio that's just delivered a movie like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but we're not discussing animation here (primarily because the sequel, Beyond the Spider-Verse, now has a "TBD" release date). 

We all know Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were great, while some good things can be said about The Amazing Spider-Man movies as well. However, the wall-crawler has only truly soared with Marvel Studios input and every one of these spin-offs - Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius - has underwhelmed. There's no reason to suspect 2024 will change that...have you watched the trailers for Madame Web and Kraven the Hunter?

Whether not having access to Spider-Man is the issue or producers like Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad are making movies with an outdated mindset that would make them a better fit for 2005 is up for debate. To have three of them swinging our way in 2024, though, is not good timing when there are those determined to will this genre out of existence under the guise of "superhero fatigue."

Maybe they'll surprise us and SPUMC (Sony Pictures' Universe of Marvel Characters) will save the genre. Or perhaps it will doom it. Either way, it could be down to two R-Rated comic book movies - Deadpool 3 and Joker: Folie à Deux - to help counteract the potential damage these future blockbusters end up doing...
 

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Spidey91
Spidey91 - 12/29/2023, 11:07 AM
They certainly don't help, even though people seem to be strangely attached to Venom.
Steel86
Steel86 - 12/29/2023, 11:56 AM
@Spidey91 - Its Tom Hardy and a kool looking character that the general audience doesn't understand in the first place.
Origame
Origame - 12/29/2023, 11:09 AM
Josh: "guys, you're being too hard on marvel. We gotta be more positive"

Also josh: "Sony is the worst studio ever, madam web is stupid and meme worthy, avi Arad should step down, and Sony is doing more harm than good"
Nolanite
Nolanite - 12/29/2023, 2:03 PM
@Origame - Okay you got me. For the first time in a long time, I am at a loss for words.

You win.
lvcl
lvcl - 12/29/2023, 4:03 PM
@Origame -

The MCU doesn't need SONY movies to ruin CBMs.

Disney/MARVEL are already ruining it without SONY's help
EZBeast
EZBeast - 12/29/2023, 11:13 AM
Josh, I hate you so much...
Origame
Origame - 12/29/2023, 11:16 AM
@EZBeast - he doesn't exactly make it challenging 🤣
EZBeast
EZBeast - 12/29/2023, 11:22 AM
@Origame - my new years resolution should be to stop clicking on his articles 🤬
bobevanz
bobevanz - 12/29/2023, 12:04 PM
@EZBeast - I wonder what the lurkers or people finding this site think, when a third of the comments calls out the writer lol. Maybe things will change.. lol
TheManWithoutFear
TheManWithoutFear - 12/29/2023, 11:24 AM
Eh maybe. But I've always said when Sony was struggling after ASM2 Marvel should have waited it out and let them sink. Rather than partnering up. Marvel kinda bailed them out back then just to have Spidey in the sandbox sooner. I think I would have gambled on Spidey coming home for good.
MyCoolYoung
MyCoolYoung - 12/29/2023, 11:33 AM
@TheManWithoutFear - honestly, I don’t think they would’ve. They know how popular spider man is. They would’ve just put out another reboot
TheManWithoutFear
TheManWithoutFear - 12/29/2023, 11:39 AM
@MyCoolYoung - well yeah but people weren't super interested. ASM2 didn't do well financially and the gamble was the the next iteration wouldn't have either. I think Sony as a studio was generally struggling at the time. Anyway it's water under the bridge now.
MyCoolYoung
MyCoolYoung - 12/29/2023, 11:57 AM
@TheManWithoutFear - the amazing Spider-Man 2 did make money. It fell short of Sony's expectations for theor golden boy but it still made money.

I feel like they took a look at the avengers gross and Ironman 3 and thought Spider-Man should be in that area.

It's the same with their universe now. They took a look at movies like captain marvel and other lesser known properties and felt like any comic movie should make that money
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