Variety has revealed that Sony is now producing a live-action series about Spider-Man Noir exclusively for Amazon Prime Video. The series will reportedly “follow an older, grizzled superhero in 1930s New York City” and be set in its own universe, but Peter Parker will not be the main character. This show will feature Spider-Man Noir’s first appearance in live-action, which follows the character’s big-screen debut in the animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
In case everyone’s not up to speed, the Spider-Man Noir comics follow a variant of Peter Parker living in the 1930s, who gets bitten by a spider found inside a mystical artifact, gaining superpowers after having visions of a spider god. Watching the web-slinger fight crime in a Depression-era setting will make for a unique television event, to say the least. But if Sony wishes for this show and their cinematic universe as a whole to succeed, they need to deliver on a list of things that viewers want to see out of Spider-Man Noir.
Since Spider-Man Noir takes place in an alternate universe, the comic book’s writers took the webhead’s friends and adversaries and remade them to fit the story. The villains are significantly different in this reality, with Vulture being a cannibalistic hitman, the Green Goblin a crime boss, Black Cat a nightclub owner, and Doc Ock a Nazi scientist trying to brainwash minorities.
It would be very intriguing to see the show’s writers flex their creative muscles and reinvent memorable characters from Spider-Man’s world for this live-action adaptation.
Though this streaming series is supposed to take place in its own universe, that doesn’t mean it can’t crossover with the reality where Venom and Morbius are set in. Marvel’s multiverse has unraveled in recent years with characters going to and from different dimensions, one notable case being Tom Hardy’s Venom appearing in Earth-616 in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. So Spider-Man Noir could do the same after the show’s first season ends.
Such a crossover could very well be done thanks to Sony’s upcoming film, Madame Web, as the titular character has had strong connections to the multiverse in the comics. This could also allow the show to connect with Silk: Spider-Society, Sony’s other Spider-Man series currently being made for Amazon Prime Video.
Spider-Man: No Way Home excelled as a film by displaying Peter Parker’s dark side, so Sony should continue to take that approach with the characters in this new show. This is especially the case for its hard-boiled protagonist, as fully embracing the darker aspects of this Spider-Man and their story could help them stand out from previous live-action iterations of the character.
Since this show is supposed to be like an old-fashioned noir film, Sony has the chance to create a grim and introspective mystery akin to Matt Reeves’s The Batman. Sony’s Spider-Man Universe has been known to take a somewhat grittier approach to storytelling in films like Venom and Morbius. Doing the same for the series could help it further differentiate itself from the more lighthearted and comedy-driven stories seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Plenty of Sony’s Spider-Man movies have suffered from the studio repeatedly interfering with their productions, with the most infamous cases being Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But even after these two blockbuster fiascos, Sony seems to be repeating history with their latest cinematic universe. Venom and Morbius feel more like they were made by the studio instead of the directors, resulting in bland and underdeveloped superhero films created purely to make money by setting up sequels and crossovers.
If the Spider-Man Noir series is to succeed on its own, the studio should give its creators enough freedom to develop a unique story that audiences will enjoy. As seen with Into the Spider-Verse and Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man films, the franchise succeeds when Sony lets its artists express themselves and craft their stories without so much corporate intervention.
To have a Spider-Man Noir story without Peter Parker seems like an unusual choice for Sony to make since the comics were centered around his character. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the company has danced around having the web-slinger appear in their cinematic universe (even when they sorely need him).
At the very least, Peter Parker should make an appearance in some capacity. Considering how the multiverse has recently been explored in Marvel films and TV shows, the Spider-Man appearing in this series could still be a variant of Peter Parker but with a different name, which would technically make him a new character.
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