Even before the Sony film studio was hack, allegedly by professionals working for the government of North Korea as a means of closing the curtain on the release of the controversial comedy The Interview (an effort, we learned recently, was a success), Sony the film studio found themselves on shaky ground. The studio wanted to make the most of their big properties, most notably the Spider-Man franchise, as the super-hero film has become the most bankable genre at the moment. Sony made big plans for this franchise, but they don’t seem to have the wherewithal to make it really work, and two films into their latest reboot, the tone has been so haphazard there’s no telling if their slated Spider-Man spin-off endeavors even can work. It’s one thing to have the rights to make such films, and a plan as to where to take them, but execution is everything.
Let’s not forget that Sony itself, not merely the studio but the household name that provides us with great headphones and video game systems, is in financial trouble. Best laid plans aside, there had been talk of the studio division either selling the rights back to Marvel. Maybe they could just allow the rights to revert to them by means of stopping production of the films. Others have speculated that deals can be worked out between Sony and Marvel for how Spider-Man can be used. Maybe it’s all just talk – to this writer, it certainly is just that. Indeed, when the Avengers film was being planned, there was talk of plans to put the Oscorp tower form Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man into the cityscape. It never happened. Despite how close it might have come to reality, it was, in the end, all just talk.
Now that the hack has happened, and email messages form some of the most important people in Sony studios has made it out into the public, it’s important to remember that, in the end, it’s all just talk. A 21 Jump Street / Men in Black crossover or merging? The new all-female Ghostbusters film with female characters possibly led by Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone? Grown-Ups 3? The latest about Aaron Sorkin’s Jobs film, or how the new James Bond Film Spectre will actually play out – it’s all talk. Now strictly speaking, some of what we are reading about these and other projects might be true, but until something is announced by a studio in some official capacity, like a press release or official junket, it should all be considered talk.
Sony might have made some blunders in recent years, but the hack was a concentrated attack on the company and it’s solubility, and neither they, or anyone else who would be in their position, are to blame. It wasn’t supposed to happen.. and those emails weren’t intended for public view. Film fans would be doing a disservice to themselves and others who care about movies by taking everything that they find out there on the net and running with it. These emails were meant for only a select few within the company, and while they (as well as everyone) should be cautious emailing anything – after all, anything on the net can be vulnerable to a hack – this was a very focused attack that was unprecedented.
Besides, most of these new projects sound terrible. Just sayin’.