The fallout of the writers’ and actors’ strikes has begun. As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures has shuffled its release schedule, inciting major shake-ups for its various Spider-Man titles. Sony is the first major studio to flex its release schedule, indicating that the Hollywood labor strike is here to stay.
The Screen Actors Guild prohibits its members from promoting their work while on strike. Seeing as studios rely on big-name actors to sell their movies, delays were imminent. And those are going to affect the Spider-Man Universe in a number of different ways.
Kraven the Hunter, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, and Venom 3 are all having their release dates pushed.
The first major push for Sony’s Spider-Man titles comes against Kraven the Hunter. Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the titular character, Kraven was pushed from October 3, 2023, all the way to August 30, 2024. The studio is taking a risk with the R-rated Spider-Man villain origin story, and it is willing to wait in order to have its stars at the center of its marketing push.
Next to lose its spot on the marquee is Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse. The conclusion to the groundbreaking animated Spidey trilogy had already been rumored to be delayed from its March 2024 release, but now the film is off the calendar altogether.
This summer’s Across the Spider-Verse experienced several delays, finally releasing nearly five years after its predecessor. The follow-up was worth the wait; it opened to rave reviews, pushing the revolutionary animation of the first film to new heights. The effort earned a whopping $677 million worldwide.
The last updates on the conclusion of the Miles Morales Spider-Man story indicated that the film had yet to begin voice recording. Producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller reported that the film’s story was still in flux as well.
There is a big question mark on Beyond the Spider-Verse now, but another Spider-Man spin-off received some clarity in the announcement. Venom 3 has officially been slated for July 12, 2024. The sequel following the Spider-Man villain/anti-hero shut down mid-production due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Venom 3 will mark the return of Tom Hardy to the title role. Hardy’s writing partner, Kelly Marcel, takes the helm as the franchise’s third director. Plot details for the film have not yet been disclosed.
One of the more mysterious titles in Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off lineup has been Madame Web. Starring Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney, the new film from director S.J. Clarkson is the only title on the Spider-Man slate to actually move its release earlier. The film was bumped up from February 16, 2024, to February 14 in order to hit the Valentine’s Day mark.
Madame Web was one of the few movies to have its release date moved up
The delays announced by Sony go beyond the Spider-Man franchise. The wide release of this summer’s Gran Turismo was pushed back two weeks to August 25, allowing time for special previews to build buzz in lieu of star-driven promotion from David Harbour and Orlando Bloom.
The Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel set for this Christmas season was pushed to next March, and next summer’s Karate Kid project was moved to next December. Sony also set Bad Boys 4 for the first time, slating the sequel for June 14, 2024, just in time for Father’s Day.
Sony’s Spider-Man franchise has had patchy success critically and financially. Some films soar, while others are stuck crawling in the sewers. The release date shake up does not necessarily speak to the quality of the upcoming slate. It is more a result of the sticky situation for the industry at large. Fans can only hope that the extra time makes for better films in the end.