The overall Marvel cinema landscape continues to diversify and arguably grow more confusing with the new announcement that Olivia Wilde will be directing and developing a secret Marvel film project at Sony. This is a film that will therefore exist outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity at Disney, in much the same way as Venom. The fact that the film is reportedly female-centric immediately led to speculation that it had something to do with Spider-Woman, an inkling that Wilde all but confirmed by cheekily tweeting the below spider emoji. Sony has not yet confirmed anything regarding the project, but Deadline reports that the film will be penned by Katie Silberman, one of a team of scribes who wrote last year’s Booksmart, which was Wilde’s critically acclaimed debut.
Wilde, meanwhile, is in demand and has already been working on several other projects. Most notably, she’s directing Don’t Worry, Darling, a psychological thriller set in the 1950s that stars Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Dakota Johnson and Shia LaBeouf, with cameras set to roll this fall.
As for “Spider-Woman,” even confirming that particular name would only be the first step of figuring out what this particular Marvel movie is really about. There have been numerous Marvel characters over the years who possessed that name, from the original Jessica Drew—a character more or less unrelated to Spider-Man, actually—to subsequent Spider-Women who included Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy and Julia Carpenter. Gwen Stacy certainly feels like she would be the easiest for audiences to grasp, given that the character was already introduced in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but anything is possible. According to Deadline, the interpretation is very much in Wilde’s court.
Wilde will take her place as another prominent female filmmaker stepping into the blockbuster realm of superhero adaptations, alongside recent luminaries like Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey), Chloe Zhao (The Eternals) and Nia DaCosta (Captain Marvel 2). It’s an encouraging sight to see, and hopefully one that will lead to a new, increasingly egalitarian era at the movies.