Spider-Man: Homecoming is a hit for Sony this summer—and Marvel, who gets the merchandise profits—and they are moving full steam ahead with their own cinematic universe (which they are foolishly not calling the “Spider-Verse”). They’ve already got Tom Hardy lined up to star in a Venom spin-off, and have recently added Riz Ahmed as well, and they also have a second film in the works, a female-led project called Silver and Black. That movie will be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, Love & Basketball), which is BY FAR the most exciting thing about it.
Silver and Black will follow Silver Sablinova, AKA Silver Sable, a CEO-by-day, mercenary-by-night, and Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat, who was once played by Felicity Jones in Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man movies. As the name suggests, Black Cat is a straight up Catwoman knock-off, a sometimes-ally, sometimes-foe of Peter Parker’s. Silver Sable occupies the same grey area, but both characters will have to do without Spider-Man for a few years, as Sony’s spin-off movies won’t cross-over with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. (At least officially, producer Amy Pascal doesn’t seem as committed to that separation, much to Kevin Feige’s surprise.)
Presumably, Silver Sable and Black Cat will be adults, and not children like Spider-Man. If this is the case, I propose Tatiana Maslany and Ruth Negga for Silver Sable and Black Cat, respectively. Maslany is recently freed from her Orphan Black schedule, so now is the time for a franchise to snap her up, and Negga is basically the Platonic ideal of an actress who should play a witty thief. Negga is already struck from the Marvel Cinematic Universe—she was on Agents of SHIELD—but since Sony is technically disconnected from the MCU outside of Peter Parker, they can cast her free and clear. And then it can be Marvel’s mistake, wasting her on a TV show no one watches.
Silver and Black is slated for February 2019. Captain Marvel is due in March 2019. And Wonder Woman 2 has been scheduled for December 2019. That means that 2019 is the Year of the Superheroines, with three headlining superheroine movies, at least two of which will be directed or co-directed by a woman—Captain Marvel is from duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. (Patty Jenkins still isn’t signed on for Wonder Woman 2, though Warners is negotiating with her.) Some will insist that “there can be only one” and not all of these movies will pan out, but at least they’ll each get a shot. There are multiple superhero movies every year and not all of them are expected to succeed, but that doesn’t stop six more superhero movies coming out the next year. In 2019, we’ll finally get to have multiple female-led superhero movies, and a true test of equality will be if one is allowed to fail without slowing down the others.