Sony’s attempts to leverage its rights to Marvel’s Spider-Man family of characters—but, critically, not Peter Parker himself—into its own little Spidey-free live-action superhero franchise continues to be one of the weirder going concerns in modern blockbuster films. We’ve already seen Tom Hardy as Venom, and heard about plans for anti-heroes like Silver Sable and Black Cat to get their own chance to play. (Although that particular film was recently pulled from the studio’s schedule.) Now, Variety reports that Sony has made its closest move yet to just creating a new hero called “Arachnid-Guy” and asking him to web around town, with news coming that the studio has put a Silk film into production.
For the unaware, Silk—a.k.a. Cindy Moon—was a classmate of Peter Parker’s, who, as it happens, was also bitten by a radioactive spider on the day Pete got his powers. (We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Radioactive spiders are a menace to our nation’s science facility field trips.) Created in 2014 by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, she’s been a regular part of the Spider Roster ever since, serving as a faster counterpart to Spidey’s web-slinging antics (and with most of his same powers), and starring in her own solo series through 2017.
As it happens, there’s actually already a version of Cindy running around the Marvel Cinematic Universe; played by Tiffany Espensen, she’s one of Peter’s academic decathlon teammates in Homecoming, and even pops up on the bus when the aliens attack in Infinity War. Sony’s keeping very quiet about what form the character might take in its own mini-franchise, but it’s worth noting that a) in the absence of Peter Parker, Silk pretty much is Spider-Man in all but name (which seems like a handy loophole), and b) that, as a Korean-American woman, her casting is a strong point for diversity in a “franchise” currently centered almost entirely on Tom Hardy all covered in goop.