LAS VEGAS — Sony Pictures has committed to make an animated feature film about Spider-Man to be produced and written by The LEGO Movie filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, with an eye to direct as well. Studio chief Tom Rothman made the announcement late Wednesday during the Sony Pictures presentation at CinemaCon, the annual theater owners convention.
The film also has a release date: July 20, 2018.
According to a release from Sony Pictures, the animated film "will exist independently" of the rebooted live-action Spider-Man movie that will be a part of Marvel Studios' established cinematic universe, which was announced by Marvel and Sony in February. The new live-action Spidey is expected to appear in Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War (out May 6, 2016), before a new Spider-Man feature film from Sony Pictures is scheduled to open on July 28, 2017.
The prospect of an animated Spider-Man movie from Lord and Miller was first reported in December by The Wall Street Journal. But with Wednesday's official announcement, and the studio also moving forward with a new suite of live-action Spider-Man movies, the character is due to appear in a movie in at least three years in a row. Sony is clearly betting big that audiences will still be hungry for a character who has headlined five feature films with two different actors since 2002 — and grossed more than $4 billion globally in the process.