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Silver & Black is an unproduced American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Silver Sable and Black Cat that was to be made by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and distributed by Sony Pictures. It was intended to be part of Sony's Spider-Man Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Development[]

In December 2009, the Marvel Comics character Felicia Hardy was set to be introduced in Spider-Man 4, with Anne Hathaway being looked at to play the role. Julia Stiles, Rachel McAdams, and Romola Garai were also considered. Director Sam Raimi wanted to take the character in a different direction from the comics in which she becomes the cat burglar known as Black Cat. Instead, Raimi wanted to have her become a supervillain named "Vulturess", to partner with John Malkovich as the Vulture.[1]

In January 2010, Sony announced that the Spider-Man franchise would be rebooted after Raimi decided to no longer pursue direct sequels to Spider-Man 3 (2007).[2]

In January 2013, Felicity Jones was in talks to join the second film in the reboot series, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), as Hardy.[3]

In December 2013, Sony revealed plans to use The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to establish their own expanded universe based on the Marvel properties the studio had the film rights to. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach would produce the films as part of a franchise brain trust that also included Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard, as well as The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb.[4]

In August 2014, development of a female superhero spin-off film set in the expanded universe had begun, with Lisa Joy writing the screenplay and a 2017 release eyed. Potential characters to be featured in the film included Hardy, Silver Sable, Stunner, Firestar, and Spider-Woman.[5]

In October 2014, the planned film was known by the working title Glass Ceiling, and was set to be a team-up film featuring more than one of the female superhero characters connected to the Spider-Man comics.[6]

In January 2015, Jones expressed interest in reprising her role of Hardy and exploring the Black Cat side of the character, but stated that there were no plans for her to do so.[7]

In February 2015, Sony and Marvel Studios announced a new partnership that would see the latter produce the next Spider-Man film for Sony, and integrate the character into their Marvel Cinematic Universe.[8]

In November 2015, the Spider-Man spin-off films were canceled.[9]

In March 2017, when Sony revived a Spider-Man spin-off featuring the character Venom, the company was also believed to be "fast at work" on a female superhero spin-off as well, with Chris Yost rewriting Joy's script. Tolmach and Amy Pascal were set to produce the film, which would feature both Silver Sable and Black Cat.[10]

In May 2017, Gina Prince-Bythewood signed on to direct, and the film was officially titled Silver & Black.[11]

In June 2017, filming for Silver & Black was expected to begin in late 2017, and Pascal said that Sony now intended to have their new Marvel-based films take place in "the same world" as Spider-Man: Homecoming, describing them as "adjunct" to that world. She said that Silver & Black would have connections with Venom, and that there was potential for Tom Holland's Spider-Man to appear in both films.[12]

In July 2017, Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch explained that Sony was not interested in producing "conventional comic-book movies" and was looking to give each film in their MU a distinct style. Silver & Black was considered a dark buddy film, compared to Thelma & Louise (1991) and Midnight Run (1988). Prince-Bythewood wanted to explore "the story of two damaged women who are at war with each other but need each other to survive", and noted that both characters are haunted by the deaths of their parents in the comics.[13]

In August 2017, the film was officially set for release on February 8, 2019, with the villains Chameleon, Tombstone, and Tarantula being considered.[14]

In December 2017, Ruth E. Carter joined as costume designer after doing so for Marvel's Black Panther (2018).[15]

In January 2018, Kristi Zea signed on as production designer, and production on the film was expected to begin on March 5, 2018, and run through mid-June.[16]

In February 2018, Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet had written a new draft of the screenplay, which they had handed back to Prince-Bythewood to polish.[17]

In March 2018, plans to begin filming were delayed indefinitely because Prince-Bythewood was not yet happy with the script.[18]

In May 2018, Prince-Bythewood said she was "really looking to do something different within the [superhero] genre", wanting to elevate the two characters from the comics and "put them out in the world." She added that though both characters are white in the comics, she intended to play with this by casting a black actress in one of the lead roles, wanting to "get a good black female up on screen in that genre". And Prince-Bythewood was still working on the script, explaining that "it all starts with the script. You gotta have a great script so we want to make sure that's right before we jump in."[19]

In June 2018, Sony removed the film from its February 2019 release date and began actively looking for a new date to release the film which could accommodate the new re-writes and delayed production start.[20]

In July 2018, Prince-Bythewood signed on to direct another comic book adaptation, The Old Guard, which was set to begin filming by the end of 2018.[21]

In August 2018, Sony officially canceled Silver & Black, with the intention to instead rework the project as two separate solo films focusing on each of the title characters. An official decision had not been made at the time, but Prince-Bythewood was not expected to direct either of the new films.[22]

Plot[]

based on the comic book character

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  1. Marvel was working on Spider-Man: Far From Home at this time

Result[]

The film was cancelled in August 2018 and is expected to be re-worked into two separate films, starting off with a solo film focusing on Black Cat and another about Silver Sable following afterwards.

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