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Are we headed for multiple superhero movie universes?

By Jeff Peterson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 5 2013 8:20 p.m. MDT

“What you’ve got to do is be smart about it," Millar told Collider. "You’ve got to grow things organically. We’re not talking crossovers and that sort of stuff yet. I mean the idea is to build everything up quietly, in its own way, and bring in the best possible talent.

"Marvel sold the X-Men franchise off to Fox back in the ’90s when they needed the cash, but you have to remember that (the X-Men) were the crown jewels. The reason they got snapped up is because they were Marvel’s biggest-selling book for 20 years, so you’re sitting on a gold mine there. We’re all taking about — very vaguely — lots of possibilities, but I think there’s a good five to 10 potential golden franchises there, you know.”

And the first of those new franchises is almost guaranteed to be “X-Force.” News broke a couple months back that director Jeff Wadlow had been hired to write and direct a film based on the ‘90s comic book that introduced fan-favorite characters like Deadpool and Cable.

Whatever Fox has up its sleeve, though, a lot of it will likely hinge on the success of next summer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which many have theorized could serve as a reset button for the entire universe, thanks to a plot involving time travel and parallel realities.

Sony

Not to be left out, Sony has its own plans in the works using another Marvel comic book property, namely Spider-Man.

Fans have long speculated that Sony’s upcoming sequel to last year’s Spider-Man reboot, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” might lay the groundwork to eventually see ol’ Webhead face off against the Sinister Six — basically, the Avengers of supervillains.

However, speaking to Crave Online at this summer’s Comic-Con, director Marc Webb dropped a huge hint that there could be something even bigger in the works.

"(‘The Amazing Spider-Man’) was conceived of as a trilogy, so there was a defined architecture to the story we were telling and we had sort of a rough outline of what was going to happen," Webb told Crave. "I think (for) the fourth movie, what we've discovered is there are so many ancillary characters that have enormous, cinematic potential that there may be other ways to exploit those characters in a way that is exciting and fun and worthwhile.

"It might not just be a Spider-Man movie," Webb went on. "You know, what was fun about the comics is that there's an entire sort of encyclopedia of characters and stories and histories and nuances and idiosyncrasies and offshoots. I think that that is something that seems to be really successful and has a lot of potential so it's sort of, as yet, undefined, but intentionally so."

Of those ancillary characters, Venom — the character played by an unfortunately miscast Topher Grace in “Spider-Man 3” — is an obvious choice to help expand the scope of Webb’s Spidey films. A solo feature starring the alien symbiote has been rumored for a while, including most recently with “Chronicle” director Josh Trank supposedly attached, according to Indie Wire.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 4” isn’t slated for release until 2018, though, so don’t expect any big announcements for a while.

DC/Warner Bros.

After several false starts, it looks like DC might finally have a roadmap to its own cinematic universe thanks to “Man of Steel.”

The destruction-filled Superman reboot made just shy of $650 million this summer — more than enough for Warner Bros. to get things moving on the long-in-development Justice League movie.

And the first step is 2015’s Superman/Batman mashup starring Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader.

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