The superhero genre is in a strange state of flux right now. With Marvel remaining tight-lipped about what films are on the horizon after Avengers 4, and DC’s whole extended universe struggling to do anything right aside from Wonder Woman, it might be the perfect opportunity for Sony and their non-MCU Marvel universe to swoop in and make some waves.
We know Venom starring Tom Hardy is arriving in November, and Gina Prince-Bythewood is in line to direct the female-fronted Silver & Black, and now another intriguing name has entered the mix. THR has confirmed that Spike Lee is circling the director’s chair for a Nightwatch movie.
Lee’s potential involvement in the film is far from guaranteed, but if he did sign on, he’d be working from a script by Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker and tell the story of a black superhero scientist.
Sony’s Marvel properties are all connected to the Spider-Man universe, and Nightwatch first appeared in the 1993 comic Web Of Spider-Man. The character is also known as Doctor Kevin Trench, a man who witnessed a superhero die while battling terrorists, only to unmask the corpse and discover that it was an older version of himself. A time travel story ensues.
It’s unclear whether Sony has had a Nightwatch movie in the works for a while, but the roaring success of Black Panther likely gave this project a huge boost. The Marvel film proved to studios that audiences will not only show up for a superhero movie with a predominantly black cast, but that the film can become a box office sensation.
Black Panther recently passed $1 Billion at the worldwide box office and if it takes the #1 spot at the American box office this week, it will become the first movie to hold that position for five weeks in a row since Avatar, and the first superhero movie to do so.
While Lee hasn’t often worked within the studio system, the idea of him tackling a superhero movie is fascinating and exciting. We shouldn’t get our hopes up quite yet since plenty of directors often get in early talks about helming films before dropping out, but this would be a superb match.
Lee’s most recent project, the Netflix series adaptation of his 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It, has been a hit with both critics and audiences, while he’s currently filming the film Black Klansman with Corey Hawkins and Adam Driver.