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Once upon a time, not so long ago, Sony was going to make a Sinister Six movie, based on the rights it had to the Spider-Man group of characters. Then that idea fell by the wayside, although there has been talk the project might be revived, particularly with the success of Venom

Normally, Marvel fans would salivate like Venom does at this project, but there’s a part of Marvel fandom that would really rather Sony leave well enough alone and just continue with Spidey movies in cooperation with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So why do some fans actually want to miss the opportunity?

Who are the Sinister Six? 

Tom Holland on the red carpet
Tom Holland | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

The Sinister Six are more or less Marvel’s version of an all-star villains team, similar to the Suicide Squad over at DC. The group made its first appearance in the 1960s, consisting of Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Sandman and the Vulture.

All of these except Kraven have appeared individually in one of Sony’s Spider-Man movies.

Over the years, the Sinister Six has rotated members, but that’s the classic lineup. According to Marvel’s official website, the group came about because Doctor Octopus wanted revenge against Spider-Man, so he recruited fellow super villains to aid him.

His so-called “foolproof” plan was to kidnap Betty Brant and Aunt May. Surely if Spider-Man has trouble fending off one of these foes, a whole gang of them should be able to squash him, right? 

Not right. The Sinister Six could only agree to attack Spider-Man one at a time, and that made it easier for Spider-Man to get the better of them. This is what the late film critic Roger Ebert called the “One at a Time Attack Rule.” This means “In any situation where the hero is alone, surrounded by dozens of bad guys, they will always obligingly attack one at a time.”

What happened with the planned Sinister Six movie? 

Sony was going to make the Sinister Six movie on the heels of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which actually dropped hints that the Sinister Six were on their way. Per Collider, The credits sequence featured images that indicated the six would be (Green/Hob) Goblin, Vulture, Rhino, and Doctor Octopus, and maybe Kraven or Mysterio. Not all the images were immediately obvious. 

The only problem was, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 somewhat underperformed at the box office, so that incarnation of the Sinister Six never came to pass. Sony rebooted the franchise yet again, sharing Spider-Man with Disney and Marvel, as Tom Holland came on board. 

Now that the MCU franchise is a big success, Sony said Sinister Six is still in the offing. According to Den of Geek, Sony wants to make the movie with Drew Goddard, the director of Cabin in the Woods. There has even been talk that the MCU was building toward this, having already featured Vulture and Mysterio. 

Why are some fans against the Sinister Six?

While the revival of the Sinister Six might seem like catnip to some fans, other fans are coughing the idea up on Reddit. “Change my mind: the Sinister Six should not be adapted. 

I just don’t really get the hype surrounding them, outside of being a staple in Spider-Man’s history for a long time,” the topic starter said. 

One fan responded, “I think it’s simple: Spidey can usually barely defeat one bad guy. If there are six, there’s the feeling that he is doomed. And that is exciting.’ Provided, of course, that they don’t attack him one at a time.  

A third fan suggested splitting the difference, writing, “it would be especially interesting in the MCU now that Peter’s identity isn’t a secret anymore. That being said, I don’t think it needs to happen straight away like in the third movie. They need to introduce at least three more members.”

For now, Sony is concentrating on Venom, which is still supposed to come out in October, Morbius, which is due out next March and the third stand-alone Spider-Man movie. That had been scheduled for July of 2021, but that may get pushed back with Hollywood being shut down for now.