CinemaCon: Sony announces animated 'Spider-Man' with Lord and Miller

A new animated Spider-Man is in the works with Phil Lord and Chris Miller

New Sony Pictures Chairman Tom Rothman pledged to the CinemaCon audience this week that he would “make news” at the convention. The executive made good on his word Wednesday when he announced that the studio would create an animated “Spider-Man” movie with a pair of top-tier filmmakers.

The film will be developed and produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of “The Lego Movie,” Rothman told theater owners, and will “explore the graphic roots of the character and co-exist with our live action entries.” It will arrive in theaters July 20, 2018.

“This is something quite unlike anything you have ever seen before,” Rothman said. “The highly technical term for it is it’s awesome.”  Sony did not say whether Lord and Miller will direct the film, though the duo is writing the treatment and could eventually direct when the project is ready to go.

The filmmaking pair have a history with Sony. Their directorial debut, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” was made with the studio, and they’ve since gone on to helm the two “Jump Street” films  for the company, albeit under Rothman predecessor Amy Pascal.

Lord and Miller have been making forays in the comic book film world, signing on recently to develop a live action “Flash” movie; they also are producing a Batman spinoff of their 2014 “Lego” hit.

In February, Sony announced plans to reboot its live-action “Spider-Man” franchise in conjunction with Marvel. The next installment in that series -- starring a new web-slinger instead of Andrew Garfield -- is set to hit theaters in July 2017 and won't be affected by the animated film.

Rothman made the announcement as part of a larger Sony presentation at CinemaCon, one of his first major appearances since being tapped as Pascal’s replacement in February and a speech that came amid a fresh wave of leaked emails from the company.

“We’re investing in more and bigger films,” the executive said. “We’re pushing forward. We’re not retrenching and we’re not retreating because we believe. So please believe along with us.”

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