As Marvel has grown their movie universe like no other company before, it's made other companies take notice of just what they can do with their own properties. DC, long successful with Batman in the movies, have turned things around (sort of) for Superman and is now pushing forward in bringing more of their major characters into the fold. Fox has invested heavily into the X-Men franchise, making it the biggest investment they've made in a movie second only to Avatar, in hopes of getting that franchise back on track. They also seem to have Wolverine figured out with his latest effort and have begun making plans for another sequel. With Amazing Spider-Man, Sony was able to make up for the mess that was Spider-Man 3 and reinvigorate the franchise. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is headed to theaters next summer, but Sony is looking at expanding the Spider-verse beyond just our snarky hero.
Sony Co-Chairman Amy Pascal recently told investors, "We are going to access Marvel’s full world of Spider-Man characters, so be on the lookout for new heroes and villains." Chances are this means more than just the rumors that the Sinister Six will begin to form and appear over the next two Spider-man movies. Remember, this was to investors, so it's not about geeking out fanboys over future appearances, it's about money. Chances are, she was hinting at spin-off movies dealing with other characters from the Spider-Man universe they own the rights to.
We aren't sure exactly how far Sony's license extends into Marvel's world, whether they have the rights to heroes like Spider-Woman and/or the Black Cat as well? Perhaps they could make use of alternate versions of Spidey, like Miles Morales, Scarlet Spider, or Spider-Man 2099. At the very least, we could see major villains like Venom spun into anti-heroes, much like we see him existing in the current Marvel U, to take the lead in his own film. No matter what the plans, Sony seems ready to grow their universe and get a bigger piece of the super-box-office.