Fans were apprehensive of Sony making Spider-Man spin-off movies without the involvement of Marvel Studios. While Venom became a success, Black & Silver had a date set for it nearly three years ago. They even had a director lined up with Gina Prince-Bythewood, but it was ultimately shelved in favor of having both characters, Black Cat and Silver Sable, get their own stand-alone movies.
There has been no word or progress for either of those stand-alone movies for two years, though. However, former Black & Silver director Gina Prince-Bythewood has shed some light on why the project was dropped...
In a roundtable discussion with former director Gina Prince-Bythewood, GamesRadar+ asked about the future of Silver & Black at Sony. She was upfront in saying that "My honest answer is I don't know," and that "I really love those characters, I loved having them together." She then implied that the success of the Spider-Man movies complicated matters, saying that "I thought, what we came up with was a really good, really organic way to have the two together. That world is changing so much because of the success of the Spider-Man films."
It seems Sony began to second-guess themselves and their planned spin-offs, with Gina explaining that "There's a question of, 'Can you really have these films with Spider-Man not in them? Should he at least have some sort of part in them?' That's always the question. I've taken two years off of that for [The Old Guard] so once this gets out into the world, I hope it's a success, and then I'll certainly go back and start talking with them again."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Now, obviously, fans might be confused by Sony's apparent concern over their spin-offs without Spider-Man being in them. After all, Venom was a pretty huge success for the studio, grossing over $850M globally, without Spider-Man. But, it's likely because the character of Venom was already so intertwined with the character of Spider-Man in the cultural zeitgeist that the idea of Spider-Man not being in the movie didn't worry them.
But, characters like Black Cat and Silver Sable aren't well known to general audiences nor do they have such an instant connection to Spider-Man, so the lack of the web crawler may have become more apparent and worrying to executives at Sony. After all, for Morbius, Sony felt the need to include Micheal Keaton's Adrian Toomes at the end of the teaser trailer in order to cement a connection to Spider-Man to audiences.