'Spider-Man' Spinoff: Silver Sable, Black Cat Movie Finds Director with 'Secret Life of Bees' Filmmaker (Exclusive)

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Director Gina Prince-Bythewood flanked by Silver Sable (R) and Black Cat (Credit: Marvel/Getty Images)

Gina Prince-Bythewood, who wrote and directed The Secret Life of Bees, will direct Silver and Black, Sony's Spider-Man offshoot that centers on characters Silver Sable and the Black Cat.

Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal are producing the project, which has an October 2018 release date and is planning for a fall start.

Chris Yost, who worked on the upcoming Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, is writing the most recent draft. Lisa Joy, the co-creator of HBO's Westworld, also worked on the script.

Silver Sable, created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz in 1985, is a mercenary who runs a company that hunts war criminals. The character has been both antagonist and ally to Spider-Man.

Black Cat, an acrobatic cat burglar whose real name is Felicia Hardy, has a long and tangled romantic history with Spider-Man in the comics. The character was cut from scripts for the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, and a "Felicia Hardy" (played by Felicity Jones) briefly appeared in Amazing Spider-Man 2, though no Black Cat connection was ever made explicit.

Read more: How a Black Cat, Silver Sable Movie Could Do What the 'Spider-Man' Comics Haven't

Sony is rebooting Spider-Man this summer with Spider-Man: Homecoming and hopes to launch a slate of Spider-Man-related movies. The first project, Venom, is already off and running, having snagged Tom Hardy as star and Ruben Fleischer as director. While Spider-Man is firmly in Marvel's cinematic universe, Sony's offshoots will stand apart.

Prince-Bythewood won acclaim and awards with her feature debut, the 2000 drama Love and Basketball. The writer-director has had her feet mostly planted in the drama world and on top of helming Secret Life of Beesalso directed the romantic drama Beyond the Lights, which starred Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker.

She co-created the crime drama Shots Fired, which is currently airing on Fox, and is due to direct the pilot for Cloak & Dagger, Freeform's television series based on the Marvel Comics teen heroes.

Prince-Bythewood is repped by CAA and Del Shaw.

Read more: 'Spider-Man' Spinoff: 'Thor' Writer Tackling Silver Sable, Black Cat Movie (Exclusive)