"Spider-Man" female superhero spinoff film in the works

A promotional photo for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Columbia Pictures

The "Spider-Man" film universe is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Sony Pictures is planning to release a spinoff film centered on a yet-to-be-identified female super-hero, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The new installment will be set within the continuity of the latest "Spider-Man" films, with Lisa Joy (TV's "Burn Notice) attached to write the script.

Spidey has encountered many female crime-fighters in the comics before, leaving the possibilities for a protagonist open to any number of characters, ranging from Black Cat to Spider-Woman.

The project marks the third spinoff film in the "Spider-Man" universe Sony now has planned down the pike.

A "Sinister Six" film is due out in 2016 and there's also a much-awaited "Venom" installment in pre-production.

Perhaps because of all the spin-off plans, the release date of "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" has been pushed back from June 2016 to some point in 2018.

The announcement of a female-driven action film comes at a fitting time, in the wake of the success of the Scarlett Johansson-starring "Lucy," which recently crushed Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" for the top spot at the box office in their opening week of release.

The news also comes on the heels of recent efforts to inject more femininity into the comic book world. Last month, for instance, Marvel revealed that the super-hero character Thor will now be a woman.

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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