Sony moves forward with more Spider-Man spinoff movies

Disney has the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. has the DC Extended Universe, and Sony is doing its damndest to get a shared universe featuring nothing but characters from Spider-Man off the ground.

You might think that’s too limiting, but so far Sony has had success. Even though Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man interacts with other heroes from the MCU, he’s technically a Sony character, and the studio had a hit in 2018 with Venom, with a sequel on the way.

Now, growth is the name of the game. There’s already a movie coming about Morbius, a vampiric foe of Spider-Man from the comics. According to Deadline, Sony has also tapped writer Marc Guggenheim — who’s worked both in comics and on shows like Arrow and The Flash — to write a movie about Jackpot, a superhero introduced in the Spider-Man comics.

There are a couple of different versions of Jackpot out there, but in the first, she’s Sara Ehret, a scientist exposed to a virus that rewrites her cells. At the end of the process, she realizes she has super-strength when she has to defend her new baby.

So that’s happening. Meanwhile, Variety reports that Sony has hired director S.J. Clarkson to helm a “mystery” movie that is probably a film about Madame Web, another Spider-Man character; we’ve known a movie about her has been coming for a while so this just makes sense.

Madame Web could be a tricky character to construct a movie around. An ally of Spider-Man, she’s an elderly woman with psychic powers who’s often depicted as being hooked up to a spiderweb-looking life-support system. That doesn’t necessarily sound like it would lend itself to an action-packed superhero drama of the kind Sony is probably looking for, and Variety’s sources caution that the project “could turn into something else.” They also say that Sony is looking at actors like Charlize Theron and Amy Adams for the lead role. Neither of them are remotely elderly, so it sounds like the studio is already drifting away from the source material.

Still, it would be a win for Clarkson, who cut her teeth directing shows like Succession and Jessica Jones and who’s been attached to a couple of high-profile projects over the years, few of which have come through. She was almost going to direct a new Star Trek movie before it was put on the shelf due to contract disputes with the actors, and she directed the unreleased pilot for HBO’s aborted Game of Thrones spinoff show.

So is Sony doing the smart thing by building up a catalog of Spider-Movies? Is there the same appetite for these as there is for the MCU, or even the DCEU? So far so good, but the bigger the web gets, the harder to manage.

Next: 12 Game of Thrones stars who’ve also played superheroes (or villains)

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