Sony Pictures’ is aggressively expanding its Spider-Man Franchise, and filling-in its Marvel movie slate but can it recreate the studio’s magic?
Spider-Man rights are a goldmine for Sony. Over and over again, Sony has tried to reinstate the most loved character back to its former glory. However, it was only Spider-Man’s homecoming to Marvel Studio that managed to achieve the feat. Both the studios have taken mutual benefit in actor Tom Holland’s iteration of the character.
Heads Up! Spider-Man inspired live-action movies like Jackpot and Madame Web are in works at Sony for its universe of Marvel characters
- About Sony Universe of Marvel Characters
- Introducing Madame Web and Jackpot
- Spider-Man… Who?
- Can Sony Make It Again?
For fans, the Sony Marvel Spider-Man movie deal came as a relief after Sony’s two failed attempts to revive the character. The deal renewed last summer lasting the web-slinger a standalone movie and couple of crossover events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sony Universe of Marvel Characters
Meanwhile, Sony is developing its own universe of Spider-Man based movies hoping for a future Marvel like crossover event. Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters is called just that, shortened to SUMC. The name itself echoes the desperate attempt at ‘distinct branding.’
In 2018, the studio released ‘Venom’ with actor Tom Hardy and given the success a sequel titled Let There Be Carnage is now announced as well. The movie was well-received at the box office and gave Sony some hope for its SUMC future.
March 2021 will see another popular character, Morbius, the living the vampire in the theatres. The movie stars actor Jered Leto in the titular role and is helmed by Safe House and Easy Money fame director Daniel Espinosa.
Currently, two more characters are taking shape at Sony Studios.
Introducing Madame Web and Jackpot
For the uninitiated, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse holds many iterations of the titular character. Spider-Ham, Spider Gwen, Spider-Woman and fan favourite Miles Morales – all are a part of the verse and crossover timelines.
With 2019 animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Sony finally received critical acclaim. Now Miles Morales even more appreciated and loved by the Spidey-lovers everywhere. However, producing a successful live-action Spider-Man movie all by itself is still a task for the studio.
Sony has figured including a strong female lead to SUMC might be a good idea. Reportedly, a secret Marvel Madame Web movie is in works at Sony helmed by veteran TV director, SJ Clarkson.
In the comic, Madame Web is an elderly woman connected to a life support system due to her medical condition. Variety’s report suggests names Charlize Theron and Amy Adams are on Sony’s list.
Another movie project that is in works at Sony is Jackpot. Well-known TV, video games and comic book writer Marc Guggenheim is scripting a story. Jackpot is a crime-fighting mom in the comics. The character has two iterations and a complex storyline.
The thing that Sony can really capitalize on is the versatility of the characters. An elderly lady, a crime fighting mom are the kind of characters that can gauge attention. Just for the fact that these superheroes are more relatable among the likes of Captain Marvel and wonder woman.
And isn’t it what Stan Lee always wanted! ‘Anyone can be Spider-Man’ was the central idea behind his the character.
But can they?
In Hollywood, especially in the superhero genre, the fan following is the key. Marvel Studio is the prime example of creating the most profitable franchise out of the ‘lesser-known’ heroes. They gave superhero fans Infinity Saga and left no stone unturned to perfect it. The spider-Man deal included!
Yes, Captain America and Iron Man were the ‘lesser-known’ heroes back in the day. Similarly, one can observe the Iron Man franchise to understand MCU’s evolution in film making techniques as well as storytelling techniques since 2008.
While Sony, on the other hand, made some gory mistakes in the production of previous Spider-Man movies. To cut the long story short, a LOT went wrong with the titular characters and villains of the movies. Also, let us not forget they told the same Spider-Man origin story TWICE!
Just to note, Sony’s 2002 Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi is currently working at the Marvel Studio for its 2022 Doctor Strange sequel, which says something!
Can Sony Make It Again?
The success of Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse gave Sony the foundation it needs to take the leap into its Spider-Man franchise. Tom Holland’s MCU Spider-Man has reinstated the web-slinger to its glory. Sony might not repeat its past mistakes, which is no guarantee for the SUMC to be a success.
You see, making a good movie and its acceptance by fans are two different things. Even before coming to theatres both Venom and Mike Morales were quite known characters. And people already loved them! Tom Hardy brought his own brand of quirk to the symbiote which further worked with the audience. Spider-Verse gets applauded for its animation and characterization.
But will a movie about ‘lesser-know’ Madame Web or Jackpot get the same recognition or acclaim? Some comic book fans on Reddit are not even excited for any iteration of the characters.
While it is a valid argument that it’s too early to judge or decide but history is something to go by.