Comics On TV

Sony Bringing Spider-Verse to TV: 5 Spidey Spin-off Shows We Could Be Seeing Soon

Chris Miller and Phil Lord just inked a huge deal with Sony TV. Peter Porker, Spider-Gwen, and Silver Sable are just a few of the characters available to the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers.

by | April 30, 2019 | Comments

Sony Pictures Television has tapped The LEGO Movie and Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to develop a number of programs based on the company’s piece of Marvel Entertainment as part of an overall development deal, according to news reports.

At first glance, it definitely looks like a good fit, as Lord co-wrote Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the phenomenal, Oscar-winning, and Certified Fresh debut of Spider-Man Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) in theaters — who will likely continue his adventures on the big screen.

But can the duo sustain a whole Spider-Verse industry with just the intellectual property available to them through Sony’s control of Spider-Man and related characters? Perhaps these five TV show ideas prove just how easy it will be to build a television Spider-Verse.


Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham

Original Creators: Tom DeFalco and Mark Armstrong

Format: half-hour animated series

Considering the impact Spider-Ham made in Into the Spider-Verse, we’ll be stunned if a Spider-Ham animated series was not the first thought Miller and Lord had when the ink dried on their deal.

Originally a goof character in one of Marvel’s honest-to-goodness funny books, Peter Porker stayed around to earn his own title. The conscious funny animal parody of Spider-Man is a key part of the appeal – and why he is such a success in the film – and it is easy to imagine a half-hour cartoon playing on the fact Spider-Ham and his world’s inhabitants know they are cartoons. Spider-Ham could face Mysteriape, the Buzzard (Spider-Ham’s take on The Vulture), and the King-Pig – a part we’re sure Vincent D’Onofrio would love to make his own. To say nothing about Spider-Ham’s team-ups with Goose Rider and Deerdevil! Provided the Spider-Ham spoofs of Ghost Rider and Daredevil are part of Sony’s Spider-Man IP package, of course.

The series would have to be more than punny names and one-liners. But considering Lord and Miller managed to find emotional content in LEGO minifigs and a spoof of 21 Jump Street, the hardest part will be casting the voices joining John Mulaney on this journey. We are, of course, presuming he would return to voice Spider-Ham. He already reprised the role for the Caught in the Act short film accompanying the home video release of Into the Spider-Verse.

If there is one stumbling block, it may be Marvel Entertainment’s – and therefore Disney’s – general control of the characters in regards to television animation; they produce the current Spider-Man cartoon, for example. It is entirely possible they would the first shot at an animated Spider-Ham series.


Spider-Gwen

Original Creators: Jason Latour and Robbie Rodriguez

Format: hour-long live-action drama

The Spider-Gwen comics re-imagine Spider-Man’s ill-fated girlfriend Gwen Stacy as the one bitten by the radioactive spider on that high school field trip. She becomes Spider-Woman, while Peter uses his abilities with science to emulate her. The premise is full of great hooks thanks to the way it restructures Spider-Man’s origins and world. Peter, for example, becomes the Lizard and after he attacks the school dance, Spider-Woman ends up blamed for his death. On her world, Matt Murdoch is both the Kingpin and one of her constant adversaries, Peggy Carter is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a female Sam Wilson is the Captain America who fought in World War II (Steve Rogers made comics about her exploits after she vanished at the end of the war).

But all of those changes to established characters underpin the relationships between Gwen and her friends – which include Mary Jane Watson, Betty Brant, and Glory Grant – and with her father, Captain George Stacy. He initially hunts Spider-Woman not knowing she and Gwen are the same person. And considering a lot of the elements of Spider-Gwen’s larger world would not be available to the production because of complicated rights reasons – Matt Murdoch cannot be a live-action character until 2023 thanks to the original deal with Netflix, for example – getting to the meat of Gwen’s story would be key in a live action take on the comic book. Keeping her identity secret from her father definitely makes for a great season 1 story.


Peni (Kimiko Glen), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) in Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.

Silver Sable

Original Creators: Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz

Format: hour-long live-action drama

But for a character without complicated rights issues, Lord and Miller could turn to Silver Sable, a character so clearly in Sony’s control, they very nearly made a film teaming her up with Black Cat. It had a release date at one time and director Gina Prince-Bythewood (who defined the look of Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger) set to helm the production. Then Sony separated the characters into their own projects. Now, it is unclear if it is happening at all. But maybe the character would be better served on television.

As the owner of a private military contracting service, Silver Sablinova could find herself in a political drama like The West Wing or a spy game program like Alias. Trained by her father to hunt Nazis, Silver Sable personally handles any contract which leads to the apprehension or elimination of war criminals. Using those ideas, a Silver Sable TV show could be one of the meatier and grittier programs Miller and Lord develop. Provided Sony wants something more like Homeland, of course.

If the company really wants multiple television shows, varying up the tone and pitching the content to different age groups will be a must. And even if the show skews more toward the adventure aspects with less of an emphasis on geopolitics or Silver Sable’s interior life, it could prove to be the concept meant for an older audience. Also, we’d welcome another pilot directed by Prince-Bythewood, who made the first episode of Cloak & Dagger quite compelling despite the fact the title characters only meet for a minute or two near the end.


Spider-Man Noir

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Noir (Sony Pictures)

Original Creators: David Hine, Fabrice Sapolsky, and  Carmine Di Giandomenico

Format: hour-long live-action limited series or half-hour animated series

We’ll be honest, Spider-Man Noir, whether voiced by Nicolas Cage or not, really cannot sustain a long-running television series in the vein of Arrow or even Daredevil. But if designed as an eight-episode limited series, it has just enough of a premise and style to make it a stand-out short-run television program.

Then again, a Lord and Miller series based on the concept could take its cues from the original 2009 Spider-Man Noir comic book miniseries, in which Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich uses his network of informants to blackmail local crime boss “the Goblin” and pay for his secret drug addiction with the money. Peter initially appears as someone Ben takes under his wing in this story, until Peter gets bitten by a mystical spider – science takes a back seat to mysticism in this reality – and learns the truth about Ben. While things do not turn out great for Ben in the comic, keeping him the focus of a television series and Spider-Man as something of a mystery re-centers the concept in thrilling way. Ben becomes the eyes and ears of a heavily shadowed 1934 in which we see characters we recognize, but in whole new ways; like the Chameleon as a simple master of disguise or Otto Octavius as a Nazi agent.

The reality of producing a show with a stylized period aesthetic would keep Spider-Man Noir a limited series – or turn it into a prestige animated program – but it could be strong enough to commission a second eight-episode run.



The Superior Spider-Man

Original Creators: Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman

Format: hour-long animated series

The Superior Spider-Man is one of the best twists on Spider-Man ever devised: a dying Doctor Octopus transfers his mind into the body of Peter Parker and vows to be a “superior” version of Parker in every way – including as Spider-Man. He becomes a more efficient hero by deploying spider-bots to canvass the city for him. He also returns to college to complete the doctorate Parker abandoned sometime earlier. And, for a time, it seems Otto Octavius is, indeed, superior.

But soon, Parker’s consciousness reemerges in their shared body, and Otto must fight the Amazing Spider-Man in his head while facing off against his old comrades in the Sinister Six. Also, a certain ruthlessness appears in the Superior Spider-Man, leaving his friends in the superhero community to wonder about his sudden willingness to kill.

The ideas are great and the images are big, necessitating the rare use of the hour-long animated format. A Superior Spider-Man television show would be unlike anything anyone has ever seen – it will literally convince the audience to side with Doc Ock – with big action, an absolutely outstanding central character, and the sort of unconventional superheroics any writer versed in Spider-Man would love to play with.


Of course, these are just five ways Lord and Miller could populate TV Spider-Verse today. Characters like Spider-Girl, Silk, and Spider-Man 2099 could all lead their own shows. It is also possible to promote supporting characters to lead status in shows more focused on, say, the Daily Bugle or Empire State University. Venom also proves you can take the characters out of the familiar Spider-Man context but maintain essential elements in places far from New York. As long as the tones are varied enough, Lord, Miller, and Sony could pull off multiple series. Whether it actually happens remains to be seen.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

crime thriller X-Men RT History Starz book canceled TV shows doctor who diversity Premiere Dates BBC dragons name the review mockumentary crime Disney+ Disney Plus History blockbuster halloween tv talk Writers Guild of America Rock DC streaming service batman period drama Showtime TLC cars WGN The Arrangement Superheroes Ghostbusters Adult Swim Warner Bros. Superheroe ITV Martial Arts MSNBC Sci-Fi docudrama political drama versus Set visit Spring TV 21st Century Fox Turner Syfy YouTube Premium harry potter NBC Disney slashers Discovery Channel SXSW reboot cartoon Polls and Games Election Action strong female leads dramedy Comic Book Country festivals Reality politics NYCC Elton John composers FX Marathons Apple TV+ Creative Arts Emmys technology Endgame justice league Oscars PBS dceu what to watch Red Carpet USA Teen First Reviews Paramount cancelled television YouTube Red ABC Family ratings Calendar Holidays Disney Channel 007 psycho Apple Hallmark Christmas movies renewed TV shows rotten movies we love Podcast OneApp zombie CW Seed Baby Yoda comiccon jamie lee curtis The Walking Dead mutant MTV spinoff game show screen actors guild Mary Tyler Moore Fantasy DC Comics anthology Character Guide Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cinemax Comics on TV RT21 cults Biopics TV Land Avengers Black Mirror San Diego Comic-Con crossover 2020 Brie Larson Amazon Prime Pop MCU Tubi anime Universal Pet Sematary Stephen King nature spy thriller cancelled Rocketman YouTube crime drama The CW DGA Quiz blaxploitation Comedy Turner Classic Movies latino President Emmy Nominations romance Peacock 24 frames CMT FOX Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Song of Ice and Fire movies Interview Trivia DirecTV adventure Extras Spike El Rey 45 Reality Competition American Society of Cinematographers HBO Max Toys Western Hallmark Cartoon Network spider-man series DC Universe TBS free movies Family Cannes Columbia Pictures CBS All Access Star Trek Television Academy Drama Binge Guide sitcom space 2017 2019 award winner Sundance TV Amazon AMC Tomatazos south america Fall TV Classic Film Winners Sundance Now Sony Pictures transformers Thanksgiving Trailer casting E3 The Purge zero dark thirty First Look APB Freeform sports comic Esquire PaleyFest Pirates 2015 Winter TV Nominations USA Network cancelled TV shows Anna Paquin comics golden globes Lucasfilm Rocky hist The Witch IFC aliens Nickelodeon Lifetime Mary Poppins Returns Countdown Captain marvel CNN ghosts 20th Century Fox FXX sag awards Musicals Film Festival werewolf indie Netflix Britbox cancelled TV series TNT romantic comedy finale HBO Horror TCA adaptation Marvel Studios Nat Geo thriller dc Crunchyroll ABC spain 2016 robots psychological thriller canceled GLAAD facebook Tarantino supernatural TV renewals biography ESPN war stand-up comedy joker BET Box Office Lifetime Christmas movies Watching Series A24 Fox News Disney Plus Hulu SDCC VH1 Kids & Family LGBT E! Mystery screenings Epix children's TV Grammys boxoffice green book witnail social media natural history video Masterpiece CBS TIFF Heroines WarnerMedia discovery Crackle teaser Trophy Talk cats Mary poppins travel Mudbound IFC Films LGBTQ Disney streaming service streaming Awards serial killer Vudu Valentine's Day Spectrum Originals YA TCA Winter 2020 Marvel zombies kids Dark Horse Comics Netflix Christmas movies GIFs singing competition sequel Schedule television Sneak Peek Music hispanic National Geographic medical drama Bravo Opinion spanish language Walt Disney Pictures Ellie Kemper Logo Cosplay foreign richard e. Grant Arrowverse Star Wars Certified Fresh christmas movies Acorn TV true crime talk show Video Games animated Mindy Kaling Film Shudder miniseries Paramount Network See It Skip It quibi disaster Musical unscripted TCA 2017 revenge police drama GoT Infographic Comedy Central game of thrones A&E TCM breaking bad New York Comic Con Summer theme song Ovation 71st Emmy Awards Pixar vampires Awards Tour Food Network Holiday cooking science fiction Pride Month toy story directors Lionsgate Rom-Com Amazon Prime Video based on movie historical drama Best and Worst SundanceTV Marvel Television Christmas cops OWN Women's History Month Chernobyl Super Bowl elevated horror Emmys Animation VICE Academy Awards TV Sundance Shondaland 2018 binge Photos BBC America Year in Review Tumblr Apple TV Plus independent TruTV