The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters is centered around Spider-Man, but the studio has rights to hundreds of his supporting cast. One such character is the little-known Jackpot, who will be the subject of script by Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim. The mastermind of last fall’s Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover event is one person Sony Pictures turned to in order to further develop their stable of Marvel characters. Given the tenuous nature of their relationship with Disney and Marvel Studios, they are smart to try to develop franchises from the Marvel characters they control disconnected from the larger Spider-Verse.
Two characters created by Dan Slott and Phil Jiminez went by the alias Jackpot. The first is Sara Ehret who has a convoluted origin story that gave her super-strength. After suffering a personal loss, she sells her identity to Alana Jobson who uses sci-fi “enhancements” to give herself superpowers. Of course, all this happened as part of a story where Spider-Man was the central character. She eventually got her own title, but her relationship in the books is defined by her connection to the wall-crawler. That is not likely to be the case with this film, and that’s honestly a good thing.
Why The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters Shouldn’t Center on Spider-Man
Image via Marvel Studios
It is unclear what the current situation with Spider-Man, Sony Pictures, and Marvel Studios is beyond what we reported when they announced their new deal. Spider-Man will be in at least two more Marvel Studios pictures, a solo film for Sony and a team-up for Marvel Studios. Yet, we know that Morbius features an appearance by Michael Keaton, reprising his role as Adrian Toomes. Now, with the Spider-Verse at Sony and the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (directed by Sony Spider-Man alum Sam Raimi), perhaps we’re getting our own version of Guggenheim and company’s Earth-1, Earth 2, etc.
Still, if Sony should go the Venom route with characters like Jackpot, the Black Cat, Silver Sable, and others. Arguably no character is more tied up in the story of Spider-Man than Venom. The reason he exists is because two beings hated Spider-Man (and Peter Parker) so much. Yet, Sony Pictures was able to make an origin story for the character without Spider-Man. Without the negative influence of hate for the wall-crawler, Venom is a hero.
So, if Venom can successfully work as a story without Spidey, the rest of these characters can, too. In fact, allowing them to develop and evolve as characters outside of Spider-Man’s shadow might make them more interesting characters. They could maintain their franchises without the need for Spidery’s support.
Jackpot One of Many Marc Guggenheim Adaptations In the Works
Image by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr
Most of Marc Guggenheim’s storytelling career focused on comic books and television series. He worked on 2011’s Green Lantern and the second Percy Jackson movie. Yet, his work with CW’s Arrowverse proves that Guggenheim is able to handle franchise storytelling (and deliver a quality product on a TV budget). Based on his past work, Guggenheim can deliver a grounded, emotional, and exciting story within Sony Pictures’ limitations.
Both Venom and the forthcoming Morbius are big-budget superhero films. Jackpot is a crime-fighting mom with super-strength. That doesn’t feel like a story with a $100 million budget. Jackpot is not the only adaptation coming from Marc Guggenheim. He will also be adapting the popular manga series Gantz for Sony Pictures, according to Deadline. He’s also been tapped to write a script adapting Rob Liefield’s Prohphet series into a feature for Studio 8.
Of course, Marc Guggenheim is still very involved in the Arrowverse, at least as far as we know. He told a fan on Twitter that he’s already been working on next year’s crossover event between Superman and Lois and Batwoman (though sans Ruby Rose).
What do you think? Are you excited to find out what Marc Guggenheim has in store for Jackpot? Do you think Sony can develop franchises based on Spider-Man characters without using Spider-Man? Tell us below!
Featured image via Marvel Entertainment
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.