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SYFY WIRE Sony Pictures Television

Phil Lord and Chris Miller to develop Spider-Man TV universe for Sony

By Don Kaye

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the Oscar-winning producing/writing/directing team behind Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, are taking their involvement with the webslinging hero to a whole new level.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pair have signed a gigantic. five-year, nine-figure deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop drama, comedy and animated programs for the company. A centerpiece of that deal will be a string of TV shows based around what is known as Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters, a.k.a. the Spider-Verse.

Although Sony lends out Spider-Man himself to Disney and Marvel Studios' Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the company still owns the rights to all the other characters that have been part of his canon. That, of course, includes Venom and Morbius (both the subjects of live-action feature films), as well as many other Spidey villains and supporting characters — a number of which, like Doc Ock and Miles Morales, appeared in last year's Best Animated Feature Oscar winner, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

It's too early to say whether Lord and Miller will develop those Spider-Man characters for live-action or animated series, or whether they'll write and direct any of the shows themselves. The deal allows them to develop their own projects as well as supervise others, for cable, broadcast and, of course, streaming. Certain Spider-Verse shows will be produced in conjunction with Amy Pascal, the former Sony Pictures chief who is now a producer for the company and had a hand in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

We don't know exactly what form these Spidey-related shows might take, but the duo made it clear in Into the Spider-Verse they can mine the deeper corners of this lore and tell some creative, successful stories with characters not-named Peter Parker. Might we get a show based on side-characters? An alt-universe take on a different Spider-Man? There are plenty of options. 

Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Lord and Miller said in a statement, "We are so grateful to everyone at Sony Pictures Television for choosing to partner with us and expand our enduring relationship with the studio. Together we aim to make groundbreaking work of the highest quality and integrity, and to place that work in convenient proximity to your eyeballs and earholes, wherever you may be."

Sony Pictures Television co-president Jeff Frost added, "We are so excited to be working with these brilliant creators and showrunners and are looking forward to collaborating with them in every aspect of television -- comedy, drama, animation and beyond."

Lord and Miller have worked with Sony before, on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and 21/22 Jump Street, in addition to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The pair are also developing a large-scale sci-fi film for Sony Pictures called The Last Human. Their other past projects include The Lego Movie for Warner Bros. and Solo: A Star Wars Story for Lucasfilm, from which they were removed after four months of shooting.