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Sony Pictures is looking to hit jackpot with its cinematic universe of Spider-Man supporting characters. Earlier this week came the news of Silver Sable and Black Cat solo movies, replacing the former Silver & Black project, along with a film centering on the more recent character Jackpot. Sony’s hope is that Venom proves successful enough for the studio move ahead with more features, many of them offering some much needed inclusion to the world of superhero comic book adaptations.

But with Venom, the task is a little easier. After all, the popular character has anchored numerous long-running series and is a more recognizable name to non-comic book readers than the likes of other projects in development focusing on Silk, Nightwatch, and Morbius. Of course there’s a certain faction of fans that feel Sony is making a desperate attempt to copy the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success with characters underserving of their own features. But with the right creative team, vision, and controlled budgets, these lesser known characters could end up being a goldmine for Sony. Marvel Studios has built an empire out of characters who weren’t popular beyond comic book readers.

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