Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo has stated that Venom is not part of the MCU. It's the latest statement on one of the most confusing superhero topics of the year - and this time it's from one of the key players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Releasing in October, Venom is intended to launch Sony's new series of spider-villain spinoff films. Marketing has been bumpy so far, with the first teaser trailer mocked because it didn't even offer a glimpse of the tongue-slavering symbiote. The full trailer was more impressive, though, getting more views in 24 hours than Wonder Woman. But everything about the film has essentially been overshadowed by one debate; is Venom part of the MCU?
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On Monday, Joe Russo visited Iowa City High, where he fielded savvy questions from school students. One student asked him whether or not Venom was part of the MCU, and Russo gave a simple response; "No, that's a Sony property." Russo's comment is particularly notable because, throughout the discussion, he was extremely wary of spoiling anything. If he wasn't sure, he said so; if he felt another director would give a better response, he referred to them and avoided making a committed answer. It's clear that, so far as Joe Russo is concerned, Venom is not part of the MCU.
The question of whether or not Venom is part of the wider MCU is a strange one. Back when Sony first announced these spider-villain spinoffs, it was generally believed they wouldn't be; then, speaking in an interview as part of the buildup for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Amy Pascal suggested the film would be an "adjunct" to the MCU. She appeared to be describing a similar relationship to the one between Marvel Studios and Marvel Television - where the TV shows technically exist in the same universe, but never explicitly cross over. Marvel and Sony insiders issued a series of confusing statements in order to "clarify" the issue, but only succeeded in muddying the waters still further. The last word was that they exist "in the same reality," which Kevin Feige has described as "the perfect answer."
The Russo brothers would certainly be expected to know the answer to this question, though. They're two of the most important figures in Marvel Studios; they directed three of Marvel's most popular films to date, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, and most recently Avengers: Infinity War. As one of the key architects in the ongoing story of the MCU, Joe Russo's statement carries a lot of weight. And it seems that, so far as he's concerned, Venom is not part of the MCU at all.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
- Silver and Black (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019