Venom & Sony's Spider-Man Universe Is (& Isn't) In The MCU

Tom Hardy as Venom and Marvel

Sony's Venom movie and its Spider-Man universe currently is and isn't part of the MCU. Confused? As it currently stands, it looks like the villain franchise is copying the approach taken by the Marvel TV shows.

In March 2016, Sony announced that they were launching a series of Spider-Man spinoffs. This will finally begin with the release of Venom in October, with a number of other films in the works reportedly including Kraven the HunterJackpotSilk, and Nightwatch. The announcements have generally been received with a degree of skepticism, mostly because viewers are unsure whether or not these films can work without Spider-Man. Sony may have the film rights for over 900 Marvel characters, but they're all secondary heroes and villains who are best known for their interactions with the wall-crawler.

Related: Every Spider-Man Villain Spinoff Sony is Developing

As a result, debate has heavily focused on the question of whether or not Sony's movies are set in the MCU in some way and if there could ever be crossovers. Unfortunately, there's no simple answer to that question; instead, fans have been given a stream of contradictory statements and reports. And that may be the biggest clue of all.

Marvel And Sony (Still) Haven't Confirmed If Venom Is In The MCU

Tom Hardy as Venom and Marvel Spider-Man

Early reports suggested that Venom and the Spider-villain films wouldn't be part of the MCU at all. That was apparently confirmed in March last year, when Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts explicitly said that Venom was "not connected to the Marvel world." Kevin Feige himself seemed to support this view a few months later, but he added an important clarification: "For now, there is no plan for Venom in the MCU. It's a Sony project." Attentive viewers noted Feige's curious phrasing, with a sentence structure that emphasized the term "For now."

Enter Amy Pascal, Sony producer of Spider-Man: Homecoming and a key force in the Spider-villains universe. On Homecoming's press tour, she suggested that the Sony films were "adjuncts" to the MCU, strongly implying they exist within the same shared universe. Pascal and Feige attempted to row back on this over the following weeks, issuing a confusing stream of comments that did little more than muddy the waters. The final word from Pascal - which Feige said was "the perfect answer" - left it distinctly possible that these films are in the MCU somehow:

"First, there is Spider-Man happily in the place where he’s supposed to be which is in the Marvel Universe. I think everything comes from that. This is the signpost, the tentpole, the signature and… the other movies that Sony’s going to make, in their relationship to this [MCU] Spider-Man, take place in this world. Although you’re not going to see them in the Marvel Universe, it’s in the same reality."

Related: All The Evidence Venom Is Actually In The MCU

Matters haven't been cleared up since, with Venom trailers playing coy and even suggestions that the spinoffs were in "a separate world" to the MCU coming with major asterisks.

The Latest Suggestion Is That Sony & The MCU Could Crossover

The latest report on the entire Spider-Man universe, from Variety, once again raised the possibility that Venom could be part of the MCU. The piece, which is full of new details, contains two conspicuous statements that connect the two franchises: the first is the suggestion that Sony are pushing to make Venom a PG-13, not the once-expected R, to give greater leeway for future crossovers, potentially including the always-family-friendly Spider-Man; the second is the converse suggestion that Sony hopes future movies could involve "other members of the extended Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)."

It's important to note that this isn't a direct quote from a Sony exec or source; it's more editorialization on Variety's insider info. But if the statement is accurate, then some Sony insiders do still believe there's a chance their films could be considered part of the wider MCU. In fact, they even harbor hopes of potential future crossovers.

Page 2: Sony is Making Movies That Could Fit In The MCU

Key Release Dates
  • Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
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