Where Does This Leave Spider-Verse And The MCU?
Most recently, Feige and Pascal found some common ground with the maddeningly vague comment that Venom and the other Sony characters will not be seen in the MCU, but that it is the same "reality". This came from Pascal during the Homecoming press tour, and was immediately backed up be Feige, who called it "the perfect answer".
"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 [separate Sony] world. Although you’re not going to see them in the Marvel Universe, it’s in the same reality."
Pascal seems to be reverting to Feige's original position, that the Sony Spider-Verse is not part of the MCU, but also seems to be suggesting that they are not entirely separate either. While this statement was meant as a clarification, it left fans scratching their heads.
What seems clear is that Sony and Marvel aren't entirely on the same page about how Venom will fit into the MCU, and there is a good chance that this is down to Marvel. Sony is keen to include Holland's Spider-Man in their Spider-Verse because it looks like Homecoming is going to be a huge success, and the studio will want to capitalize on that. However, Marvel may be holding back to see if Venom is also going to be a success before committing to a connection. Should Venom be another R-rated superhero success story, it's possible that it may be inducted into the MCU after the fact, and that Holland will be able to make future cameo appearances in the Sony universe. If, however, Venom becomes a Fantastic Four level flop, it will remain separate from Marvel's much more successful cinematic universe.
In practical terms, what this means is that Venom is currently not confirmed as either part of the MCU, or separate from it. Holland's Peter Parker may well show up in Spider-Verse films in future, but that's not guaranteed. And the success or failure of Venom is probably going to be the decider.
For the story, this could mean a couple of things. The most likely scenario is that the Venom movie is either going to completely ignore Spider-Man, or simply mention him in passing. Given Eddie Brock's obsession with getting 'revenge' on Spider-Man for the perceived wrongs he has done to Brock, it would be difficult to create the character without even a mention of Spidey, but it's very possible that we will see Venom at a later point in time, when his history with Spider-Man is less important. Rather than seeing Spider-Man on screen, any mentions of him will be vague enough to allow for either Holland's Peter Parker to become a part of later films, or for a new Spider-Man to be cast if it is decided that Sony's universe will be entirely separate.
Similarly, this storyline will take place within a limited enough space that it could be part of the MCU, and nothing will directly contradict the events of the MCU or tie the film to it. It's possible that Sony will include an Easter Egg or two, but nothing overt, until Marvel decides which way it wants to land on this issue. In short, everyone involved is just going to have to wait and see, and fans who want to see Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable in the MCU in the future should cross their fingers that Venom knocks it out of the park.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) release date: Jul 07, 2017
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018