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Sony’s Venom movies are not set in the MCU…yet

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Tom Hardy in Venom: Let There be Carnage. Pic credit: Sony

Don’t expect Venom to be meeting Spider-Man on screen just yet…but also don’t rule it out.

As the new trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits, it once more ignites the fan theories of whether or not Sony’s Spider-Man-themed films can cross over into the main MCU.

Director Andy Serkis has stated that while this film is planned to be separate from the MCU Spider-Man films, he’s not ruling out the possibility that a meeting of the Wall-Crawler and his iconic enemy could happen down the road. 

Sony vs Marvel

The relationship between Sony and Marvel has been a complicated one. In circumstances that are too lengthy to go into, Sony owns the movie rights to Spider-Man even though Disney owns Marvel Comics itself, meaning Sony had the first option to any Spider-Man-related material on screen.

This led them to try and create their own “Spider-Verse” with 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man. 

The disappointing box office of 2014’s sequel led them to cancel many spin-off plans and agreed to allow Spider-Man to join the MCU with Tom Holland in the part. 

Yet, 2018’s Venom managed to succeed as a huge box office hit which was impressive given how the character has long been tied to Spider-Man yet managed to work without the Wall-Crawler appearing.

With the new sequel coming, the question of whether Sony and Marvel can work closer together for a crossover is growing. 

Separate worlds?

Stephen Graham
Stephen Graham in Venom: Let There Be Carnage Pic credit: Sony

One shot in the trailer has Detective Patrick Mulligan (Stephen Graham) reading a copy of the Daily Bugle. Eagle-eyed observers note that one story headline appears to reference the Avengers. 

This indicates the possibility that somehow the two projects are linked, but director Andy Serkis told IGN that it’s a bit more complex.

“Obviously, there are links between Venom and Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe and the Spider-Man story. We’re treating this very much as it’s his own world. The Venom story is his own world. There are nods and little moments [like the shot of the newspaper the Daily Bugle], of course, but on the whole, he’s unaware. They are unaware, at this point, of other characters like Spider-Man. So, that’s the way we’ve chosen to play this particular episode of the movie, but, well, we’ll wait and see. We’ll see what little things you can pick out of it.”

There is a running theme in Marvel Comics of how some characters seem to exist almost in completely different worlds than other heroes (X-Men adventures make it sound as if they’re the only heroes on Earth).

Notably, Venom is set in San Francisco as a few times, Spider-Man has discovered that New York heroes like himself or Daredevil aren’t as famous on the West Coast.

Perhaps in this world, Spider-Man is considered little more than an “urban legend” pushed by the tabloids. Or, perhaps, the Venom films are set before Spider-Man debuts in the MCU.

Of course, there’s also a more daring possibility that has fans excited: That this could be a hint of a “Spider-Verse” event. 

The Spider-Verse or a fake-out?

Spider-Man Far From Home
Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Pic credit: Marvel

Despite the constant denials of Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield, the fan rumors persist that Spider-Man: No Way Home will introduce a live-action version of the Spiderverse, where various alternate reality versions of Spider-Man exist.

Fueling this is that Alfred Molina will reprise his role of Doctor Octopus in the film while Jamie Foxx plays ASM 2’s Electro. Also, a major theory is that Michael Keaton is reprising his role as the Vulture in the upcoming Morbius movie which is also produced by Sony and indicating a mingling of the MCU and Sony’s Spider-Man films can happen.

Of course, fans had believed that WandaVision was forging a link between the MCU and the X-Men movies only for that to turn out to be a huge red herring, so such a possibility is not a sure thing.

Sony appears focused on utilizing Spider-Man characters the MCU isn’t interested in, such as Morbius and Olivia Wilde’s rumored Spider-Woman film.

Yet, if Let There Be Carnage is a big enough hit, perhaps Marvel and Sony become open to a merging of the stories. After all, if anyone knows how to handle an epic crossover event, it’s Spider-Man. 

Venom: Let There Be Carnage premieres in theaters September 24. 

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