A movie featuring both Venom and Spider-Man would seem like a natural team-up. After all, the two characters already appeared together in Spider-Man 3. However, such a combination, while possible, is not as easy as it sounds.
That’s because Venom is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just like, until very recently, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were not part of the MCU. The Spider-Man characters, including Venom, are owned by Sony, not by Disney. Several strings had to be pulled to bring Spider-Man into the MCU in the first place.
It may all sound confusing, but regardless, such a crossover is not only possible, but a meeting of Tom Holland and Tom Hardy might happen sooner rather than later.
How Venom and Spider-Man could meet again
Spider-Man came to the MCU thanks largely to Marvel’s creative chief, Kevin Feige. Sony’s series of Spidey films had started to lose their luster at the box office, with the reboot series of Amazing Spider-Man films underperforming.
Praise for Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone aside, many people viewed those entries as everything that can go wrong with superhero movies.
Spider-Man wasn’t Marvel’s first hero, but he is arguably the most valuable, and Sony didn’t just want to kick over the rights to their competitor Disney. So, Feige and Sony brokered a deal where Spider-Man could appear in Disney/MCU movies, while Sony could distribute the standalone Spider-Man movies and make any other movies with the Spider-Man-specific characters.
And that’s just what Sony has done. Homecoming and Far From Home are both distributed by Sony and made in cooperation with the MCU, while Spider-Man: Into Spider-Verse and Venom were Sony/non-MCU movies, and both were very successful. Venom made $855 million worldwide.
So it follows that Venom and Spidey would cross paths again somehow. “I think probably it’s up to Sony,” Feige said when asked by CinemaBlend. “Sony has both those characters and has Venom in their world. I don’t know what their plans are for another ‘Venom’ or if they’re doing that. But it seems likely at some point.”
Turns out their plans are to make Venom 2. The studio announced that earlier this year, with Tom Hardy returning to the title role and Kelly Marcel again writing the script. The director has not been signed, but the release date is set for Oct. 2 of next year.
Where did Venom come from?
Ironically, in the comics, Venom originally came about from a 1994-1985 crossover, Secret Wars, where a supergroup of Marvel heroes battles an interstellar threat.
When Spider-Man comes back from the encounter, he no longer has his old red and blue costume, but a snazzy new black and white getup that could mimic street clothes and manufacture its own webbing. All seems shiny and new, until Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four informs Spider-Man the costume is actually a living alien symbiote trying to attach itself permanently to Peter Parker.
With great difficulty, Spider-Man eventually gets rid of the symbiote, but it attaches itself to a new host, Eddie Brock, and Venom is officially born, becoming one of Spider-Man’s enemies. In the comics, Venom would have several other hosts, but Eddie Brock is the one Tom Hardy plays.
Venom’s prior film appearances
In the movies, Venom made his first appearance in Spider-Man 3, and that appearance, with Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, disappointed many people. That movie is generally considered to be the weakest of the three Spider-Man movies of the 2000s, starring Tobey Maguire and directed by Sam Raimi.
That movie had three villains, the others being Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman, and James Franco’s Green Goblin, swearing vengeance on Spider-Man for killing his father, the original Green Goblin. This overstuffed the movie, with Raimi later complaining the studio forced the character on him.
That didn’t stop the studio from trying to resurrect Venom again after the Amazing Spider-Man movies, from which Venom was supposed to get his own movie, but after the reboot was poorly received, Sony scrapped those plans.
Then, the Spider-Man/MCU crossover clicked, and Sony tried again with Venom, this time with the character embraced by audiences. We’ll see if lightning strikes twice with the sequel – and see if he meets Peter Parker again.