People Don’t Want to See Sony’s Spider-Man Characters in the MCU — and Probably Never Will
The history of Spider-Man and Sony vs. Disney is more tangled than any web the wall-crawler has ever spun. Sony owns the rights to the character but shares him with Disney so he can appear in Marvel movies. For now.
However, recent events have muddied the waters a bit. Sony is still working on its own Spider-Man-adjacent movies, including Morbius and the Venom sequel, but fans don’t want Sony’s characters to mix with the MCU’s – even though one already has.
Breaking down Sony vs. Disney
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is so dominant that it’s easy to forget how long Sony has controlled the character. The studio bought the rights in 1999, nine years before the MCU came into being with Iron Man.
They produced the three very successful Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi movies and the two less successful Andrew Garfield/Marc Webb movies.
And that was all before Disney asked to share. However good or bad those movies have been, they have made a great deal of money for Sony, and Sony isn’t about to surrender those rights without a fight.
So when the sharing agreement that allowed Spider-Man to appear in Avengers-related movies looked like it was about to dissolve, it became clear Sony wouldn’t easily let go.
Sony and Disney managed to extend the deal so that there would be one more standalone Spider-Man movie and one more Disney movie with Tom Holland, although it’s not clear yet what that would be. Meanwhile, Sony intends to continue making its own product entirely independent of Kevin Feige and crew.
What do fans want and not want with Spider-Man?
In a nutshell, fans don’t want Sony’s Spider-Man characters like Venom to appear in the MCU. A topic-starter on Reddit argues:
“I’m against Spidey appearing in SUMC (Sony Universe of Marvel Characters) movies but if that’s the only way to keep him in MCU then sure but SUMC characters should never appear in MCU. We should get our own versions of Venom, Carnage, Morbious, ect and Sinister Six should be created from already established characters (Vulture, Scorpion, Mysterio, Shocker, Tinkerer and Chameleon).”
This edict does ignore that one character from the Sony movies has already appeared in an MCU movie – namely J. Jonah Jameson in the first credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home. He was played by JK Simmons, who had played the character in the three Sam Raimi movies. It appears as though that will be a one-off cameo, albeit a rather important one.
So even though that opens the door a crack to Sony characters appearing in MCU movies, fans would rather the worlds stay separate except for Spidey himself.
One fan said, “SUMC characters aren’t going to affect the wide MCU, it’s only going to affect Spider-Man so you’re not going to see Venom appear in GoTG (Guardians of the Galaxy) or Vulture in Thunderbolts etc. But that prompted another fan to say, “I would give up my lungs for Venom in GoTG.”
Which Spider-Man movies are coming up?
Sony actually has one of its Spider-Man adjacent movies coming up rather soon, per Screen Rant.
Morbius, featuring the lead character played by Jared Leto, is a villain who battles Spider-Man in the comics. That movie is still scheduled for July 31, although if the pandemic continues to worsen in the US, that could change.
Up next is the Venom sequel, scheduled for October. Although a lot of people profess to hate the first movie, it still made $822 million worldwide, making it by some measures the highest-grossing superhero origin story of all time. Then comes the third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie, set for July of 2021, with filming expected to start this July, although that could change too.
Then there’s the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, slated for 2022. Some people said that was the best superhero movie of all time, animated or otherwise. So there will be quite a bit of Spider-man product coming over the next two years. Disney will do its thing, Sony will do theirs.