The internet nearly melted down when an interview with former Sony Pictures head and current Executive Producer Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige was released late last week that showed Pascal essentially stating that 2018’s Venom film, starring Tom Hardy, will be part of the same universe as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from Spider-Man: Homecoming . By proxy, essentially, she was saying that since those films exist within the MCU, so will the terribly titled “Sony’s Marvel Universe” films like Venom, the Black Cat and Silver Sable movie that’ll most likely involve a terrible pun about Silver and Black and the semi-announced film (ideas) starring Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. The internet immediately latched onto MCU head-honcho Kevin Feige’s reaction, as it was one of constrained horror, like a father watching his only son wear one of those new romper’s for men.
Feige responded by mostly dismissing Pascal’s idea that there was always a possibility that Holland’s Spider-Man may show up in Venom. While he didn’t go as far as to say, “Never say never”, he did say:
“You could ask me, ‘Is Superman gonna be there?’ I go, ‘Never say never,’ but not anytime soon.”
So, what did Pascal have to say about this? Considering the fact that she went into minutes worth of details about “adjuncts” and essentially how these movies all tie together, how could she back-track now?
“Here’s what we’re doing: all these characters are a part of the Marvel comic book universe,” Pascal said. “In that universe, they are all related to each other. Kevin [Feige] makes characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These characters are separate, except for Spidey, who belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is why he’s there.”
Oh. They all exist in the same comic book universe, that’s for clarifying something that needed no clarification, Amy. Now, there was a rumor that came out when the Venom movie was announced that seems to be gaining more and more traction as this contradictory and nearly maddening news is released. That rumor is as follows: Sony Pictures as a film studio is broken. The now infamous hack that brought an end to Pascal’s career as the leader of a major film studio exposed serious flaws for Sony/Columbia and, outside of its film division, Sony is a tremendously profitable company. So, people believe that Sony Pictures has been attempting to draw interest to future film projects in order for its parent company, Sony, to drive up the asking price for another studio to purchase them. The one studio that immediately pops up is obviously Marvel Studios/Disney and it would appear that that would make sense for both sides, especially if Sony is planning on moving forward with a universe of Spider-Man characters.
Think about it, why would Sony actually release a Venom movie a year after the debut of Spider-Man in the MCU? Without Spider-Man? How can an alien symbiote gain Spider-Man’s powers without first dealing with Spider-Man? How could Spider-Man’s arguably greatest villain exist in a film without his nemesis? Well, Sony’s answer appears to be by going extra dark and bringing Carnage into the fray, but even then, they both need Spider-Man for their power’s to make any sort of sense. So, this could be wishful thinking but it’d be hard to believe that even Sony is this stupid. Finally, Peter Parker and Spider-Man are being given their just due on film (as none of the previous five films captured both sides of the character as perfectly as Tom Holland does the web-slinger) and Sony wants to ruin any chance for natural development and the MCU’s ability to use his amazing rogue’s gallery by forcing a cinematic universe that no one wants and was rightly shut down when they attempted to expand too quickly after 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man 2?
So, one has to hope that an impending studio sale is the main reason why. However, when you look at who’s behind the Venom project (Namely, Avi Arad) then there’s little hope that that’s actually the case. Arad has been tied to pretty much everything Spidey related since the 90’s, at least when it comes to television or the movies and he seems to think that he’s the caretaker for a character that he’s had a hand in slowly strangling to death every time he gets more power. When you hear about the studio interference that came during Spider-Man 3, or Amazing Spider-Man’s 1 & 2, that’s Arad’s doing. Considering the fact that Sony also replaced Pascal with Tom Rothman, a man that is notorious for his hatred of the comic book genre (He’s responsible for the following films: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Daredevil, Elektra, The Fantastic Four and X-Men: The Last Stand) and for making movies in the comic book genre that everyone hates. Considering he finally gets that people like actual comic book movies, he wants to go all-in and create his own cinematic universe in a genre he clearly doesn’t understand. So, unless something miraculous happens and Disney ends up buying Sony Pictures (or just giving up billions to get Spidey back), it’s looking like there’s a better chance that Super-Man shows up in the next Avengers film than Sony doesn’t destroy any and all goodwill they’re building currently with Spider-Man: Homecoming.