Marvel and Sony Are Fighting Over Whether the ‘Venom’ Movie Is Part of the MCU

Matthew Loffhagen
Marvel
(Photo: Marvel)

Okay, things are just getting confusing at this point.

Nobody’s really sure what’s going on with Sony’s new cinematic universe of comic book films. These movies, which will kick off next year with Venom, starring Tom Hardy, have been collectively titled the “Sony Marvel Universe”, in order to keep them separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that everyone knows and loves.

Beyond that, though, fans haven’t been sure what to think. Are these new movies going to exist in connection to the MCU and the newest Spider-Man, Tom Holland? Will Sony be recasting the role, or even trying to make a series of movies about Spider-Man villains that don’t actually reference Spidey himself?

All bets are off as to how this stream of nonsense is actually going to fit together. Kevin Feige came out recently to state that Venom has no connection to Marvel Studios whatsoever, and that they’re in no way involved with the new series of Sony movies.

It’s all the most shocking, then, to hear Sony Executive and Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Amy Pascal state that Venom does take place in the same continuity as the rest of the MCU, and that Tom Holland himself might show up in the series.

Under different circumstances, one could be forgiven for thinking that Pascal might be talking out of her backside and making stuff up without talking things through with Marvel, but in this particular interview, Kevin Feige is sitting right next to her, wincing slightly throughout.

So what’s going on here? What bizarre chain of events could possibly have led Marvel Studios, a film company that’s notoriously protective of its intellectual property, to allow Sony to run wild, unsupervised, through the MCU, in a way that could potentially make a lasting impact on the canon of the entire multifaceted franchise?

This is all the more bizarre considering that Venom is going to be an R-rated movie, with a far darker, grittier tone than anything else that currently exists within the MCU – potentially, even more visceral and violent than the Netflix Defenders series. Drop the child-friendly Tom Holland Spider-Man into this mix, and there’s a million different reasons why Sony’s entire venture feels completely at odds with everything Marvel’s built over the past ten years of the MCU.

Tom Holland as Spider-Man
Source: Marvel/Sony

It’s possible that Kevin Feige doesn’t feel like the Venom movie, and anything else Sony might throw together for the sake of ticket sales, will threaten the success of the MCU. After all, Marvel Studios’s cinematic wing has long considered their television department as separate, disconnected, and unworthy of crossovers. It’s possible that Marvel will treat Sony’s movies similarly, like a weird, non-canon side story that audiences can easily ignore if (and in this case, probably when) they turn out to be terrible.

Or, it’s also equally plausible that Amy Pascal was saying what she thought fans wanted to hear, without any logical thought regarding how this will all play out, and that Kevin Feige is just too polite to start an argument halfway through a press junket.

Either way, don’t count on that Tom Holland cameo in Venom just yet – there’s still a lot of twists and turns ahead of Sony on the road to starting their own comic book movie franchise.

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