Are Marvel Studios and Sony Picture really not on the same page when it comes to where their superhero movie universes interact or are they covering up what could be the biggest spoiler in superhero movie history?
By now, most fans know that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures came to an agreement that sees both studios sharing custody of Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man character. While Sony Pictures would technically remain in control of Spider-Man’s film rights and produce Spider-Man movies, Marvel Studios would maintain creative control, clearing the way for Spider-Man to interact with Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers.
That sounds simple, but there’s more to it when you consider that Spider-Man doesn’t exist as a character in a vacuum. He has his own set of supporting characters and villains that are included with the film rights, and there have been some surprising developments in how those characters are being handled.
Aunt May will appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is not surprising. There are also at least two classic Spider-Man villains, the Vulture and Shocker, who will challenge Peter Parker in the film.
What’s surprising is that, despite the deal with Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures seems to be pushing forward with plans to expand the Spider-Man movies into their own shared universe. The upcoming Silver and Black movie will feature two of Spider-Man’s most dangerous love interests, Silver Sable and Black Cat, and Venom will be the first solo movie for the popular villain turned anti-hero.
This has left everyone wondering if and how films like Silver and Black and Venom connect to Spider-Man: Homecoming and the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige seemingly confirmed that Sony’s expanded Spider-Man universe would be walled off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal has now suggested that the movies are all part of one shared narrative tapestry.
This may just be a miscommunication between Feige and Pascal, or it may be the two studio heads angling the narrative the way they believe will best serve their immediate interests. On the other hand, may Feige is keeping tight-lipped because he’s better at keeping a secret than Amy Pascal is.
Photo Credit: Marvel
Many fans of Spider-Man and Venom find it baffling to suggest that the latter can exist without the former. Venom is an alien symbiote who, in the Marvel Comics Universe, first bonds with Spider-Man during the Marvel Comics 1984-85 event series Secret Wars.
Spider-Man wears the symbiote as a new suit for a time after returning to Earth, but the symbiote eventually tries to influence Spider-Man’s actions. Spider-Man rejects the symbiote’s corruption and discards the suit. The symbiote hates Spider-Man for this rejection and bonds with Eddie Brock, a disgraced reporter who blames his own downfall on Spider-Man.
This hatred of Spider-Man is Venom’s defining character trait for most of his early adventures. As such, fans are having a hard time imagining an origin for Venom that doesn’t involve Spider-Man. Then again, Maybe they don’t have to.
Fans know that Spider-Man will appear in Avengers: Infinity War. It is also known that Avengers: Infinity War will tell of how Thanos and his alien army invade the Earth. It is at least possible then that the Venom symbiote could hitch a ride on one of Thanos’ vessels, or perhaps even the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ship the Milano, and come to Earth that way and Spider-Man could discover the symbiote from there.
If this is true, then that would mean Kevin Feige is lying about the connections between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Sony’s expanded Spider-Man franchise in order to preserve the surprise. Meanwhile, Pascal is a little more open about what’s really going on.
This is a conspiracy theory for sure, or maybe just wishful thinking, but it's interesting to consider. For now, it's up to fans to decide if Feige is hiding something or if he’s just as confused by Pascal’s comments as the rest of us are.
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Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine -- distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts, from a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters July 7, 2017.