Is Venom to Blame for Sony and Disney Split Over Spider-Man?

The Marvel fandom has been rocked by the announcement that Sony and Disney ended their deal to have Spider-Man appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The explanation of that fallout has been rooted in word about financial conflict between the two studios regarding financing future Spider-Man films, but aside from trying assign blame, Marvel fans have been wondering one thing:

Why does Sony think it can sustain a Spider-Man movie universe without Marvel?

Well, once that question started making its way through fan chat threads, there were quite a few fingers that pointed toward one easy target: Venom.

The "logic" being applied here is that Venom's success ($856 Million Worldwide) gave Sony a swell of confidence that a Spider-Man movie universe without Marvel Cinematic Universe ties can still be a successful venture. While there's almost certainly a fair amount of truth to that assessment, it's beyond a stretch to start lambasting everyone who ever went to see Venom as being the architects of Spider-Man's MCU downfall. Many Marvel fans walked away at least enjoying the Eddie Brock / Symbiote relationship and effects in Venom, and were initially lured into the theater (ironically enough) with the greater hope that Tom Hardy's franchise was building towards an eventual crossover with Tom Holland's Spider-Man. In fact, that Spidey/Venom team-up has been the focal point of chatter throughout Venom's production, promotion, and current sequel pre-production. Hard to say fans eagerly supporting the franchise to get that pay off or somehow responsible for breaking Spider-Man's franchise hopes.

More tellingly, though, is the extremely selective logic that's being applied here. Venom wasn't the only big film in the Spider-Man franchise to achieve success in 2018: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned $375 million and an Oscar win for Best Animated Feature, opening the door to a whole new Spider-Man animated universe for Sony. In short: Into the Spider-Verse was a much bigger mover of the needle, in terms of building Sony's confidence about an independent Spider-Man Universe - but you won't hear a lot of fans slamming that film, simply because they generally enjoyed it far more than Venom. But then, who ever said Internet outrage had to make sene?

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Meanwhile, Andy Serkis is hard at work prepping Venom 2, which could now, perhaps, have a bigger role for Spider-Man than was originally planned.

Venom 2 is slated for release on October 2, 2020.

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