The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at the forefront of conversations after the game-changing events of Avengers: Infinity War, and one of the main topics of those conversations is expansion. Sony's deal with Marvel Studios brought Tom Holland's Spider-Man into the MCU, and now the X-Men and Fantastic Four are on deck, thanks to the deal between Fox and Disney.
...But what about the characters in the gray areas?
Sony's deal with Marvel was limited to sharing the Spider-Man character: Sony's larger Spider-Man Universe film franchise was not going to be part of the MCU, last we heard, and now Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo is once again confirming that's the case.
Russo was doing a Q&A during an appearance at Iowa City High School, and was questioned about if and how the upcoming Spider-Man universe spinoff film Venom would connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Russo's response quickly shut down any hopes Venom fans may have had: "No that's a Sony property."
This whole strange state of partial crossover between the Spider-Man franchise and MCU is one that seems destined to end badly for Sony. Response to Venom's first trailer has been mixed, and fan anticipation for other Spider-Man spinoff films like Silver & Black (the Silver Sable and Black Cat team-up) is pretty much non-existent. Even the Spider-Man animated film from Chris Lord and Phil Miller, Into the Spider-Verse, has generated much buzz; meanwhile, on the MCU side, Tom Holland's Spider-Man is being hailed as one of the standouts of Avengers: Infinity War, and anticipation for the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is strong.
Venom will see Tom Hardy step into the role of reporter Eddie Brock. When Eddie begins investigating the shady Life Foundation, a business associate of his girlfriend Annie (Michelle Williams), his life changes forever. As it turns out, Life Foundation leader Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) has discovered an alien life form called symbiotes (Sym-Bee-otes), which can bond to human hosts and give them horrific powers. Eddie's investigation leads him to this dark discovery, and he ends up being an unwitting test subject for the symbiote bonding process. Soon after, Eddie discovers that the alien is a sentient figure now living inside of him, and when it comes out, Eddie becomes to the nightmarish monster known as Venom.
This film will mostly be a standalone story, but it's expected to introduce some big Spider-Man comic book staples, like symbiote serial killer, Carnage. The fact that it seems destined to remain disconnected for Spider-Man and the MCU seems like a major waste. As a silver lining for fans: Tom Holland's Peter Parker should be popping up for a cameo.
Venom hits theater on October 5th.