Venom 2 Teaser Expands Sony's Spider-Man Universe

Sony's Spider-Man Universe is expanding. A two-week teaser for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, only in theaters October 1, hints the symbiotic bond between Sony's spin-off universe of Marvel characters and Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe is swinging towards a Venom versus Spider-Man showdown. The long-rumored cinematic crossover — or a merging of the universes home to comic book archenemies Venom (Tom Hardy) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) — comes after Hardy hinted he would sink his teeth into the Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios co-produced Spider-Man franchise firmly set in the MCU.

"We never say never," said Spider-Man producer and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige when asked about a crossover in 2017. In 2019, just before Sony and Marvel extended their deal keeping Holland's wall-crawler in the MCU, Feige remarked that a Venom and Spider-Man crossover is "up to Sony" and "seems likely at some point." 

After the five-film deal between the two studios expired with Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019, Sony and Marvel made a new pact guaranteeing a third solo movie — the multiverse-spanning Spider-Man: No Way Home — and another appearance by Spider-Man in an as-yet-unrevealed Marvel movie.

Announcing the renewed deal with Sony, Feige said Spider-Man "happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold."

One such surprise would be the first link between the SSU and the MCU: the return of Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a.k.a. Spider-Man: Homecoming villain the Vulture, in the first trailer for Sony's Morbius. The spin-off labels Spider-Man a murderer with a poster acknowledging the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, where Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) frames Peter Parker as a killer and outs his identity to the world. This puts into motion the multiversal madness unleashed when Parker calls on Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to put the genie back in the bottle in No Way Home

In May, Sony Pictures President Sanford Panitch said there "actually is a plan" to better blend the SSU and the MCU, telling Variety, "I think now maybe it's getting a little more clear for people where we're headed and I think when No Way Home comes out, even more will be revealed." 

"The great thing is we have this very excellent relationship with Kevin," continued Panitch. "There's an incredible sandbox there to play with. We want those MCU movies to be absolutely huge, because that's great for us and our Marvel characters, and I think that's the same thing on their side. But we have a great relationship. There's lots of opportunities, I think, that are going to happen."

Sony's Venom 2 opens October 1, followed by Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17. Along with Morbius, out January 28 and introducing Jared Leto as the living vampire, Sony is in pre-production on the Aaron Taylor-Johnson-starring Kraven the Hunter for 2023.