It's weird to make a Venom movie without Spider-Man. The character's origins are intimately tied, but because Sony and Marvel Studios have an unusual partnership, Tom Holland's Spider-Man isn't expected to show up in Ruben Fleischer's Venom movie. But when we spoke with the director on the red carpet at San Diego Comic-Con, we asked Fleischer if Spidey exists in the universe that Sony has created, Fleischer elaborated:
Any true fan of Venom would love to see him go against Spider-Man. So I have to think that's gonna happen at some point.
This is... surprising. I mean, it makes all the sense in the world that the team behind Venom would want to have the anti-hero (played by Tom Hardy) go toe-to-toe with the web-slinger. Leaving Spider-Man out of Venom would be like making a Joker movie and leaving out Batman. Actually, now that I've said that out loud, it makes me wonder if Todd Phillips will leave Batman out of his Joaquin Phoenix movie. But I digress. The way that Ruben Fleischer spelled it out, this won't happen in this movie. So we need Venom to get a sequel. And we need Sony to figure out some kind of a deal to let them get Spider-Man back.
Right now, Sony let Tom Holland play Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in doing so, they are basically stopping themselves from including Spider-Man in their own movies. That hasn't stopped Venom from developing a cinematic universe, and one that might have connections to the Silver and Black movie that the studio is planning, and possibly the Morbius movie that will star Jared Leto.
So, what could happen from here? Sony and Marvel could work out a deal where Tom Holland plays Spider-Man on screen in a Venom sequel. Or, Sony could recast their own version of Spider-Man, much the same way that DC now has a Jared Leto Joker, and a Joaquin Phoenix Joker. This would be incredibly confusing. But I bet that there will be a tease for two major characters for Venom 2 -- Cletus Cassidy, and Peter Parker -- if Venom 2 actually happens.
For now, we know that Venom will open in theaters on October 5. Tom Hardy will play Eddie Brock, in a storyline that borrows very heavily from the Lethal Protector storyline. And it will co-star Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze and Jenny Slate. And maybe Woody Harrelson. Though we haven't seen him in any of the footage. Carnage, anyone?