Venom Uses An Important Spider-Man Character You Might Have Missed

John Jameson and J. Jonah

This story gets into spoilers for Venom, so stop reading now if you haven't yet seen the film!

Even casual fans know that Venom supposedly takes place in a universe that also includes Spider-Man. So while the web-slinger doesn't show face in Ruben Fleischer's origin movie for Venom, rabid Spidey fans will still hear a number of references to characters that we recognize from the comics, and from this world. One of them shows up very early in the movie, as astronaut John Jameson is name-dropped and shown (before he's quickly dispersed). Still, hearing the name "Jameson" in a Venom movie raises all sorts of possibilities, so when CinemaBlend got the opportunity to speak with co-producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach about the man's inclusion -- and if it means J. Jonah Jameson is also part of this world -- Arad teased:

In the comic... it was John Jameson who made [J. Jonah] Jameson believe that Spider-Man had killed his son. That's kind of how the whole Jameson mystique started, and then Venom [came along]. But the idea was that something happens in the show, and he gets involved. ... It's a great Easter Egg. Because the fans will know exactly why we call [that astronaut] John.

Avi Arad is right, in that J. Jonah Jameson always believed that his astronaut son was the type of hero that people should be worshipping, and he never understood why people rooted for Spider-Man, instead. Yes, in the comics, John was a successful astronaut, but his trips to space actually brought back rubies that turned John Jameson into the Man-Wolf in the pages of the Marvel comics.

Spider-Man and Man-Wolf

Like most of what we see in Venom, it appears that John's legacy is going to be ret-conned and repurposed, and Avi Arad's answer to us actually hints at the direction that they could be going in this Spider-Man-free spider-verse. In the opening sequence, John loses his life after being a temporary host to the symbiote. What if, in Venom 2, they introduce J. Jonah Jameson, and he blames Venom for the death of his hero son? And instead of having a vendetta against Spider-Man, this new J. Jonah hates Eddie Brock's antihero, blaming him for his crushing loss?

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It would be a different way to reintroduce J. Jonah, who was such an integral part of the Sam Raimi movies, but hasn't been seen in a Spider-Man movie yet. Could J. Jonah make a triumphant return... in the Venom franchise? Time will tell, but Venom certainly moved us closer to that by using John. And where there's John, his loudmouth father and usually close behind.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.