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Last week marked the end of an era for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. All poor Spidey wanted to do was join the Avengers, but now he’s been bumped from the recurring cast of heroes in the MCU. A dispute between Disney and Sony over how to split the franchise’s earnings ended with an abrupt breakup between the studios. Now Tom Holland’s Spider-Man belongs solely to Sony again – which means Venom may be his only shared-universe neighbor.
This situation offers up a new opportunity for Sony since the studio has already been establishing its own Spider-Verse, starting with Venom. Should the brass pencil him in? It’s the natural decision, right? How long does the Venom franchise really go on without Spidey coming into the picture? And just because they can, should they? It's time to talk out the pros and cons of a potential crossover between Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Tom Hardy’s Venom.
Pro: Venom 2 Might Be Good
Although Spider-Man: Far From Home has been more widely praised by audiences, Venom is on a more even playing field with Spider-Man than you might expect. The difference between their box office numbers is a matter of $260 million, and moviegoers overall enjoyed Venom, despite it having low critical acclaim. With this in mind, Sony may be feeling confident about blending the MCU series with the kickoff to its own Spider-Verse.
The studio is already investing big in Venom’s future with a sequel in the works, with some amazing hires that could elevate the franchise. Andy Serkis is directing, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Robert Richardson is on board as the film's cinematographer and Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, Michelle Williams’ Anne Weying and Woody Harrelson’s-teased Carnage will star. Venom 2 is set to shoot later this year and hit theaters October 2, 2020.
Considering Spider-Man movies have followed an every-other-year format (and those “high school kids” are not getting any younger), the Tom Holland-led threequel may come the following summer in 2021. So, Sony theoretically has some time to course-correct the franchise to meet in the middle with the Spider-Man series. If the studio does make an effort to blend the two (very) different franchises together nicely, it might be fun to see Spidey take on Venom! Or maybe Tom Hardy’s Venom becomes a “good guy” version of the character and they end up working together to fight off another villain?
Con: Please, No. Not Another Spider-Man 3
The idea of Spider-Man and Venom in a movie together has been somewhat poisoned in many fans' minds thanks to the bitter taste 2007’s Spider-Man 3 left them with. In a jam-packed movie already featuring Sandman and Harry Osborn turning to the dark side, Eddie Brock/Venom were handled horribly, and there’s some fear that once Sony gets Spider-Man back, history will repeat itself. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man franchise has done a good job of avoiding the same characters from the previous franchises, switching out Green Goblin and Doc Ock with Vulture and Mysterio.
Audiences would hope Tom Holland’s Spider-Man remains a fresh rendition of the hero, and Sony shoeing in these two characters just because it can could spell disaster. The studio has shown colors of being business-driven in the past by overcrowding its Spider-Man sequels with too many villains and not paying enough attention to developing characters on two separate occasions. Remember the train wreck The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was in 2014?
Spider-Man has thrived in the MCU thanks to Kevin Feige’s direction with the character. The Marvel chief developed his storyline over five films over the past three years in a calculated manner that made Holland’s hero the central focus, delivered a touching storyline with the MCU’s Iron Man and gave the villains he faced interesting adversaries. In comparison, Venom’s attention to character wasn’t nearly at that level. They were far closer to clichés. No wonder fans are nervously sweating over the Sony deal!
Pro: Spider-Man May Thrive In His Own Universe
Then again, last year Sony produced just about the best Spider-Man film to date with the animated Into the Spider-Verse. Given that the animation style lent a big hand to its success, it is still possible for a Spider-Man movie to be great without Disney’s MCU. Going back to a Spider-Man/Venom crossover, it does make the most sense for the two characters from a shared comic book universe to be together on the big screen in this kind of setting. It might end up being awesome to see Tom Holland’s hero interact with other characters from his world instead of the focus being on the Avengers and such.
A Spider-Man/Venom crossover could open up a rich universe with Spider-Man at the center of his own shared universe where his villains are given more time to develop and other Spider-heroes can be introduced alongside him. The Venom franchise is receiving two movies to explore his unique and twisted character, and the MCU just never would have had time to develop a Spider-Man villain at this length. Venom is just the beginning of Sony’s planned Spider-Verse, which is also developing Morbius, Black Cat, Silver Sable, Silk and Nightwatch big screen stories.
Looking back, the studio may have known it'd obtain Spider-Man again one day. Sony can only dance around the hero with his supporting cast for so long in a Spider-Verse without him. A Spider-Man/Venom crossover could open up a Spider-Verse that could later introduce a big-screen Miles Morales and so forth. But then again, isn’t Sony’s animated Spider-Man franchise already doing this?
Con: It Won’t Top His MCU Arc
The root of why Spider-Man and Venom crossing webs probably won’t work is because Tom Holland’s Spider-Man has already had an incredible run in the MCU. It was simply perfect seeing Peter Parker being mentored by Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man. His quips during the airport scene in Captain America: Civil War were iconic. And when he got to interact with Captain Marvel and Valkyrie in Avengers: Endgame, it was amazing! It’s part of the DNA of Tom Holland’s character to be rooted in the MCU, and a move to Venom’s world just can’t top his big-screen legacy so far.
The tone of the Jon Watts’ series has wonderfully captured high school Peter Parker in a way that’s never been done before. Mixing this with the particular brand of entertainment Venom was just may not be a winning formula. I personally enjoyed Venom, but for completely different reasons than why I like the new Spider-Man series. Venom is kind of this ridiculous, hilarious, dumb-but-somehow-good action flick where things such as Tom Hardy biting into a lobster after diving into a tank. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man hits different to say the least.
Spider-Man and Venom together might be fun to see and could potentially be done well, but it would be a tough act to follow after Spidey’s time with other MCU characters. More Spider-Man is better than no Spider-Man, I guess. Now, I want to hear your thoughts! Do you want to see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Tom Hardy’s Venom cross webs in the future considering the recent developments with Sony? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and stay tuned with CinemaBlend as developments about Spider-Man’s future continue!