With the huge split between Sony and Marvel having left both parties at odds about how to use Spider-Man, one has to wonder if Venom, Carnage or any other characters owned by Sony would ever be able to cross over into the MCU? Even Spider-Man himself being used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a bit of a questionable prospect, as the deal allowing him to fight alongside his fellow Avengers is a door that seems to be closed for the moment.
Considering the history of the rights to Spider-Man, and how those were leveraged to help build the MCU towards the massive success of Avengers: Endgame, there are a lot of factors to consider to answer the question at hand. But looking over it all, there’s an answer, so let's go over the prospects of if Venom, Carnage and the gang will actually grace Marvel's continually-expanding universe.
How Sony Got The Rights To Spider-Man
The longer story of how Sony Pictures landed the rights to Spider-Man, as well as what they did with those rights, is something we’ve covered in the past. However, the short version is as simple as the following scenario.
In the ‘90s, MGM and Sony were at a crossroads, as MGM had the rights to certain James Bond properties, while Sony had certain Spider-Man rights in its possession. And yet, both studios had crucial pieces to the other’s intellectual property that made things a little difficult.
A deal was struck between MGM and Sony to trade off these interests so that both parties were made whole. MGM now had Sony’s rights to certain James Bond properties, and Sony now had all of the rights to Spider-Man. By the time Marvel Studios started its MCU in 2008, Sony was already flying high with the Spider-Man franchise, and as such, this prevented Peter Parker from entering this new juggernaut that found itself gaining strength. So when The Avengers started kicking things into high gear in 2012, Spider-Man was definitely a property that was on the MCU's radar.
How Marvel Introduced Spider-Man Into The MCU
It was only a matter of time, and wrangling, before Marvel Studios would be able to bring Spider-Man into the MCU. In 2014, running up to the production of Captain America: Civil War, and fresh off of the failure of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony and Marvel were reported to be starting talks to license Spider-Man out to Marvel Studios for inclusion in the MCU.
While that information was leaked through the big Sony email hack, and talks seemed to have broken down shortly after those reports broke, 2015 saw the two studios making a deal to integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Introduced in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker and his Spider-Man persona became a cog in the MCU machine, moving things along with appearances in other Marvel Studios films like Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In addition, Spider-Man had two solo Sony-produced movies on its docket as well, in the form of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Almost as if to cement their ties into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the point of no return, the forces behind this year’s entry in the Spider-Man canon incorporated Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck/Mysterio into the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. With his quest against Tony Stark's legacy, and aided by others who were also disillusioned with the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, the Spider-Man movies had officially been folded into the past, and future, of Marvel’s efforts. Alas, thanks to Marvel and Sony's recent split, the future of Tom Holland's Spider-Man film series is now shrouded in uncertainty.
Will Venom, Carnage And Other Sony Owned Characters Appear In The MCU?
The possibility of using Venom, Carnage, and other Sony owned characters has been something that has gone back and forth between Sony producer Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige for quite some time.
On Pascal’s end of the bargain, she originally had said that films like Venom and the planned, but eventually scrapped, Silver and Black film were “Spider-Man adjuncts.” Though she eventually walked back her comments and clarified that while those characters were in the Spider-Man universe, they aren’t in the MCU.
Taking into account recent events closing off the bridge between Sony’s Marvel Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not even Kevin Feige’s own admission to CinemaBlend that the decision would be up to Sony to cross Venom over with Spider-Man would be enough to make this happen at this point.
It’s a safe bet to say that these characters won’t be playing in the Marvel Studios sandbox any time soon, because crossing Venom into a Peter Parker adventure is one thing, but bringing Venom into the MCU at large is totally different.
While fans may really want to see Maximum Carnage on the big screen, it’s not going to involve The Avengers anytime soon. The chances of Venom, Carnage, or any Spider-Man adjacent making it into a Marvel Studios film were pretty iffy when the agreement between both studios was intact.
Now, with both sides feeling wronged and trying to reinforce both of their respective cinematic universes in the wake of this agreement’s disintegration, there would need to be a serious conversation to even bring Spider-Man back to the shared table.
Whether Sony and Marvel patch up their deal to use Peter Parker on both sides of their Marvel cinematic fence is left to be seen. There’s no telling when, or if, that will happen. But even if Spider-Man were to be reintegrated into the MCU this very moment, there’s a feeling that a lot of wrangling and discussion would have to be had to even think about bringing Venom and friends into play.
Of course, there’s the question as to whether the fans would truly want that sort of thing to happen in the first place. Which means that you, the audience, have a say in this matter, and you can voice your opinions in the poll included below. If there was anything that would sway the powers that be into making some sort of progress on bridging the gap between The Avengers, Spider-Man and Venom, it would definitely be box office potential.
As it stands, Spider-Man: Far From Home will be the final entry of Peter Parker’s adventures in the MCU, and the Andy Serkis-directed Venom 2 will very much include Woody Harrelson’s Carnage, but won’t have anything to do with that particular universe once it drops into theaters.