Is The Marvel Cinematic Universe Building Spider-Man's Sinister Six From Across The Multiverse?

Venom sitting on top of a building
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!

Eddie Brock and Venom, as portrayed by Tom Hardy, have gone on a little trip. While both Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage are movies that are primarily set in their own canon, the end credits scene of the latter pulls off a rather radical move – specifically one that sees the titular protagonist transported into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Needless to say, it’s a fascinating move from a franchise perspective, and it makes one wonder exactly what it is that is being cooked up behind-the-scenes.

Contemplating this, two words pop to mind: Sinister Six. Sony Pictures has spent years trying to develop a big screen version of Spider-Man’s most famous supervillain super group – starting back during the Amazing Spider-Man era – and when taking into consideration everything we know about upcoming plans, the move with Venom sparks mental fireworks. Not only does it seem possible that we may see Tom Holland’s web-slinger go toe-to-toe with a collective of some of his all-time greatest foes from the comics, but it seems very possible that the roster will be put together from the hero’s full cinematic history. Let’s break it down!

Venom (Tom Hardy) threatens a customer in Venom

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy)

Let’s start with the situation that has inspired this conversation in the first place. It has perpetually felt like Sony Pictures has been trying to find a way for Tom Hardy’s Venom and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to meet on the big screen, but they have been like star-crossed lovers – kept separate by their respective canons. That is no longer the case thanks to Eddie Brock’s unexplained leap through the multiverse (more theorizing on that here), and now it appears that the characters are on a collision course.

The obvious trickiness that exists here is that the franchise is going to have to morally realign Venom a bit, as while he has been an antihero protagonist in his solo movies, it’s impossible to imagine that his first clash with Spider-Man will feature him as anything other than a villain (there is definitely some nefarious energy in the way he licks the television screen). If this complicated switcheroo is something that the franchise can pull off, then the character would make a prime candidate to join a big screen Sinister Six alongside the other confirmed/hinted at Spidey antagonists from the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. Speaking of which…

Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) throwing people from a train in Spider-Man 2

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Otto Octavius/Doc Ock (Alfred Molina)

When it was announced that a new Spider-Man series was being launched in the MCU, many fans agreed that one of the greatest challenges presented would be trying to find an actor who could top Alfred Molina’s phenomenal turn as Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2. Thanks to the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, we now know that the franchise has found a way to circumvent that issue, and he would obviously make for a perfect candidate to join a multiversal Sinister Six.

First brought together in 1964, the original Sinister Six in the comics didn’t feature Venom, but Doc Ock was front-and-center as the team leader, making him a natural fit for inclusion in such a grand plan. We already know that Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock is willing to form partnerships while under the influence of his mechanical arms, as we see him strike a deal with James Franco’s Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 2, so it’s wholly believable that he would be willing to team up with other individuals he encounters with similar urges to rid the world of Queens’ friendly neighborhood superhero.

Electro (Jamie Foxx) shoots electricity out of his hands in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Max Dillon/Electro (Jamie Foxx)

Jamie Foxx’s Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is arguably the opposite of Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, in that the iteration of the character is definitely not beloved – but Marvel has apparently opted to take a similar tactic with the electrifying villain and not go the recasting route. Instead, it appears that Spider-Man: No Way Home may instead be giving the casting choice a chance at redemption, as it was reported back in October 2020 that Foxx had joined the cast of the new blockbuster to reprise his role.

The actor confirmed the news in a social media post (one that he quickly deleted after hitting send), and his inclusion in a big screen Sinister Six would be perfectly natural. After all, like Doc Ock, he was a founding member of the team back in the mid-1960s. We obviously have no idea what to expect right now from his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but it would be excellent to see him both work and butt heads with other wall-crawler villains who aren’t Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin.

Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) makes Spider-Man choose in Spider-Man

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Norman Osborn/Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)

Thanks to the pumpkin bomb featured in Spider-Man: No Way Home, we most definitely are expecting some Green Goblin action to be featured in the new blockbuster, and both the design of the weapon and the laugh overheard in the preview suggest that Willem Dafoe is coming back to the role. If true, it would be another excellent repurposing of pre-existing casting, and, again, the character would make for a fantastic addition to a big screen Sinister Six.

Despite the fact that Norman Osborn is regarded as Spider-Man’s archnemesis, the character wasn’t on the original roster of the Sinister Six – but he has been a part of multiple incarnations of the group since, and is an obvious selection in a discussion of the most important villains we’ve seen on the big screen from the hero’s rogue gallery.

Collage of Spider-Man villains from the Spider-Man movies

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Two Mystery Players

Taking the information that we have from the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer and Venom: Let There Be Carnage has provided us with four possible candidates for a Sinister Six line-up… which leaves two slots to fill, and a number of viable options. Making the situation more complex, there are both possibilities from past Spider-Man franchises, and the foes that the Avenger has faced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe already.

We’re not at a point where we are ready to rule out an appearance from Curt Connors a.k.a. Lizard – and he could be played by either Rhys Ifans or Dylan Baker. Similarly also on the table is Thomas Haden Church’s Flint Marko a.k.a. Sandman, who could use some redemption similar to Jamie Foxx’s Electro. At the same time, we can’t ignore the fact that Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes a.k.a. Vulture and Michael Mando’s Mac Gargan a.k.a. Scorpion are still sitting on the backburner, still simmering since Spider-Man: Homecoming. And lastly: given everything we saw, can you be 100 percent confident that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck a.k.a. Mysterio is dead?

With their powers combined, a multiverse-cultivated Sinister Six could be quite the menace for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and an incredible thrill for comic book movie fans everywhere. Whether this is an idea that we could see fully formed in Spider-Man: No Way Home or simply teased as a future development is unclear – but you can be sure that we’ll be looking for more hints suggesting it’s happening as we get closer to the December blockbuster’s release date.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.