How 'Venom' complicates its connection to 'Spider-Man' and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Hanna Flint
Contributor
Venom is a Spider-Man villain, but he’s not part of the MCU (Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures)

WARNING: This article refers to a scene in Venom that some might consider a spoiler

There’s been much talk about how Venom fits into Sony’s rebooted Spider-Man universe, or if it ever will.

The Tom Holland-led Spider-Man: Homecoming was a collaboration with Marvel Studios, thus making it part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, paving the way for the web-slinger to appear in Captain America: Civil War before and Avengers: Infinity War after.

And though initially it was believed that Tom Hardy’s antihero would stand alone from those films and the Avengers continuity, more recent reports suggest they could cross paths on screen.

That’s reportedly the reason why Ruben Fleischer’s movie was made for a PG-13 rating, so Venom could feature in Spider-Man’s more family-friendly movies.

According to Variety, “Any Spider-Man movie will carry a PG-13 rating because the wall-crawler is more family friendly, and if Venom is too dark and gory, it might preclude other film match-ups, not just with Peter Parker’s alter-ego, but also with other members of the extended Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

The problem is Venom has – intentionally or not – set itself apart from the MCU in a scene between Eddie Brock and Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate) when they discuss the symbiotes.

Tom Hardy and Jenny Slate as Eddie Brock and Dr. Dora Skirth in Venom

She’s giving him the spaceship backstory to how they arrive on Earth, but Eddie scoffs and thinks she’s joking by the implications that they are dealing with aliens.

“Yes aliens, but we call them symbiotes,” Skirth says leaving him looking confused and shocked.

This might seem like an innocuous reaction but it proves that Venom’s universe is not the same one as Spider-Man’s as aliens aren’t exactly brand new information at this point, especially for a former New Yorker who also happens to be a celebrated investigative reporter.

Spider-Man: Homecoming established the existence of aliens because it referenced the Battle of New York from Avengers: Assemble, which saw thousands of Chitauri warriors pouring through a wormhole and attacking the Big Apple.

So unless Venom is set before both movies, or in another dimension, then it can’t be in the MCU.

However, as comic books love to change the backstories of its characters with a bit of retroactive continuity (ret-con) future Venom films might just do the same so that this character can inevitably team up, or go, against Spider-Man.

Venom is in cinemas now

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