For weeks, we’ve been on pins and needles: Are those two crazy kids Spider-Man and Venom getting together or what? For a while there, it seemed like they would. But after some back-and-forth and reams of fanboy splutterings, we have a final verdict: No. Marvel has emphatically said there will be no Spider-Man/Venom crossovering. And not only because they already fought in a big movie, namely “Spider-Man 3.”
Why were we talking about this? It’s a long story. Seriously, we’re going to try hard to make sense of this.
So. When it comes to the movies, there’s effectively two Marvels. Some characters (or “intellectual properties”) are owned by Disney. Others are owned by Sony. Disney owns the Avengers; Sony owns The X-Men and assorted miscellany. Among that Sony-owned miscellany is Spider-Man. But in the comics, Spider-Man is also (sometimes) one of the Avengers.
So. Sony-Marvel handled the last two “Spider-Man” movies — the ones with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone and the word “Amazing” in the title, even though that’s not the adjective most viewers would have used to describe them. (“Inferior”? “Emo”? “Superfluous”? “Cynically Engineered So that Rich People Get Richer”?) But now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (again, owned by Disney) is about 100 films into its detailed outline for world domination, they wanted to scoop up Spidey, too.
So. They cut a deal. Spidey would come over to Marvel-Disney. Tom Holland would make his debut in a bit part in “Captain America: Civil War,” which he did. Then he’d get his own movie, though that would technically be part of Sony-Marvel, though it would also include Disney-Marvel players, like Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau. It’s kind of like back in Golden Age Hollywood, when studios owned the actors but would loan them out to rival houses. Only this deal would be permanent — or as permanent as our current superhero movie mega-obsession could ever be. (It’s not permanent, right? We’ll all move onto, I dunno, Westerns at some point maybe?)
Anyway! Because of the complicated/convoluted/confusing nature of the Spider-Man deal, it seemed possible that the anti-hero Venom — already getting his own movie starring Tom Hardy — might cross paths with the web-crawling teen, seeing as they often crossed paths in the comics (and, again, in the movie “Spider-Man 3”). Cut to interviews in which Sony head Amy Pascal says a crossover is a possibility while Marvel guru Kevin Feige shifts awkwardly/ominously in his chair.
Well, now Feige has shot that down officially. When asked about it point-blank by Variety, Feige gave a simple “No,” then added something for good measure about how Sony-Marvel’s Venom movie is “off to a good start.” So there you have it. Then again, feel free to mourn your loss by watching “Spider-Man 3,” which, once more, features the two very in fisticuffs, even if very briefly as the movie’s about to end.