There have been conflicting reports about whether or not Spider-Man will appear in the upcoming Sony spinoff films.
If you’re not familiar, Sony has the film rights to Spider-Man, though he’s a Marvel comic book character. Marvel and Sony have a deal that allows Spider-Man to be a part of the Avengers on film and to have his first new solo film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” be part of the MCU. Venom, meanwhile, is exclusively Sony. But recently there’s been talk of joining the two — who already fought in “Spider-Man 3,” from 2007 — together in a film, something that may be contractually verboten.
To someone who’s not in the film industry, all this talk can be confusing. To someone who is, it’s still sometimes a bit wonky. So I’m not going to talk about why I want to see Spider-Man in a Venom movie or why it seems silly to make one unless he’s going to be. There’s no point, and who knows what may change, how many times things will change, or what back-room meetings and deals no one has been privy to. Honestly, I’m just going to talk about why I love shared universes and keep my fingers crossed.
My first shared universe was Anne McCaffrey’s novels. When I realized (spoiler alert for books that have been out for decades) the Medieval-seeming universe of Pern was part of the Federated Sentient Planets group (set in the future of space travel) that McCaffrey had been writing about for years, I flipped my lid. When I learned that her Crystal Singer books would cross over in a small way with the sentient ships (just look it up), I was blown away. I started those before even comics, so I was awed to learn that different stories could take place in the same universe. Now it seems normal, but back then it was new.
I remember thinking about why it had such an impact on me as a kid. Then I realized: Our entire world is a shared universe. We all live in the same place. We tell the same stories. You know that Noah’s Ark story? There are flood myths everywhere. There are gods that cross over between mythologies because we don’t live in walled countries (yet). Our lives cross over, and so do our experiences.
You know how you feel when you meet someone who lives right near you, but the meeting happens on the other side of the world? (This just happened to me in New Zealand.) Or when your friend knows someone you know, or you have a similar experience to a friend or a stranger? There is a connection there, and it reminds you that we’re all part of something bigger. There is every reason to recognize that in a shared fictional universe. I think it pings the same chords in us.
So, let Spidey show up in Venom. He’s part of the universe anyway. And it’s all about the fans. We know it. We know he belongs there. Forget deals for a moment and let us connect the universe. Let the Universal monsters exist together. King Kong and Godzilla should totally hang.
If you guys having feelings about this, I’d really love to hear them. Is this something you want to see? Should there be a Venom movie without Spidey? Do you like shared universes? Are there crossovers you want to see? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @JennaBusch. I promise, I’ll read them all.