Spidey, meet symbiote.
From the moment Sony Pictures announced the development of a feature film all about Eddie Brock, the Marvel Comics character who becomes possessed by an extraterrestrial entity known as Venom, fans have been fantasizing about the day when he and Peter Parker would face off on the big screen. Those dreams continued on with even more passion after the theatrical launch of Venom, starring Tom Hardy as the central character, in October 2018. Then, they took on a life of their own in September 2019, when Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige hinted that Holland’s Spider-Man and Hardy’s Venom might share the screen in an upcoming movie.
Now, Venom director Ruben Fleischer has said that a crossover between the two Toms is coming.
Speaking with Fandom, Fleischer revealed that a Spider-Man/Venom face-off is “where it’s all going to lead.” He added, “And that’s the exciting thing, because we changed the origin of Venom […] In the comics, he evolved from Spider-Man but because of the Marvel-Sony thing we weren’t able to that. And so the thing I think it’s building towards, and will be exciting to see, is when they actually do confront each other.”
When will Spider-Man and Venom meet?
With Sony and Marvel back on good terms after a brief break-up in August 2019 that left Holland kicked out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the fate of Spider-Man unclear, it’s evident that the focus for the two companies is making exciting projects that will push them both forward. This means continuing to produce Spider-Man movies featuring Holland, the 23-year-old actor widely considered the greatest guy to ever step into the Spidey suit, which Marvel gets to keep in its cinematic universe and gets a financial cut of. It also means expanding Sony’s Spider-Verse, which includes Venom, its upcoming sequel, the Oscar-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the in-development Morbius movie starring Jared Leto, and the planned movie centered around Kraven the Hunter.
When Sony and Marvel made up in September 2019 and announced that a third Spider-Man movie was in the works, Feige teased that the character’s studio-and-franchise-hopping abilities means that Holland’s Spider-Man could show up somewhere outside of the MCU — like alongside Venom in a Sony movie.
“[Spider-Man] also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold,” Feige said at the time.
Fleischer’s remarks to Fandom back up Feige’s comments, so the only question that remains is when the showdown between Spider-Man and Venom will actually happen.
Under the new terms of the Sony-Marvel deal, Holland is contracted to appear in the untitled third Spider-Man flick (set for release on July 16, 2021) and at least one future Marvel movie. Previous reports have indicated that Holland’s Spidey is also set for one additional Sony-housed movie. Since there’s currently no deal in place for Marvel to bring Venom into the MCU, we have to assume that the Spider-Man/Venom crossover will happen in that mysterious Sony movie Holland is reportedly lined up to appear in.
This could be Venom 2, which has Andy Serkis on board as director, but it’s believed that the sequel will primarily focus on the tension between Eddie Brock/Venom and the crazed serial killer Cletus Kasady, better known as Carnage. Woody Harrelson appeared as Kasady in an after-credits scene in Venom, teasing the character’s impending prominence in Venom’s on-screen narrative. It seems unlikely that Venom 2 would add Spider-Man into the mix since Carnage is probably going to be the largest antagonistic force for Venom in the story. In the same vein, neither the Spider-Man franchise nor the Venom film property have placed the two characters on a collision course just yet. Normally, the whole thing is sketched out in advance, clever Easter eggs and subtle references are planted, and viewers have at least some idea of what’s up ahead. To have Spider-Man make a surprise appearance in Venom 2 would be cool, but it wouldn’t be all that satisfying without any build-up.
And that’s why we’re betting that the Spider-Man and Venom showdown will happen in a third Venom flick. Sony has yet to get the wheels turning on such a project, but considering the massive box office success of Venom (the film took in over $856 million worldwide) and the fact that a sequel is on the way, it seems inevitable that Venom 3 will happen. Venom 2 doesn’t yet have a release date, but it’ll probably wind up hitting theaters in late 2020 or early 2021, not too long before Spider-Man 3 debuts on the big screen. Both films could feature some hints and clues at an upcoming showdown, with the fight finally happening after the Spider-Man trilogy wraps and just as Sony kicks its Spider-Verse expansion plans into overdrive.
Unfortunately, there’s no telling what exactly will go down when the crossover occurs, considering the two characters have a complicated history in the Marvel comics. As we wait for more information about the specifics of Spider-Man’s impending face-off with Venom, let your imagination run wild on how their first on-screen meeting might go.