BY MATT TUCK
Let There Be Carnage is upon us, and the rumors already point to Venom joining Spider-Man: No Way Home, but Marvel and Sony could have another idea up its sleeves. SPOILER WARNING
Leading up to the Venom sequel’s premiere, the theories and speculation were at a fever pitch. The latest gossip has it that Venom and Spider-Man will join forces to combat the Sinister Six in the team’s own standalone movie.
Keep in mind, that rumor started before audiences saw the game-changing mid-credits scene at the end of Let There Be Carnage.
For those that haven’t seen it (and don’t mind SPOILERS), here’s how it played out. A central theme of LTBC was the Odd Couple routine between Eddie and Venom. It had all the elements of a classic romantic comedy: boy meets symbiote, boy loses symbiote, boy and symbiote realize they can’t live without the other and bite the head off a monster. It might as well have been called You’ve Got Mail with more decapitations.
Once the adventure is over, Eddie and Venom take a romantic getaway to a tropical beach resort, where they lie on the bed watching a Spanish soap opera. Venom then offers to give Eddie a sampling of the symbiote hive mind from Klyntar (which opens up another theory altogether, but that’s a tale for a different day). That’s when things get weird(er). There is a vibration and the world shifts. Suddenly, it’s no longer a Spanish soap opera on the television; it’s J. Jonah Jameson from the tail end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Then came the big reveal as Tom Holland is on screen, making Venom’s transition to the MCU official. And the people did rejoice.
A PAYOFF TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING
Venom joining the MCU has been the inevitable path for years.
Going back to Venom’s first cinematic adventure, fans have been teased with the character’s eventual inclusion into the MCU. That’s apparently been the plan from the start. Two years ago, Venom director Ruben Fleischer basically confirmed that Eddie Brock and Peter Parker would cross paths. Speaking with Fandom on the topic of Venom and the MCU, Fleischer sealed the deal when he remarked, “That’s where it’s all going to lead.”
From the moment the first Venom movie was announced, the Spider-Man connection has been a hot topic of discussion. Fans were convinced that Tom Holland was going to make a cameo appearance to connect the franchises. Alas, that did not transpire, but LTBC director Andy Serkis has made it clear that, yes, the events of the Venom movies take place adjacent to the Homecoming films. Now we know, he meant that literally.
VENOM VS. THE SINISTER SIX
Much of this theory hinges on the idea that a Sinister Six movie is in the works. Once upon a time - before Amazing Spider-Man 2 bombed at the box office and took the entire franchise and potential spin offs with it - Sony was developing a film starring the titular villains. ASM 2 was clearly aiming to set the stage for the Sinister Six’s starring role, but the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the movie nixed the project altogether.
Thanks to the excitement for the Six in Spider-Man: No Way Home, reportedly the idea of a Sinister Six movie is back on the table, and that has led to theories that Spidey will recruit Venom to help him fight the villainous team.
Could the rumor be slightly off? In light of the LTBC mid-credits scene, could it be that instead of a separate Sinister Six movie, Venom will appear in No Way Home? There’s questionable gossip sites claiming just that, but I have my doubts.
Look back at the first three phases of the MCU, and you will see how patient Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios are with their plans. They enjoy the build and the teases. It took 10 years before we finally got to see Thanos in action, and the result was the highest-grossing movie in history.
Marvel knows how badly fans want to see Venom and Spider-Man cross paths, and Feige is going to take full advantage of that anticipation. It won’t be 10 years before it happens, but No Way Home is too soon. At best, we can expect a cameo in NWH, and we may not even get that.
THE CINEMATIC PUZZLE
That brings us to the idea of a Sinister Six movie and how Venom fits into the puzzle. Logically, Spidey would need backup to handle that much firepower aimed at him. If Marvel and Sony want to give Peter some added muscle and thrill their fans, the best place to turn is Venom.
Personally, I don’t see this panning out, mainly because I don’t see the Sinister Six hanging around past No Way Home.
The general consensus is that NWH will not only connect all the Spider-Man movies into one universe, but it will bring closure to the Raimi trilogy and the Andrew Garfield ASM movies. If that is the case, it will mean that a Sinister Six movie would not be possible after NWH...at least not one with the more classic cast, but that is a theory for another day.
“THE WAITING GAME SUCKS. LET’S PLAY HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS.”
Tom Petty was right. Indeed, the waiting is the hardest part. Alas, as much as we might want to see Venom appear in No Way Home, it makes far more sense for Marvel to tease this for as long as they can. The more tension and anticipation that builds towards the epic collision of Spider-Man and Venom, the bigger the movie will be. In turn, that also means more profits. If Marvel Studios does this right - and when it comes to promoting movies and building to a payoff, they are the experts - the eventual Spider-Man/Venom clash will rival anything the studio has done before.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.