“For now, there is no plan for Venom in the MCU. It’s a Sony project.”
Seems simple enough, right? Marvel and Sony will join hands on Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequels, while Marvel handles Spidey’s Avengers appearances as Sony finally gets to make its numerous villain spin-offs that have been in the works in some form or the other since before The Amazing Spider-Man 2... Although now it doesn’t appear to be all that clear cut.
In a slightly more recent interview with Filmstarts, Venom producer Amy Pascal, who joined hands and web-shooters with Feige while she was Chairperson of Sony Pictures, gives a somewhat different answer. And what’s especially noteworthy about it is who she’s sitting next to:
"Those movies will now take place in the world we’re creating for Peter Parker. They’ll be adjunct to it, they may be different locations, but it will still all be in the same world and they will be connected to each other."
That's certainly an interesting development.
A lot of folks are reading Feige’s blank silence as disapproval (internet gonna internet!) and the idea of some kind of internal civil war with Sony trying to ride Marvel’s coattails sounds like juicy gossip. But here’s the thing: as funny as that would be, I’m not sure Pascal would just blurt this out in an interview if it wasn’t something they’d discussed. I certainly don’t think it means plans changed in a major way between those two interviews just four days apart, but the wording of these seemingly conflicting statements seems important.
What Feige seems to be saying is there’s no plan to bring Venom into the films produced by Marvel Studios. “It’s a Sony project.” Pascal on the other hand, talks about the movies taking place “in the same world” much the same way Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix shows happen “in the same world” as the Marvel movies. They spin-off from them, but the movies themselves are unaffected by what goes on.
So, will Venom be part of the MCU? Yes, and no. It depends on however you classify “MCU.” I suppose if you’re a completist, watching Venom, Black Cat & Silver Sable and whatever else they land on will feel like a must, even if the connective tissue is minor. If you’re a casual viewer, or you simply don’t give a damn about anything outside the current films, you could ignore it forever and not miss a beat in Marvel Studios’ new Spider-Man series. For now, at least.
As for Spidey himself showing up, the door is always open for Tom Holland to interact with Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, though that doesn’t mean anything concrete just yet. Venom arrives October 5th 2018.