Since Venom was released in 2018, it’s been unclear as to where things stand in the Sonyverse in terms of continuity. The film was released at a time when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was already two years deep in the MCU, having by that point appeared in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Avengers: Infinity War.
Naturally, fans speculated that Venom was secretly connected to the MCU, with the possibility of Holland one day appearing in a sequel. The rumor mill only picked up speed once a trailer for Venom spin-off Morbius was released in 2020, which showed Michael Keaton reprising his role as Vulture from Homecoming.
Now, things have gotten even more confusing, with the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home having hit the worldwide spider-web, which shows returning villains from Sony’s two separate Spider-Man franchises – the Tobey Maguire movies and the Andrew Garfield reboots. Speaking of spiderwebs, it’s probably the best analogy to sum up this continuity conundrum.
But what we really want to know is, where is Spider-Man in the Venom movie universe? Join us on our search for the wall-crawling web-slinger…
Where does Venom take place?
Much to the surprise of fans upon its release, Venom actually takes place in San Francisco. Many were expecting to see Eddie Brock and his black alien symbiote stroll the streets of Manhattan looking for villainous heads to chomp down on, but the likely reason behind the decision to jump from the East Coast to the West was to make things easier for viewers to digest, seeing as Spider-Man is absent in the film, who can always be found web-slinging across Fifth Avenue or jumping down from the Empire States Building.
With that said, there is a reference to New York in the film. During Eddie Brock and Anne Weying’s date, Anne says to Eddie, “We don’t want a repeat of the Daily Globe incident,” before elaborating on Brock’s decision to leave New York, which we know is Spider-Man’s friendly neighborhood. While this isn’t exactly a Spider-Man reference per se, it does at least address the fact that Brock is from the Big Apple, as well as his reason for his relocating.
Does Spider-Man exist in the Venom movie universe?
Another question that needs answering is whether or not Spider-Man even exists within this film’s continuity yet. Of course, Venom started life in The Amazing Spider-Man comics in 1984, so there’s no doubt whatsoever that the Venom universe, at the very least, includes the existence of Peter Parker. But whether or not he’s Spider-Man yet is unclear. So, are there any clues in the Venom movie about Parker or Spidey?
You might be surprised to learn that there is a pretty uncrackable Easter egg. At the beginning of the film, we see a spaceship from villain Drake’s Life Foundation crashing on Earth, having recovered alien symbiotes from an asteroid. It’s confirmed by Drake that one of these astronauts is James Jameson, the son of Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. James Jameson even appeared in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, in which he was due to marry Mary Jane Watson.
Is Venom connected to the MCU?
There has been much debate around this topic, and it’s now being more discussed than ever, following the release of the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, which opens the door to the Multiverse, bringing in the likes of Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx’s Electro. While it remains to be seen whether other veteran Spidey actors will make an appearance, it is possible that the Multiverse concept will be used to bring in other non-MCU Marvel characters, such as Wolverine and Deadpool. But what about Venom?
Here’s what Venom: Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis (yes, the one and only) had to say about the upcoming sequel, which definitely sheds light on the whole MCU situation: “Obviously, there are links between Venom and Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe and the Spider-Man story. We’re treating this very much as it’s his own world. The Venom story is his own world. There are nods and little moments, of course, but on the whole, he’s unaware. They are unaware, at this point, of other characters like Spider-Man. So, that’s the way we’ve chosen to play this particular episode of the movie, but, well, we’ll wait and see. We’ll see what little things you can pick out of it.”
Is Morbius in the MCU?
As it stands, Venom and Morbius are not connected to the MCU. They’re both Sony properties, and while the same can be said of Spider-Man, an agreement was made between Sony and Disney that would involve the web-crawler finally showing up in the MCU. However, that hasn’t stopped Michael Keaton’s Vulture from appearing in the trailer for Morbius, which is said to be a spin-off to Venom, so that leaves us with a bit of a conundrum (although this is likely because Sony has the rights to use Spider-Man characters that have appeared in the MCU as a result of said-deal).
So the answer to this question is pretty much the same as to whether Venom is connected to the MCU or not – but it’s not a definitive no, more of a ‘not really’. But with that said, the Morbius trailer does hint at the existence of Spider-Man, as some graffiti of the web-slinger can be seen on an alley wall behind Jared Leto. This acknowledges the fact that Spider-Man exists in the Morbius universe, and if the film is indeed intended to be a spin-off to Venom, then it’s fair to say that Spider-Man exists in the Venom movies too – although we don’t know when Morbius is set in conjunction with Venom.
Which Spider-Man is in Venom?
Looking back at everything we’ve discussed, it’s fair to say that if any version of Spider-Man does exist in the Venom universe (based on the assumption that Peter Parker has already been bitten by a radioactive spider), then it’s probably the MCU’s Tom Holland. The reason behind this theory hinges largely on the Morbius trailer, which shows us Michael Keaton as Vulture, the same actor-and-villain from the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (oddly enough, Keaton is also reprising his role as Batman in the DCEU’s upcoming Flashpoint).
While this could simply be Sony making use of their own property and nothing more, between this and the fact that the MCU is opening the Multiverse, the chances are, that if we are going to see Spidey show up in Sony’s newly formed Sony Pictures’ Universe of Marvel Characters, it will probably be Holland. For now, our best guess is that, whether it’s just plain old Peter or arachnid-Peter, he’s back in Manhattan where he belongs – you know, catching thieves just like flies.
Related: Where to Watch and Stream Venom: September 2021 Update
Where is Spider-Man in Venom?
So, does Spider-Man exist in the Venom universe? Well, the premise alone is evidence in itself. After all, Venom was created in the Spider-Man comic books, and when you look at the likes of other ‘stand-alone’ villain movies, such as Cruella or Joker, we know full well that other characters – ones usually under the spotlight – definitely exist in those films, but have been relegated to background characters.
In other words, there’s no reason to believe that Spider-Man doesn’t exist in Venom. The question is, where is he? Well, the chances are he’s in the Big Apple. But until we get another Easter egg or even a cameo of some sort – perhaps in Venom: Let There Be Carnage – whether it’s Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield or Tobey Maguire, or even a new actor altogether, we won’t know for sure whether he’s busy spinning webs any size, or just plain old Peter Parker. Either way, with the Multiverse opening up, let’s just hope there’s no sign of Spider-Man 3’s version of Venom…
Venom: Let There Be Carnage releases in theaters on October 15, and Spider-Man: No Way Home releases on December 17.
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