On Friday, Sony Pictures announced Tom Hardy would make return to the world of comic book movies with a starring role in their upcoming Venom film. The entertainment company shared the news with the following tweet:
Marvel fans immediately took note of the name “Sony’s Marvel Universe”; however, it seems the label is somewhat misleading. According to Polygon, Sony’s Marvel Universe will be more of a Spider-Man Universe that will not include crossovers from outside comics. The studio reportedly has plans to create additional comic book films that will focus on characters from the web-slinger’s world, such as Black Cat and Silver Sable. But if you were hoping to see Marvel Universe cameos in Sony’s forthcoming projects, you shouldn’t hold your breath.
In 2015, Sony inked a deal with Marvel Studios to share the licensing rights to Spider-Man. Variety reports Marvel doesn’t have to pay Sony to use the iconic character in their movies, like Captain America: Civil War; additionally, Marvel will not receive any profits from Sony films that feature Spider-Man.
The studios have teamed up to produce the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film, which, as pointed out by Polygon, explains why Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man appears in the movie. Venom and future projects under Sony’s Marvel Universe will not be joint efforts.
It’s also important to note that Sony insists Venom isn’t a spin-off, which is why many people are wondering if Tom Holland's Spider-Man will make an appearance. Homecoming director Jon Watts has said Venom is not connected to his film or the rest of the Marvel Universe.
“It’s not. It’s not connected to the Marvel world, so that’s really intriguing… what that will be. I don’t know anything about it,” he told Fandago. “It’s not connected, so there’s not that overlap. I’m only focused on my movie right now.”
Venom is expected to hit theaters next fall. Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released July 7.