Will We Ever See Venom and Spider-Man Together On-Screen? It's Complicated
When it comes to comic book movies, fans just want to have their cake and eat it, too. There are so many great characters that fall under different production companies, but all we want is to watch them come together and fight like their illustrated counterparts do. When it comes to the recently released Venom, fans were hoping that the antihero's nemesis, Spider-Man, would show up for a brief cameo. Considering that Sony owns both the characters, it'd wouldn't have been surprising if they had. But because of the agreement between Sony and Marvel way back in 2015, a cameo was just not in the cards.
For those who need a reminder, Sony and Marvel Studios reached an agreement regarding the rights over Spider-Man a few years ago. Sony has owned the rights to the character since 1999 (along with 900 other Marvel characters), but Marvel Studios has wanted to put the web-slinger in their movies since they began the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man in 2008. Since Marvel Studios didn't want to pay Sony to use Spider-Man and a crossover would have been too expensive to make, the two studios reached an agreement that would benefit them both. Marvel was given the green light to integrate the popular, lovable web-shooter into their universe. They also earned the merchandising rights to Spider-Man. Sony, on the other hand, kept the rights. They reaped the benefits of a revamped Spider-Man while technically keeping him in their roster.
OK, but what does this mean in terms of where Spider-Man actually appears? Long story short, Spider-Man is currently part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He pops up in that universe in his own movies, as well as in the Avengers films. Other Sony-controlled Marvel characters, such as Venom, do not appear in those films — they belong in Sony's separate universe. Though Sony does own Spider-Man, it would take a lot of legal hoopla to get him into a Sony picture, and both studios would have to agree on all the stipulations. That's why, despite the hopes and dreams of fans, Spider-Man does not make an appearance in Venom, and Venom's origin story differs from the comics. That said, it's not impossible. Just unlikely.
So, while there is a slim chance that Spider-Man might make an appearance in Sony's Spidey-verse one day — you know, if the studios could come to an agreement about it — it's highly unlikely that Venom would be able to join Spider-Man in an Avengers or Avengers-adjacent movie anytime soon. Though, if comic book lovers know how to do anything, it's to have faith in what seems to be impossible. After all, when asked if there would ever be an overlap between the two universes, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said, "We never say never . . . but not any time soon."