January 17th Morning Update:
Following his initial comments on Movie Talk, Jon Schnepp gave some more details in another video update, which you can watch below. Most significantly, Schnepp says that his sources have told him that Tom Holland has been on set for two full days. While Schnepp stops short of confirming that Holland has been filming during those days, he strongly indicates that he has been. Schnepp also points out that he is NOT sure that Holland will appear as Spider-Man, but does believe we will see Peter Parker.
Sony’s Marvel Universe is set to begin when the Tom Hardy led Venom hits theaters this fall on October 5th. While it was initially believed that Sony’s Marvel Universe would remain totally separate and unconnected from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, that area has become more and more grey over time. We’ve heard rumblings that Sony’s films would be loosely connected to the MCU (“MCU adjacent” was the phrase told to me), we’ve also been told by Amy Pascal that Sony’s films will “all take place in the world we’re creating for Peter Parker” and that “there’s a chance” Tom Holland might appear in them. Of course Kevin Feige, who said he had no plans to include Venom in the MCU any time soon, and Pascal had that awkward exchange when it didn’t appear they were on the same page and things right now are about as clear as mud.
Of course there are plenty of ways for Sony to be creative and Holland would have to honor whatever contract he signed, so we can imagine any number of scenarios in which Holland’s Spider-Man is in Venom without the film’s plot having any impact on the MCU, but the way I think of it is this: Feige doesn’t have any interest in Venom (the character) being in the MCU at this time so he isn’t; however, that is not to say that the film could not take place in and around the events set up in the MCU and be as related as Defenders or Runaways as long as it does not cause any major changes to Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s MCU status quo without the approval of Feige. To that end, Collider Movie Talk co-host Jon Schnepp had some very interesting things to say today about the potential for Holland to appear in Venom. Citing a “little birdy” he spoke to over the weekend, Schnepp had the following to say:
Spider-Man is going to be in Venom. For the last couple of months, we’ve been hearing how Sony is keeping it all separated, and Spider-Man is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but every other character that’s in the Spider-Man universe is separate. All I’m saying is that Spider-Man—and I’m talking about Tom Holland’s Spider-Man—is going to be in Venom.
Schnepp seemed VERY confident in his source and to fans of Venom, this rumor, if true, may make you feel a bit better. While Schnepp refused to comment on the nature of Holland’s appearance, it’s much easier to accept that the Venom symbiote, which famously sports Spidey’s symbol, might have some chance of interacting or, at the very least, being influenced by Spider-Man. Schnepp also believes that Spidey will continue to show up in Sony’s films, mentioning Silver and Black, and that Sony is likely contractually capable of using Holland whenever they chose. Though we’re not sure how this will all eventually settle out, I’ll add a little fuel to this fire. I’ve been told consistently since LAST March that there would be MCU-connections in Sony films and our source, which has been very good, has never veered from that. We’re very interested to see if Michael Mando reprises the role of Mac Gargan for Silver and Black as a measure of just how much back and forth there can be in these films because if Sony and Marvel Studios have worked out a deal in which they share more Sony-owned characters than just Spidey…well let’s just say that it is POSSIBLE that Gargan may not be the only S&B character you see in the MCU. With casting coming up for both Silver and Black and the Spidey sequel, we may know a lot more about the relationship very soon.