One of the most frustrating pieces of information coming though the entertainment pipeline in recent weeks was the alleged status of Sony’s stand-alone, Spider-Man cinematic universe within the greater context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the home to the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy). These movies would not only not include Spider-Man, but wouldn’t include any references of any kind to anything happening in any of the MCU movies.
Common sense would dictate that these two, disparate franchises would have nothing to do with one another. They’re made by different film studios, with different people in charge, wouldn’t connect to one another (even superficially) and wouldn’t even so much as share characters. Although adapted from the same source material, they would nevertheless have as much to do with one another as the DCEU and the Dark Universe.
The head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has even repeatedly, emphatically gone on record denouncing any would-be connection between the two series. Although the intellectual property rights for the Spider-Man brand of characters is a messy, confusing kerfuffle, the end result is pretty clear cut. Marvel now has access to Spidey & friends while Sony can continue to make whatever unrelated Spider-Man movies they want.
The problem is, this isn’t what Sony’s been saying about their arrangement with Marvel. Amy Pascal, the woman in charge of Sony’s film division, has been making the press rounds ahead of Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s release telling anybody who’ll listen that Sony’s future Spider-Movies will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They might not have the same characters, creative talent or be able to reference one another, but they will share the same continuity.
This has understandably lead to widespread confusion and frustration. Are the movies releated? Will Tom Hardy’s Venom show up as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy? Will Sony’s Kraven the Hunter stalk Tom Holland’s Spider-Man through the same Queens devastating by the Battle of New York? Is Marvel Studios going to be locked into creative decisions by the same people who gave us Spider-Man 3?
While speaking to Fandango’s Erik Davis , Amy Pascal clarified her position on the issue. She told Davis that while her company’s planned superhero movies will be based on Marvel comics, they won’t be set within the MCU. Taking to Twitter, Davis stated:
Just spoke w/ Amy Pascal & Kevin Feige who clarified that Venom, Black Cat, etc are in the Marvel comics universe but not the MCU[.] Pascal said she was itching to clarify that after the story this week. Those other movies will not take place in the MCU
While I do like the idea of a Venom solo movie — or of the Sinister Six as some kind of Marvel-branded Suicide Squad — I don’t want them so badly as to go crawling to Sony for them. I want them, yes, but I want them on Marvel’s terms: from the same creative team that brought us the decade-long success of the MCU and all of my favorite super-powered movies. This was thankfully the reassurance I needed in Marvel’s continued ability to direct the course of their own cinematic universe, free from the interference from outside companies.