Sony has gone back to its old ways. The same studio that was thisclose to creating a spy movie based on Aunt May has now decided that instead of fully embracing the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will opt to go its own route and create a separate Spider-Verse. Because it worked out so well the first time with The Amazing Spider-Man franchise.
Currently the plan is to create a film universe based around #SpiderMan antiheroes that will start with an R-rated Venom movie that will not connect to Spider-Man: Homecoming. As of right now we've heard no plans of even including Spider-Man in the film.
The problem with this? How can you have #Venom without Spider-Man? Venom is essentially directly modeled on Spider-Man, since the Wall Crawler served as his first host. This is true of almost every incarnation of Venom, so could Sony really create a Venom movie without Spider-Man?
Unfortunately, #Sony could change Venom's backstory and possibly even have this version exist in a universe without Spider-Man. While we'd hope the studio realizes the terrible backlash it'd receive, it's still a possibility.
However, there is a way that both Sony and the fan base could profit from this idea. Instead of connecting Venom to the #MCU's Spider-Man, the studio can instead put an alternate version in this film. If you're new to the Spider-Man lore, then you wouldn't know there is a ton of alternate Spider-Men and Women floating around in the multiple different Marvel comic universes.
This is essentially what Sony's Venom universe would be, right? An alternate universe separate from the MCU. So why wouldn't an alternate version of Spider-Man exist here, too?
Instead of using Peter Parker, the opportunity could be taken to introduce a new and lesser known version to the big screen. It would be easier and less confusing to just ride the MCU bandwagon and make the Venom movie within the MCU, but whatever — we're not bitter or anything. Here are five versions of the Web Slinger that could appear in the Venom movie.
Miguel O'Hara — Spider-Man 2099
While this one is the least likely simply due to Miguel O'Hara's Spider-Man existing in the not-too-distant future of 2099, anything is possible from Sony at this point. If the studio wanted to imitate Logan's futuristic mix of superheroes and R rating, then this would be the best choice. This future also has a Venom 2099, so it's not like the idea is being pulled out of thin air.
O'Hara is a fan favorite for a lot of the same reasons that Batman Beyond has such a large following. He's grittier, more complex, and has a cooler suit than the original. Miguel's story offers more complexity because it is a representation of how big corporations have corrupted the population, leading to a detrimental future, and how he's coming to realize these things since donning the mask.
Venom 2099 is the same Symbiote that we all know and love, just with genetic mutations that have developed over the years. It may be a long shot, but there is a story in the year 2099 for Sony to develop if it wants to distance itself from the original Spider-Man.
Ben Reilly — Scarlet Spider
One of the most well-known alternate Spider-Men, Ben Reilly is a clone of Peter Parker who believed himself to actually be Parker, before discovering the truth and leaving to start his own adventure as the Scarlet Spider. This Spider-Man may be complicated to explain, what with him being a clone, but he's as close as you can get to the original Spider-Man.
Ben has existed within the comics for many years, including taking over as Spider-Man for an extended period. His iconic suit would look amazing in live action as well as allow for him to be even further removed from the the MCU Spider-Man. While this is another character that technically cannot exist without #PeterParker, he is still a character fans love and perhaps Sony could update his backstory so that he is no longer just simple clone.
This would allow for Venom to be the center of attention, since Ben Reilly's character more closely resemblance both the look and attitude of Peter Parker. It would give Sony a Spider-Man not named Peter Parker, while also keeping from having to devote too much time to his character.
Gwen Stacy — Spider-Gwen
This is where things start to get interesting. #SpiderGwen popped onto the scene with thunderous applause from fans, and has become one of Marvel's bestselling comics; a big feat for someone who exists in an alternate universe story. This is a version of Gwen Stacy that switches roles with Peter Parker and becomes Spider-Woman.
Spider-Gwen is a character who is sure to reach live-action stardom in coming years, but it's yet to be decided how she'll be introduced. Since Sony is already developing an alternate Spider-Man universe, where Spider-Gwen originates from, then maybe this can be an easy call.
Venom is not as prominent of a villain in the Spider-Gwen comics, but there's no reason why that would stop Sony from being creative with the story. A film with two fan-favorite Spider-Man characters could be a major cash cow, and we all know how enticing that would be.
Miles Morales — Spider-Man
Sony is already developing an animated film starring Miles Morales, so why not kick that up a notch and just make Morales the official Spider-Man of Sony? He exists in a separate universe from Peter Parker and has a large enough fan following to attract major attention, which could lead to a live-action role.
Having already developed an animated film based off the character shouldn't cause Sony to stray from this idea, considering the studio is already so enamored of the idea of having multiple different universes. This would just be another one. If it really wanted to get inventive, Sony could even have the animated film tie in to Venom.
Venom and Miles have an identical relationship in the Ultimate Marvel comics, which would be an easy transition into a film. While the R rating really doesn't fit Morales' character, his not being in the central plot would allow it to squeak by.
Kaine Parker — Scarlet Spider
We're going back to a clone, but for a much different reason than with Ben Reilly. Much like Venom, Black Cat and Silver Sable — who are all occupants of this Sony universe — Kaine is an antihero. He has a brutal personality that would fit with the R rating of Venom more so than any Spidey version listed above and gives Sony plenty of room to work with from a story standpoint.
Kaine is a failed clone of Peter Parker who develops mental instability from a mix of aftereffects from the cloning process and rejection from his creator. We run into some of the same problems we did with Reilly where you cannot have Kaine without Peter Parker, but this character offers you a little more flexibility with his extreme differences from the original Spider-Man.
Kaine and Venom are two characters that fit so well into an R-rated movie that it makes perfect sense for Sony to throw these two together into an alternate universe of films. Venom would also be able to shine as the main focal point of the film, since Kaine is such a lesser-known character to casual fans.
Venom is expected to hit theaters on October 5, 2018. Which version of Spider-Man should appear in the Venom movie? Tell us what you think in the comments.