Earlier in March, the comic book fandom was left giddy with excitement when Sony announced that they would be doing a Venom movie — a film that Hollywood has been trying to make for a very long time. The enthusiasm for the upcoming movie stems from the hope that the character — whose last appearance on the big screen was universally reviled — will be given a just adaptation this time. This emotional state among fans is akin to the one we had when Fox announced it would tackle a Deadpool film, after the character was bastardized in the god awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The raunchy R-rated picture turned out to be a commercial and critical success.
A little over a week ago, things got a lot more frenzied when it was announced that potential 007 actor Tom Hardy had been cast as Eddie Brock, the alter ego of the titular character. The film will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, whose previous works include the uproariously funny Zombieland.
With a great helmer behind the camera, and one of Hollywood’s hottest actors set to star, the hype is justified. Well, that’s until you consider the fact that the film will be set in Sony’s movie universe, or the Sony Marvel Universe, as it is uninventively referred to. #Venom is better suited for the #MCU. Here’s why:
1. Marvel Has A Proven Track Record
Let’s start off with the really obvious reason: #Marvel is at the vanguard of the Golden Age of superhero movies, the box office figures and the acclaim speak for themselves. Kevin Feige and co. have managed to build a well-oiled film-producing machine capable of turning B-list comic book titles — like Guardians of the Galaxy, which features a vocabulary-challenged tree and a contrarily motor-mouthed, triangle-faced monkey — into a billion-dollar franchise.
2. The Spider-Man Factor
Everything about Venom can be tied to one, and only one, element: Peter Parker, who currently exists in the MCU, and not the Sony Marvel Universe. Venom’s origin is Peter’s doing — he found the symbiote suit and brought it to Earth where it found a second host in Eddie Brock after Spidey rejected it. Venom's abilities — adhering to walls, sensing imminent danger and web slinging — are derivative of Spider-Man's. Eddie Brock’s motivation is to exact vengeance on Peter after he screwed up his career and life. If Peter and Spider-Man are taken out of the equation, it’ll mean Venom has a different origin story, a different outfit, different powers, and a different impetus in life. Ergo, he will become a completely different character.
3. Venom’s Origin Story Can Fit In Marvel’s Infinity War Arc
In Venom's previous on-screen appearances, the symbiote has come to Earth in two ways: via a meteor shower (Spider-Man 3), and when it was brought home by astronaut John Jonah Jameson, son of J Jonah Jameson (The Spectacular Spider-Man). However, the actual way it finds Peter is during The Secret Wars arc (the 1980s one), which marked the first appearance of the black gooey suit.
Marvel’s next major event is Infinity War that, despite being a different narrative, shares the extragalactic backdrop against which Secret Wars is set. Avengers: Infinity War would therefore make a good jumping-off point for the Venom movie. Sony including alien worlds into its story universe will feel contrived given there has been no previous mention of aliens anywhere else.
4. Venom Has Been A Member Of The Guardians Of The Galaxy
Eddie Brock and Peter Parker haven’t been the only hosts of the symbiote suit. The other less popularly known hosts are Mac Gargan (an investigator hired by JJ Jameson to investigate Peter), and Peter’s high-school nemesis Flash Thompson. However, it was the latter who joined the ragtag team of space cowboys working under the alias "Agent Venom" since his possession of the suit was part of a military initiative. There was an awesome Planet Of The Symbiotes arc in 2014 that saw the guardians rescue Flash from the symbiote’s home planet.
I admit there are benefits to be reaped from Venom being set in Sony's universe; for instance, the opportunity for the movie to be R-rated. However, the MCU would be a much better overall fit.
Would you prefer Spider-Man being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Sony Marvel Universe?