When Venom arrived in 2018, to kick-start Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, one question was on everybody’s lips: Will Spider-Man appear in the movie? As a comic book character, Venom is closely connected to Marvel’s most famous wall-crawler, so surely Spidey has to appear in a Venom film, right?
Well, not necessarily so.
Although Venom and Spider-Man have long shared a connection in comics, over the years Venom has established himself as a popular character in his own right and therefore could appear in a standalone story without Spidey. And that’s the route Sony Pictures wanted to take with Venom, to ensure that the studio could get a film off the ground without having to rely heavily on Spider-Man for support.
But even without having Spider-Man as a main character in the film, fans would still expect to see a Spider-Man cameo in the film. So, does Spider-Man appear in Venom?
Does Spider-Man appear in Venom?
Those who have watched Venom will know that Spider-Man does not appear anywhere in the movie – and neither does Spider-Man’s alter-ego, Peter Parker. However, it has been reported that Peter Parker was due to appear in the film.
In an interview with Collider Live in August 2019, Comedian Jay Washington revealed that Spider-Man/Peter Parker actor, Tom Holland was set to make a cameo in Venom.
Speaking on the show, Washington, said: “I’ll tell you the truth: Tom Holland did film a scene for Venom; I found this out. Marvel saw the movie and was like ‘Take him out. Take this scene out.’”
He added: “Peter Parker was in Venom, not Spider-Man – Peter Parker.”
So, while Peter Parker did not appear in Venom, he was supposed to appear in the film. And in doing so, Venom would have been connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Why did Marvel tell Sony to remove the Peter Parker cameo?
Neither Marvel Studios nor Disney (the parent company of Marvel Studios) has made any official comment regarding the Peter Parker cameo, however, from Washington’s comments, as well as the eventual critical reception to the movie, it appears that Disney was simply not very impressed with Venom.
Disney is very protective of its cinematic universe, and it’s possible that it did not want the MCU version of Spider-Man (aka Tom Holland) being associated with the movie. This association would have linked the MCU to Venom and it would seem that simply was not something Disney was keen to do at this time.
Does Disney/Marvel Studios have the power to call the shots over Sony?
Disney/Marvel Studios’ partnership with Sony is still a bit of a grey area. It is public knowledge that the two studios have worked together on the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies, and also that the relationship has had a few bumps in the road – leading to a temporary breakdown in the partnership.
In order for Spider-Man to appear in the MCU, both studios have to work in agreement. The reason that audiences have seen the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), as well as Spidey’s appearances in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019), is because the studios have been able to agree on the direction of Spider-Man.
Disney/Marvel Studios doesn’t have the power to call the shots over Sony, as legally Sony has final say over Spider-Man’s film career, however, if Disney/Marvel Studios does not see eye-to-eye with Sony then it does have the power to change Spider-Man’s path – and the same goes for Sony. In the case of the cameo, it would appear that Disney were allowed to have the final say in this situation.
If Disney/Marvel Studios pulled Tom Holland out of Venom it was because the studio believed it was in the best interests of Spider-Man (or in this case, Peter Parker) not to be including in Venom.
Did this hurt the movie? No – Venom made over $856 million, regardless of Spider-Man’s involvement and kick-started a cinematic universe that includes Morbius (2020), Venom 2 (2020), and much more.
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For further details about the Spider-Man movie series, or Venom, check out one of the recommended reads below.