Following the record-breaking box office success of Ruben Fleischer’s Venom back in 2018, we can now look forward to the sequel. In this year’s Venom 2, we re-join investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his symbiotic alien buddy Venom (voiced by Hardy).
Fleischer won’t be returning to direct the sequel – instead, Planet of the Apes star Andy Serkis is taking his place. However, Venom 2 will reunite cast members Hardy and Michelle Williams (who plays Brock’s love interest Anne Weying), and is set to give us a proper look at Woody Harrelson as Venom’s arch-rival Carnage, who was teased in Venom’s post-credits scene.
With no trailer or official synopsis at the time of writing, we don’t know much about the sequel. However, we do know that both Venom 2 and its predecessor, Morbius (released this summer), are the latest chapters in Sony’s Marvel Universe (SMU), which is separate from the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). We think that Venom 2 won’t just connect to Morbius, but also the MCU – and here’s why…
1. Spider-Man could cameo in Venom 2
Back in 2015, Sony and Disney signed a deal allowing the Sony-owned Spider-Man character to appear in the Disney-owned MCU. This opened up a world of possibilities to comic-book fans, who could now look forward to seeing their favourite wall-crawler fighting side-by-side with the rest of his superpowered brethren. This began with Tom Holland's infectious debut as Spider-Man in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, followed by his two solo movies, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
However, despite the deal, Sony still held exclusive rights to iconic Spidey villain Venom. But when Venom’s solo movie was announced, plenty of speculation circulated as to whether or not Tom Holland would appear in the film as Spider-Man, connecting the MCU and SMU franchises together. Unfortunately, he did not.
That said, there’s hope for Venom 2; in summer 2019, the Sony-Disney deal was renewed, just when it looked like Spider-Man would crash out of the MCU altogether in the wake of the hugely successful Spider-Man: Far From Home. As part of the deal, Holland’s web-slinger will appear in his third Spider-Man movie, due for release in July 2021, plus an undisclosed “Marvel Studios movie”.
And rumours are now suggesting that Holland is in talks to appear in Venom 2. Moreover, with Marvel President Kevin Feige stating that a future meeting between the pair is “likely”, and Sony not denying a Spidey cameo, we may finally get the cross-over we’ve been waiting for.
Maybe the future “Marvel Studios movie” refers to an MCU Phase Five project in which Venom and Spider-Man go head to head?
2. MCU villain Vulture appears in Morbius
Jared Leto stars as living vampire Michael Morbius in this summer’s Morbius movie. The film precedes the release of Venom 2, and appears to share important connections with the MCU. Not only do we see the word ‘murderer’ graffitied onto Spider-Man’s image; a key character from MCU movie Spider-Man: Homecoming also features in the trailer: Michael Keaton, who reprises his role as villain Adrian Toomes/Vulture.
We last saw the imprisoned Toomes in the mid-credits scene of Homecoming where he spoke to fellow inmate Mac Gargon (Michael Mando) – otherwise known in the Marvel comics as Scorpion. In the Morbius trailer, Leto, at one stage, appears to be wearing an orange jumpsuit that looks suspiciously like a prison uniform.
So, it’s not out of the question to believe that he and Toomes first cross paths in prison, making an alliance with Scorpion along the way, and thereby forging a connection between the MCU and SMU franchises.
3. Morbius could set up a future MCU Phase Five film
The connections between Sony’s Marvel Universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe don’t stop there. Now we know that Morbius will be tying the two together, it’s not out of the question to believe that the Sony franchise could leave its mark on Phase Five of the MCU.
While we still don’t know much about the planned Phase Five films, we do know that vampire hunter Blade will reappear in the not-too-distant future, played by Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali. What’s interesting about this character, specifically, is his comic book counterpart was given vampiric powers after he was bitten by a mutated Morbius.
Of course, we have no idea if these films will be connected. Will Ali’s new incarnation of Blade make a mid or post-credits appearance in Morbius? That will give us more than enough reason to stick around until the very end.
Morbius is released in Cineworld cinemas on the 31st of July, and Venom 2 on the 2nd of October. Do you think both movies will tie themselves to the MCU? Let us know your thoughts @Cineworld.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team. Follow him on Twitter.