'Venom' Isn’t Affected By 'Infinity War' & It's All Because Of An Entirely New Marvel Cinematic Universe

Sony Pictures

There are a ton of superhero movies these days. 2017 saw the release of six films based on Marvel or DC Comics heroes alone, and this year will feature another seven. The most recent to hit was Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one that will have devastating consequences on the franchise moving forward. One upcoming film based on a Marvel character is Venom, which hits theaters this October, but is Venom affected by Infinity War, or is the movie entirely separate from whatever's going on with the Avengers?

The short version is this: Venom is in no way affected by anything that happened in Infinity War. The longer answer, however, is considerably more complicated. Back in the 1990s, long before Marvel Studios began producing its own films in 2008 and Disney bought the company in 2009, Marvel Comics sold the film rights to a number of its characters to various studios. The rights to Spider-Man and his related characters — including Venom — ended up with Sony, and the studio produced its first Spider-Man film in 2002. This was followed by two sequels in 2004 and 2007, the latter of which featured Venom as a villain. The series was rebooted with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, which was followed by a sequel in 2014. That film underperformed with critics and at the box office, which led to yet another reboot. But this time, things would be different.

Giphy

Marvel Studios, owned by rival studio Disney, reached a deal with Sony on a new series of Spider-Man films. This rebooted version of the character would be produced and creatively handled by Marvel Studios, and would appear in their own Disney-distributed films, but he would also star in Sony's own Spider-Man movies, which would take place within Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time (confused yet?). The new Spidey, played by Tom Holland, debuted in Disney's Captain America: Civil War in 2016. He then starred in Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, and popped up again for Disney in this year's Avengers: Infinity War. So what does any of this have to do with Venom?

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Technically, nothing. Venom is a Spider-Man character, and is a holdover from the old deal where Sony can produce films without the aid of Marvel Studios. After Marvel and Sony reached their deal on the new Spider-Man movies, there was an assumption that Sony would not continue producing their own Marvel films outside of the MCU. But that's not the case. Sony is now pursuing their own separate Marvel film universe that doesn't include Spider-Man — since he's part of the MCU — and instead only features other peripheral characters whose film rights they maintain; like Venom, and Silver Sable and Black Cat in the upcoming Silver & Black. The line on these separate universes was blurred when producer Amy Pascal, formerly of Sony and whose Pascal Pictures is producing the Spiderverse films, said in a Filmstarts interview alongside Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige that Venom and other Spider-Man offshoot films will take place within the same world as the MCU, which caused Feige to make this face and become a meme.

Pascal later clarified to Fandango's Erik Davis that the peripheral Spider-Man character films were not a part of the MCU, and would instead make up a separate universe of Sony films based on Marvel Comics but without input from Marvel Studios. The first of these films is Venom, which will kick off its own Marvel movie franchise outside of the MCU — and without Spider-Man.

It remains to be seen how Venom will function as a character sans Spider-Man, given that the character's origins are directly tied to the hero in the comics, but one thing's for certain: He won't be affected by anything Thanos does.