The deal between Disney and Sony might be over. Unless something miraculous happens, the next few Spider-Man films will remain outside the influence of Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At times like these, it can be hard to see any silver lining to what is frankly terrible, awful news for superhero fans, especially following the success of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But, arguably, there is one thing.
If there is any silver lining, it is that Spider-Man can now interact with Sony's other films. Sony has had luck on their own with hits like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom. Now, given the end of their deal, could this lead to Tom Holland interacting with Venom outside of the MCU? And is this at all remotely worth it?
Let's Try to Be Positive
Spider-Man would never really have been able to blend with Venom in the current Marvel deal. Venom was, by all accounts, outside of the MCU. While popular, the film never made an attempt to connect to the greater MCU, even though it never contradicted it either.
There were always discussions on whether or not Venom would ever cross over with Spider-Man. Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal both gave contradictory reports on the matter. But the common consensus, if one could be found, was that Venom existed outside the MCU. It existed as a "Marvel adjacent" title.
Now, however, that is no longer the case. Spidey can interact with Tom Hardy's Venom. The symbiote costume? Spider-Man can have that. This drastically reshapes the potential direction Venom 2 can take.
In addition, this also means that other Spider-Man projects Sony has lined up, such as Morbius, will be in continuity with future Spider-Man films. Spinoff films can further flesh out Spider-Man's world. Considering the vast number of characters in Spidey's world, there are a number of films that can be made. Though considering Sony at one point considered producing an Aunt May spinoff movie, this might not be as positive a thought as one might hope.
What Will it Not Cost?
This trade-off, of course, does not come at the expense of Tom Watts or Tom Holland, who, undeniably, are two of the most important aspects of the new Spider-Man franchise. Both are valuable additions to Spider-Man's greater lore. Both were hired by Sony (with Disney's input).
Likewise, the actors in general who are cast will maintain their roles. The continuity of the franchise, in theory, will remain intact, though, much like how The Dark Knight Rises avoided ever mentioning the Joker, Sony will, presumably, never mention Tony Stark.
But we're dodging around the big issues here.
What Did It Cost?
It is clear that the MCU does not really need Spider-Man to function. The MCU is a well-oiled machine with several factors that can easily help guide the path going forward for another decade without ever needing Spider-Man.
However, that doesn't mean that Spider-Man isn't a desired cog in a machine. Almost everyone outside of Sony execs want Spider-Man to remain in the MCU.
Furthermore, even if Spider-Man wasn't necessary in the MCU, the MCU was essential to this Spider-Man. Stark Industries? The events of Avengers: Endgame? All of that was essential to this iteration of Spider-Man. Spider-Man was on the cusp of irrelevance under Sony's sole management. With the added boost of Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home became Sony's top grossing film of all time.
What Spider-Man Will Lose
There will be no MCU references in Spider-Man. No MCU characters in Spider-Man. Happy Hogan won't appear. The Star Tech used to create Spidey's outfits will have to go. Any references to Tony Stark will be omitted. Midtown High will have to ignore anything that happens in the MCU.
Making this even worse? All of Spidey's villains up until now have ties to the greater MCU.
This will only become increasingly bizarre when, inevitably, some huge event occurs that will directly affect Midtown or New York City.
Furthermore, any future Avengers film will be unable to feature Spider-Man. No MCU films can feature Spider-Man anymore, which also means that the Human Torch will never be able to become Spider-Man's best friend. After all, in the comics, those two are thick as thieves. But with them once again in separate continuities, the hope that they could bond together is nonexistent.
On that note, Spidey will lose a chance to interact with any of the X-Men, too. Considering Peter dated Kitty Pryde in the Ultimate Universe for a little while, this means another character Peter could have interacted with is now off the table.
In short, Spider-Man will end up trapped on an island, divorced from all the things that made this iteration of Spider-Man so amazing. But at least we got Venom.