Although there have been an absolute ton of contradictions on this topic, it now looks like Sony's Venom film will actually be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after all. This was seemingly confirmed by former Sony Pictures Chairperson and Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Amy Pascal in an interview with Fandom, where she said the following:
“First, there is Spider-Man happily in the place where he’s supposed to be which is in the Marvel Universe. I think everything comes from that. This is the signpost, the tentpole, the signature and… the other movies that Sony’s going to make, in their relationship to this [MCU] Spider-Man, take place in this [separate Sony] world. Although you’re not going to see them in the Marvel Universe, it’s in the same reality.”
This comes after she previously mentioned in a video interview that Venom would be part of the MCU, only to be refuted by Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege several days later. Feige called her statement in the interview above “the perfect answer”, so at least he agrees with her this time.
Her "separate Sony world" statement seemed to suggest that although Venom would be set in the MCU, it would not be connected to the events of the other films or feature the same characters (Feige again seemed to back this up when he told Variety that Spider-Man would not appear in Venom).
Sony's Venom movie is set to arrive on 5 October 2018. It will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, with Tom Hardy in the titular role.
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