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The Real Reason Venom Won't Be In Spider-Man: Far From Home

It seems compulsory these days that every MCU movie is met with a flurry of fan theories before it's released, most of which hit so far from the mark it's amazing fans keep trying. But they do, and even after most theories about Avengers: Endgame proved duds, the theories about Spider-Man: Far from Home are flying, including ones that include Venom (Tom Hardy) appearing in the film. 

There actually are decent reasons to think Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Venom will meet on the screen at some point. Venom director Ruben Fleischer has called the potential clash "inevitable," and claimed that both Holland and Hardy are excited about the idea. So the actors want it and the fans want it — what's the problem?

Venom and Spidey may very well meet on the big screen, but it seems unlikely that it'll happen in Far From Home. As much potential as the clash could have, there are plenty of reasons why Far from Home is far from the right choice for a meeting between these two. Here's a look at the reasons — including the timing, the story details, and a whole bunch of behind-the-camera complications — Venom won't be showing up in Spider-Man: Far from Home.

Venom's a little dark for the MCU

Venom's obviously a much darker hero than Spider-Man. While Eddie Brock wouldn't let his symbiote kill cops in Venom, when it came to crooks he had a more fluid moral compass. Venom literally eats people. His solo film was PG-13 because the filmmakers cleverly left a lot to the audience's imagination — like making it clear Venom eats a guy in a bodega without actually showing the devouring. 

Venom edges over the content line Marvel Studios has established for itself. Heroes kill bad guys in Marvel movies, sure. Hawkeye's (Jeremy Renner) transformation into Ronin in Avengers: Endgame was the darkest we've seen any of their heroes go, but even then the worst of what he did was revealed thirdhand by Rhodey (Don Cheadle). No hero in the MCU eats people. 

None of this is to say Venom is too dark to ever show up in a Spider-Man film, but he's too dark to star in this one. With Disney's acquisition of Fox, there are likely a lot of conversations going on behind the scenes about content. For example, we know Disney is interested in more Deadpool movies and has pledged to not water him down for younger audiences, but it's doubtful he'll be part of the larger MCU anytime soon. Likewise, it will probably be a bit before Disney gives the thumbs up to superheroes who eat muggers. 

Too Stark a contrast

It's difficult to imagine a natural chemistry developing between the big-screen Venom and the Spider-Man of the MCU. One of the reasons their conflict worked in the comics is that, even before Eddie Brock got the symbiote, Parker and Brock were in somewhat similar situations. They were roughly the same age, they were both photojournalists working for the Daily Bugle, and largely because of Brock's competitive nature they were rivals. 

We don't have the same situation here. Not even close. In Venom Eddie Brock is already an investigative journalist. Peter Parker hasn't graduated high school yet. We haven't even seen Parker work a camera other than the one on his phone. 

It's easy enough to imagine the two trading blows and banter when Spidey's in costume and Venom is all Venomed up. But if these two meet in a movie, it will likely be the classic trope of the superheroes fighting until they realize they're on the same side, at which point they team up. Imagining Parker fighting alongside someone like Venom is a little tough. In the trailer for Far from Home, Parker doesn't even want to talk to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) on the phone. He's intimidated by Fury but he'll work with an oily pile of black slime that sounds like a gargling demon when it speaks? That seems unlikely.

Too many bad guys

One of the worst things to happen to Spider-Man, to superhero movies, and to humanity was 2007's unendurably long Spider-Man 3 — an embarrassing end to an otherwise triumphant trilogy and the first live-action film to adapt the character of Venom. Topher Grace starred as Venom in Spider-Man 3 and he wasn't alone — his villainous character was joined by the New Goblin (James Franco) and the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church).

One of the many things that ruined Spider-Manwas that there were so many villains, and so much story involved with them, that Venom's eventual appearance had to be held off until the end, rushed and unsatisfying. Sure, we've since seen great superhero flicks with three or more villains since Spider-Man 3, but only when the filmmakers severely narrowed the scope of some of those roles; for example, Batroc the Leaper (Georges St-Pierre) and Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) were both in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but they were each limited to a single sequence.

In Far from Home we've already got Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), Hydro-Man, Molten Man, and possibly the Chameleon. Not to mention there are so many rumors and theories about secret bad guys, they pretty much include every Spider-Man villain to ever be in more than two panels of a comic book. Most of them will be no-shows, but it's still clear there's no room for Venom.

Too many dad guys

A common thread throughout a lot of Spider-Man stories is the appearance of surrogate father figures. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) was an obvious replacement for Parker's absent father, and even Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) — in a twisted way — acts as something of a parental figure to Parker in Homecoming

From what we've seen of Far from Home, it seems clear the filmmakers have set up Nick Fury and Mysterio to be dueling mentors to Parker. In the trailer it appears Spider-Man looks up to and takes guidance from Mysterio while director Jon Watts describe Fury's role in the film as being like a "mean new stepdad" compared to the "supportive cool uncle" Peter loses when Tony Stark dies in Avengers: Endgame. Since we know Mysterio is a villain in the comics and will almost definitely be revealed as a villain in the movie, Mysterio will probably be much friendlier and supportive in order to gain Parker's trust.

Throwing Venom in the mix would give us one too many surrogate dads. Brock is, like most guys in this movie, older than Parker and has some abilities similar to his. Once they stopped beating each other up, Peter would see him as another role model, and he's already got enough to deal with in that department with the spymaster and the illusionist.

Just too much

Besides Venom's presence meaning too many villains and too many father figures, throwing Venom into this movie would just be too much. 

There's a lot going on in Spider-Man: Far from Home. It's the first Marvel Studios release following Avengers: Endgame, meaning we'll be dealing with the consequences of arguably the most game-changing MCU film since Iron Man. We've got Spider-Man working with Nick Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). We've got a romance blossoming between Parker and MJ (Zendaya Jones) and another one between Happy (Jon Favreau) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). We've got Mysterio, who will almost definitely turn out to be a villain, whatever his plans ultimately prove to be, along with the Elemental villains Hydro-Man and Molten Man, and any other bad guys who feel like popping up. Not to mention the introduction of a multiverse to the MCU — check out multiverse episodes of CW superhero series like The Flash or Arrow to see if you think it's a concept that makes things simpler.

Fitting Venom in all that would be difficult, to say the least. It would seem like a much better idea to have the two meet in a movie tailor-made for that confrontation. 

Fonzo

In 2016 Tom Hardy was announced as the lead for the upcoming Fonzo. Directed by Josh Trank of Fantastic Four infamyFonzo is reportedly a biopic about famous gangster Al Capone after his release from prison. In 2016 Hardy signed on for Fonzo's lead role and in 2017 Trank said the film would be released sometime in 2018. That never happened, because a symbiote hero got in the way and Hardy filmed Venom in 2017. In March 2018, Hardy announced Fonzo was next on his to-do list and filming began in April of that year. 

With Far from Home filming in London in July 2018, that wouldn't give Hardy a lot of elbow room. Hardy had already delayed Fonzo once for Venom. It doesn't seem likely he'd do it again for someone else's franchise. Since we know Fonzo is set to release by the end of 2019, that means Hardy showed up for work and didn't ditch it for Marvel

Multiverse?

One of the reasons fans think Venom will making an appearance in Far from Home is the game-changing introduction of Marvel's multiverse. If Marvel's part of a multiverse like what we saw in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, then maybe Venom and the upcoming Morbius took place in one of its alternate timelines. If Spidey winds up traveling through the multiverse, one of the places he visits could be the world where Venom occasionally eats people.

Of course, then there's a countering theory — which makes at least as much sense if not more — that Mysterio is lying about being from another Earth and the multiverse has nothing to do with what's going on in Far from Home. While Mysterio presents himself as an ally of Spider-Man in the trailers and TV spots, in the comics the character is one of Spidey's oldest villains. Not only that, but his abilities in the comics revolve around creating illusions to trick people. It's conceivable he's not only tricking Spider-Man, but Nick Fury as well. Whatever sensor readings or results Fury has that points to a door opening to other universes could have been faked by Mysterio. If that's the case, then that closes the door on Venom, or at least on the theory that he'll show up because of the multiverse.

Venom needs Spidey-free time

Some fans may not have been happy with Spider-Man not appearing in Venom or having nothing to do with the character's movie origin. Regardless, the film not only divorced Eddie Brock's story from Peter Parker's, but that decision was redeemed by record-breaking ticket sales. Venom proved itself as a profitable franchise, with advanced ticket sales outperforming a number of successful MCU movies. The character has become an entity all his own, independent of Spider-Man, and it's likely Sony wants to keep things that way.

But Venom still doesn't have as many movies under his belt as Spider-Man, who is now part of the crowded MCU narrative. Introducing Venom to that world now, when he's just starting to make a name for himself, could derail things. His solo franchise would suffer if he's once again seen as merely a Spidey spinoff. Give Tom Hardy another movie or two with his symbiote buddy, and then maybe he'll be ready to co-star with Spider-Man.  Particularly with the MCU riding high off the twin successes of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, it's too soon for Venom to stand next to Marvel's other heroes and not get lost in the glare.

The growing VenomVerse

No doubt hoping to capitalize on the success of the film, Marvel Comics made some big changes to Venom in 2018, including relaunching his title and altering the history of the Klyntar — the species from which the symbiote hails — rendering both Venom and his race a more integral piece of the Marvel Universe. 

Eddie Brock learns early in his most recent series that his symbiote was on Earth much earlier than he believed and met a man named Rex who had been merged with the alien during the Vietnam War. Venom met and battled a space god named Knull who held dominion over all symbiotes and learned Knull had fought Thor centuries before. Since these revelations Venom's origin has taken on a more cosmic scope. Knull and his sword the All-Black have been mentioned beyond the pages of Venom in titles like Thor, Avengers, War of the Realms, and Guardians of the Galaxy, suggesting Knull's story will eventually explode into something encompassing more than just Eddie Brock and his symbiote.  

If Marvel Studios wants to see Venom in its movies, it may want to wait until it gets the opportunity to introduce these newer, grander aspects of his mythology. As we mentioned earlier, there's already a lot going on in Far from Home. Knull, the All-Black, and everything else would likely need its own movie separate from Mysterio and multiverses and Peter Parker's newest crush.

Why would Venom care?

It's difficult to imagine a reason why Venom would care about what's going on in Spider-Man: Far from Home enough to get involved. Venom is his origin story and he more or less gets caught up in all of that for reasons beyond his control. But Venom presents Eddie Brock as an investigative journalist living in San Francisco, and crimefighting-wise he's no Spider-Man. Why would he buy a plane ticket to London to help an Avenger fight a dude made out of water? 

Sure, if some kind of world-ending conflict spilled into San Francisco he'd pitch in where he could (and from the trailers, it seems like most of the action in Far from Home will be in Europe), but otherwise there's no obvious motivation for Venom to get involved in the events of Far from Home. Really, since it's probably difficult for the symbiote to eat bad guys made of water, sand, or lava, he'd probably prefer to stay in San Francisco where he and Eddie can hunt for more edible quarry. 

Sony

Disney has a deal with Sony regarding Spider-Man, but that deal doesn't include Venom. In order for the character to appear in a Marvel Studios movie alongside Spider-Man, a new conversation would need to happen and Sony would need to agree with it. It might be premature to assume Marvel Studios would come out of such a conversation with what they wanted. 

When Marvel and Sony hammered out their current Spider-Man deal, Sony's attempts at rebooting the Spider-Man film franchise had failed. They had a lot of motivation to work with Marvel Studios. That isn't the case with Venom. In spite of being an utter disaster according to criticsVenom made mountains of money. While the character is strongly associated with Spider-Man, he isn't so strongly tied to the rest of the MCU. Since the first film was a hit, from Sony's perspective there's no reason to tie him to the larger MCU mythology. Arguably, as far as Sony's interests are concerned, having Venom show up in Far from Home — or any other Marvel Studios film — would serve only to dilute the franchise.