Why Sony's Venom (2018) movie is a huge mistake

The folks at Sony that own the rights to Venom, from the Spider-Man universe, are about to make a huge mistake. Instead of waiting for the next Spider-Man film to be released – by Disney-owned Marvel – they're releasing Venom in their own separate Sony universe. That means no cross-overs – and no tie-ins with any of the established characters already out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The next Spider-Man movie is going to have Iron Man in it because Marvel struck a deal with Sony to make a Spider-Man movie. This wouldn't be a big deal for Marvel if Marvel owned the rights to Spider-Man in his entirety, but that's not the case – and it's complicated how it breaks down.

The rights to Spider-Man films were optioned by Cannon Films from Marvel Comics in 1985 for $225,000. In 1989, Mr. Golan went to head 21st Century Film Corporation and extended his license to Spider-Man films (which would last until 1992). At some point around 1990, James Cameron was called upon to write a script for a Spider-Man film.

In 1991, Golan worked with Carolco to extend movie rights to Spider-Man to 1996. In 1996, Marvel, Carolco, and 21st Century all went bankrupt. Movie rights were then optioned by Marvel to Columbia, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The first modern Spider-Man movie made by Sony was the 2002 Spider-Man, then came Spider-Man 2 in 2004, and Spider-Man 3 in 2007.

The first film was a box-office smash, the second did OK, and the third was the beginning of the end of the series. Spider-Man 4 was cancelled, but Sony Pictures Entertainment retained the rights to Spider-Man's universe for movies. The next round of Spider-Man films began with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, then the same film "2" in 2014.

In 2016, Spider-Man appeared in Captain America: Civil War, and blew everbody's eyeballs out of their sockets. In 2017 the film Spider-Man: Homecoming is coming. Both of these films are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – which is completely separate from the universes presented in previous Spider-Man movies.

This afternoon, Sony Pictures announced (with the photo above) that Tom Hardy would be playing Eddie Brock in a film called #Venom – or probably just "Venom" without the hashtag. But their Tweet-based announcement had the hashtag, so take that as you will. Here's hoping they don't put "3D" in the title and ruin the franchise before it starts, like whoever decided to ruin DREDD by calling it DREDD 3D.

In the Tweet they make very clear that this Eddie Brock will be part of the "Sony Marvel Universe" which isn't necessarily any universe we've seen in films before. They suggested also that Venom would be released on October 5th, 2018, and that production starts this fall.

So instead of making a deal with Marvel, who've destroyed the box office every single time they've released a Marvel Comics movie over the past decade, starting with Iron Man in 2008, Sony is going to make another movie in their own universe. They've decided that two rounds of Spider-Man in their own universe weren't enough. They need to go for another.

Here's hoping they take some cues from what Fox did with Deadpool and let the film be a massacre – just like Venom's supposed to be presented as. Let there be tips of Carnage – and let the second film be TOTAL CARNAGE!