Spider-Man villain "confirmed" for fourth movie; but there's a twist

A major Marvel villain is rumored to appear in the MCU's Spider-Man 4 movie, but not exactly how you'd expect.
Spider-man hanging on in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. Courtesy of Sony Pictures. ©2021 CTMG. All Rights Reserved. MARVEL and all related character names: © & ™ 2021 MARVEL
Spider-man hanging on in Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. Courtesy of Sony Pictures. ©2021 CTMG. All Rights Reserved. MARVEL and all related character names: © & ™ 2021 MARVEL /

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures are busy working on the fourth Spider-Man movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Tom Holland is set to reprise the role in Spider-Man 4 in what is expected to launch a brand new trilogy for the character, perhaps even tackling more mature storylines and giving us a more comic-accurate adaptation of Peter Parker's young adult days.

As with all entries in the MCU, there is a lot speculation about what the next installment will look like, with an abundance of rumors already doing the rounds before the film has even started production. One thing that does seem certain is that Jon Watts, who directed all three of the films in the Spider-Man: Homecoming trilogy, is not expected to return for the fourth movie. But that's about it.

However, a new report suggests that a major Marvel Comics villain could appear in the movie, but with a bit of a twist.

Venom will reportedly appear in Spider-Man 4 (but not as its big bad)

According to Marvel scooper MyTimeToShineHello, infamous Marvel Comics villain Venom will have a role in Spider-Man 4 but he likely won't serve as the film's main antagonist, with that honor going to a different character. What's also interesting is that the report doesn't confirm if Tom Hardy will reprise his role from the Sony movies, or if he will be played by another actor altogether.

Hardy made a cameo appearance in the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: No Way Home when he was drawn into the MCU's world by a spell that Doctor Strange had to undo. Though he and Venom were transported back to their universe, they did leave behind a little bit of residue from the symbiote. Naturally, this has led to speculation that the symbiote will affect someone else in the world of the MCU, creating a second Venom that will become an enemy of Spider-Man's.

Venom (2018), Spider-Man 4
Photo: Venom (2018).. Image Courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment /

There is also the possibility that the symbiote will attach itself to Peter Parker himself. After all, the symbiote feed off negative energy, making its host more angry and a lot less like themselves (something that was adapted in both Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: The Animated Series). With Peter having lost almost everyone he cares about in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the symbiote would certainly make an impression on him, making him very un-Spidey-like in the process.

That might explain why Venom wouldn't be the main villain of the movie; because a corrupted Spider-Man would be struggling with the suit (and the feelings it ultimately makes him feel). Perhaps then, whenever he casts the black suit aside, the symbiote could find a new host at the end - or in the post-credits scene - of the movie, and set the stage for Venom to become the primary villain of Spider-Man 5.

Why Venom joining the MCU in Spider-Man 4 makes sense

Sony is continuing to build its standalone universe of Spider-Man characters, but it hasn't managed to achieve the levels of success that the Venom franchise has reached with any other live-action property. Morbius and Madame Web have become infamous box-office bombs, which has hindered the studio's hopes to create a shared universe outside of the Venom saga. And now it has been confirmed that the upcoming third film in the franchise, Venom: The Last Dance, will indeed be the end of the saga.

The studio's biggest success is undoubtedly Spider-Man himself, as their collaboration with Marvel Studios has allowed him to flourish in the MCU. Even so, there are certain characters that couldn't appear in the franchise due to Sony having them involved in separate properties. With their Venom film series coming to an end, now is the time to introduce the character in the MCU, allowing him to live on but in a new form.

That's why it would make most sense if it wasn't Tom Hardy's version of the character. The Venom we know (and very much love) in that series is an antihero learning to do some good due to the influence of his human host; it wouldn't make sense for him to become Spider-Man's archenemy. And so, with that chapter coming to a close, a new one could start in the next Spider-Man trilogy, officially allowing it to enter into territory that the previous trilogy could not, exploring more mature stories for Peter Parker and officially allowing Venom to make his MCU debut.

Whether or not the MCU adapts Eddie Brock's origins again, it should be a different version of the character, allowing Tom Hardy's Venom to have a triumphant send-off in his own franchise.

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