Joe Russo has been speaking a lot to the media about superhero films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Recently, Russo — the director of Avengers: Infinity War — discussed the subject of the difficulties associated with crafting a “cinematic universe.” He’s also getting specific about who or what actually exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A highly-anticipated superhero movie’s trailer seems to be heralding the arrival of a new hit. Venom takes the one-time Spider-Man villain and positions him as a vigilante anti-hero. The film also veers slightly into the horror genre considering the gruesome nature of the title character.
According to Joe Russo, no matter what Venom turns out to be genre-wise, the character isn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even though Spider-Man, a character shared with Sony Studios, exists in the MCU, Sony’s Venom does not.
Russo made the statement that Venom isn’t part of the MCU at a Q&A at a high school in Iowa City. Russo noted that Venom remains a Sony property, which precludes the character from being part of the MCU. Actually, one thing could bring Venom into the MCU: a new licensing agreement.
Spider-Man and various “Spider-verse” characters were licensed to Sony. Marvel Studios do not own the rights to them. The reason Spider-Man appears in the MCU is thanks to a revised licensing agreement Sony agreed to. Sony simply agreed to let “their” Spider-Man star in MCU movies. Sony had good reason to do this. The two Amazing Spider-Man films were disappointments. Sony felt Marvel Studios could reboot the character.
No shared licensing agreement exists with any other acquired properties. So, Venom the character won’t be showing up in the MCU at this time. At present, Joe Russo is correct. Things can change in the future based on how big of a hit Venom the movie turns out to be.