Confirmed: ‘Spider-Man’ Franchise Ending After Cinematic Universe Implodes

in Marvel

Tom Holland looking surprised as Spider-Man, Venom smiling

Credit: Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures

It’s official: one Spider-Man franchise is officially coming to an end.

The past decade has been turbulent for Spider-Man movies. Fresh off a reboot starring Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland was announced as our third cinematic Spider-Man in 2015 – soon joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War (2016) thanks to an agreement between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, which retains the theatrical rights to the character.

Spider-Man in his red suit and Zendaya as MJ looking anxiously to their side, standing on a building with a cityscape behind them.
Credit: Marvel Studios

In the years since, we’ve had three standalone films for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, as well as two separate MCU appearances in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). However, in 2019, the agreement between Marvel and Sony came very close to falling apart until Holland himself persuaded Disney CEO Bob Iger to negotiate a new deal.

But as Sony and Marvel battled over Peter Parker, the former decided to forge ahead with its own Spider-Verse. Just, you know, without the actual “spider.”

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock standing in an apartment in Venom
Credit: Sony Pictures

The first installment was Venom (2018), starring Tom Hardy as journalist-turned-anti-hero Eddie Brock. While it wasn’t the best-reviewed film of all time (one critic dubbed it “an unwatchable disaster”), it raked in $856.1 million. Its sequel, while slightly better received, also wasn’t a critical hit but still pulled in a respectable $506.9 million at the box office.

Less successful, however, are the other two installments in Sony’s Spider-Verse. Both Morbius (2022) and Madame Web (2024) have flopped in every sense of the word, with the latter making a measly $100.3 million on a $100 million budget – effectively nuking plans for the big cinematic universe Sony had teased for its characters.

With its Spider-Verse lying in financial ruin, the general assumption was that Sony would soon abandon its attempt at a standalone Spider-Man universe altogether.

Venom and Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) watching the Daily Bugle news report on Spider-Man's (Tom Holland) real identity
Credit: Sony Pictures

Now, we seemingly have confirmation that that is the case, as Sony has just announced the end of its one profitable live-action Spider-Man franchise. During a conversation with Deadline, Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman confirmed that Venom: The Last Dance (2024) will be the final installment in its Venom series.

“The third and last Venom is going to be huge,” he said when asked about the studio’s upcoming release slate.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean Sony is wrapping up its entire Spider-Verse, it does seem extremely likely. Other than Venom: The Last Dance, the studio has just one more film confirmed under the Spider-Verse banner – Kraven the Hunter (2024) – which fans have already theorized is heading for the same fate as Madame Web when it premieres two months after Venom in December.

The cast of 'Madame Web' gearing up to fight
Credit: Sony Pictures

Sony has previously teased other films within its Spider-Verse, including a female-led film directed by Olivia Wilde and El Muerto, which was said to star Bad Bunny until he dropped out in 2023. However, as of May 2024, none of these have got anywhere near the production stage.

The only project that does seem to be heading that way is Noir, an upcoming Amazon Prime series that will star Nicolas Cage as a New York City private investigator in the 1930s grappling with his former identity as a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” With this set in an alternate universe, though, even this is separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe rival Sony was so clearly trying to create.

Tom Hardy as Venom, about to eat someone's head in the 'Venom' trailer
Credit: Sony Pictures

For now, only Sony’s Venom franchise is officially dead. However, if it’s axing its most promising franchise – which came so close to crossing over with the MCU’s Spider-Man thanks to a Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) post-credits cameo featuring Hardy himself – it seems like the rest of Sony’s Spider-Verse may soon follow suit.

The only question is whether it does so with a bang or a whimper.

What are your thoughts on Sony’s Spider-Verse? Let us know in the comments!

in Marvel

View Comments (10)