venom director

You likely could’ve guessed this, but Venom director Ruben Fleischer has made it perfectly clear: Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios had nothing to do with Venom. Fleischer is quick to add that he hopes one day, Feige and the MCU will play a hand in Venom‘s future. For now, though, Tom Hardy‘s brain-eating slime monster is on his own.

Venom is now licking audiences everywhere with his giant tongue, and the reactions have been…mixed, to say the least. The anti-hero film sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating:

“Venom’s first standalone movie turns out to be like the comics character in all the wrong ways – chaotic, noisy, and in desperate need of a stronger attachment to Spider-Man.”

Perhaps in anticipation of this tepid response, the folks involved with Venom have been making vague excuses. Star Tom Hardy went ahead and said his favorite scenes in the movie ended up on the cutting room floor (he later backtracked that statement). Co-star Michelle Williams was honest enough to admit she did the movie for the money. And now director Ruben Fleischer is revealing that Kevin Feige and the MCU had zero input in the project.

When asked by Metro if Feige played a part in Venom, Fleischer said: “No. Not in any way,” before adding: “I hope that at some point they will be able to crossover. But for us the entire process was self-contained.”

Again, I think everyone could’ve figured this out on their own, but Fleischer’s comments read to me as if he’s trying to excuse why his film isn’t up to snuff: if only Feige and company had weighed in, it would’ve been better – maybe next time! And will there be a next time? It’s hard to say. Venom‘s box office tracking has been relatively strong, but poor word-of-mouth might kill the momentum. On top of that, even if the film does end up being a big hit, that doesn’t necessarily mean a sequel will happen. After all, Batman v Superman and Justice League both made money, but the overall negative reaction to those films inspired Warner Bros. to go back to the drawing board and retool the DCEU. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens for the Venom-verse, or whatever we’re calling it now.

In the meantime, all is not lost for Sony’s Spider-Man–themed flicks. They have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swinging into theaters in December, and early reaction to that film has been overwhelmingly positive. I imagine at this point the powers-that-be at Sony are ready to cut their losses with Venom and embrace the good vibes from Into the Spider-Verse.

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