The following article contains spoilers for “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” was chock-full of exciting moments and references for fans of the wallcrawler’s storied history, but perhaps its best feature was just how much it leaned into the superhero’s legacy on the big screen, bringing back almost every single major villain from all the previous live-action “Spider-Man” movies, as well as the past two Spider-Men of the cinema themselves: Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
But as it turns out, one of the movie’s most groundbreaking crossovers actually takes place after most of the action is over. The mid-credits scene for the film follows the twist in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” wherein Eddie Brock and his symbiotic partner, Venom, are dumped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Right when Brock is about to pursue Spider-Man, though, the pair are humorously beamed back to their own world.
The sequence is clearly meant to set up the existence of the symbiote in the MCU, with Hardy’s Venom leaving a small piece behind before being sent back. Yet, the scene also feels like it’s going to be very important to the future of the “Venom” franchise, as Eddie Brock and the symbiote learn more about Spider-Man.
Now, a certain fan theory concerning the logistics of Venom’s appearance in the MCU is making the rounds, and is suggesting that the character may hold a startling connection to Garfield’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” movies.
Venom Theory: Tom Hardy’s Venom and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man could be from the same universe
A fan Venom theory made by Reddit user u/driku12 about the “Spider-Man” and “Venom” movie franchises recently gained traction on the r/FanTheories subreddit. In the thread, u/driku12 explains that they believe that Hardy’s “Venom” movies actually take place in the same universe as Garfield’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” movies.
In “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” five villains cross over into the MCU’s version of New York City. Three of them — Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, and Thomas Hayden Church’s Sandman — are from the Sam Raimi universe with Maguire as Spider-Man. Just two of them — Rhys Ifans’s Lizard and Jamie Foxx’s Electro — are from the Marc Webb universe with Garfield in the spider-suit.
The theory goes that Hardy’s Venom is technically the sixth villain that would have led to the formation of the Sinister Six team in the film. Yet, Hardy’s Venom is the only character in the entire movie to have crossed over from another universe that ostensibly isn’t the “Raimi-verse” or “Webb-verse.”
If the symbiote is a hive-mind with strands across all universes having knowledge of Peter Parker’s identity as Spider-Man, why did Hardy’s Venom pass through the breach and not a version from the two aforementioned universes? If it were revealed that Hardy’s Venom did come from the “Webb-verse,” everything would click into place. Two universes breakthrough into the MCU. Three villains come through for each.
The theory holds up, more or less
It is shown in the “Venom” movies through background references like graffiti art that Spider-Man does exist in that universe, though it has never been clarified which version of Spider-Man is wearing the suit. Couple that with the fact that Eddie Brock and the symbiote live on the West Coast while Spider-Man lives in New York.
It makes sense why the two would not have met yet. There is also enough distance between the two movie franchises that they could easily have taken place in the same universe all this time without any major plot or timeline contradictions.
u/driku12’s theory believes that Venom’s mid-credits scene in “No Way Home” directly sets up the premise of “Venom 3,” in which Eddie Brock will travel to his universe’s version of New York to encounter Spider-Man, as he planned to do so in the MCU.
There, he will encounter none other than Andrew Garfield’s version Spider-Man and the two will face off, finally giving Garfield his own alien to tangle with (after previously expressing bewilderment in “No Way Home” that both of his multiversal counterparts had fought aliens).
Only time will tell if “Venom 3” proves that this Venom theory is correct, but fans are certainly clamoring for Garfield to return as Spider-Man in some shape or form after his stand-out performance in “No Way Home.” A stealth “Amazing Spider-Man 3” in the form of “Venom 3” would be a welcome surprise.