We have talked plenty about Sony’s attempts to launch an MCU-adjacent, live-action “Spider-Man Universe of Marvel Character” (SPUMC, lol), with films such as Morbius and Madame Web, and how it never goes well for them…except in the case of Venom.


In 2018, Tom Hardy’s passion project—seriously, no joke—finally made it to the big screen. Venom is not “good” in any typical sense of the word, but it has a weird, rom-com charm as Hardy portrays both down on his luck reporter Eddie Brock and sentient space goo Venom. That movie defied all sense and logic to go on and make over $850 million, an unqualified hit.


The sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage was released in October 2021, and even in the pandemic-hobbled box office, still pulled together an impressive $500 million, making Venom the improbably successful little franchise that could. Now, the third film in the franchise is coming, and it’s titled Venom: The Last Dance, indicating this might be Hardy’s last go-round as Eddie Brock and his sticky boyfriend. 

Does Venom: The Last Dance look good? No. It looks SO stupid. But at this point, I don’t think anyone is expecting “good” from this franchise, they expect Tom Hardy to give a truly bizarre but completely committed performance as both Eddie and Venom. They expect will-they/won’t-they vibes from Eddie and Venom (if Eddie has masturbated, then, haven’t they?). And they expect bananas action sequences like Venom possessing a horse. I admit, the Venom-horse made me laugh. Even without narrative context “Venom + horse” is a good bit. There is also Eddie and Venom saving a bunch of dogs, which 100% tracks with Tom Hardy: real life dog lover


Interestingly, the trailer does include a bit with Cristo Fernández, who appeared in the Spider-Man: No Way Home post-credit scene in a bit that establishes a drop of Venom goo got left behind in the MCU universe during the events of that movie. So, is The Last Dance called that because Eddie is going to die? The trailer certainly wants us to think that. Or is it because this is what launches Venom toward Spider-Man 4 and finally giving fans what they want: Venom in the MCU.

The problem with that is that Marvel has resisted all attempts to merge Sony’s SPUMC and the MCU. So even if Marvel DOES take in Venom, does that mean they’re taking on Tom Hardy, too? Because that’s what fans want. They want Tom Hardy’s Venom to go up against Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. It’s not just about the characters, it’s about those specific actors appearing in a film together. Of course, we won’t know until The Last Dance comes out and we find out what happens in this latest installment of Venom Is Our One Working Non-Spidey Franchise


Also interestingly, this trailer is over three minutes long. Trailers are supposed to be two and a half minutes or less, but studios get a handful of exceptions a year for longer trailers, which they typically use for their biggest, flashiest releases. Warner Brothers, for instance, consistently used three-minute trailers for the Dune movies. It really says something about where we’re at with movies in 2024 that Sony considers Venom worthy of a three-minute trailer.