Movie Reviews

Black Panther – Movie Review

Black Panther is the 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it continues the story of T’Challa, otherwise known as Black Panther, that was set up in Captain America: Civil War. After the death of his father, T’Challa must take up his mantle as king of Wakanda, a secluded, technologically advanced country in Africa. When his power is challenged by Erik Killmonger, he realizes what it takes to be king. Ryan Coogler directed the film, and this is his third feature film after Fruitvale Station and Creed, two near-perfect movies, and Black Panther is no different.

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Image via Variety

This is the first major blockbuster movie with an entirely Black cast, so the expectations were extremely high. They took this on by highlighting the African culture in Wakanda. They didn’t shy away from the mysticism of the Black Panther lore. Everything about the origin was straight from the comics.

Marvel let Coogler go all out with the set design in the movie. It’s absolutely gorgeous, especially scenes in Wakanda, with vibrant colors, extravagant architecture, and Oscar-worthy costume design. All of the technology also added to the uniqueness of the scenery. The country was so beautiful, well-realized, and detailed that it became a character in the movie.

The story is incredibly exciting and thoughtful. They give you a fun superhero movie while highlighting some of today’s most pressing issues. This is one of Marvel’s most serious movies up there with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it can certainly still be enjoyed like any other comic book movie.

Although the story is what makes the movie special, the action is still prevalent and well-done for the most part. The choreography should be commended, especially in a one-take scene in a casino. All of the scenes with Black Panther and the scenes with the Dora Milaje were impressing enough to get reactions from the audience.

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Image via Marvel.com

Chadwick Boseman is becoming one of my favorite actors, with this after 42 and Get On Up he’s getting great at playing influential Black people. His powerful performance as T’Challa drives the movie because he brings a certain regalness that coincided with him still learning how to be a king.

The supporting cast is phenomenal and integral to the movie’s structure, the cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, and Winston Duke. M’Baku was probably my favorite supporting character, he commanded the screen whenever he was featured with his presence, yet he had some of the funniest moments of the movie. Winston Duke gave a great performance, and he’s definitely someone to watch out for.

In the supporting cast, a group that was highlighted prominently was the Black women. Danai Gurira plays the leader of the Dora Milaje, and she is badass along with the rest of the group. Not only are the warriors put into the spotlight, but Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia was a female that wasn’t necessarily a warrior but could handle herself. Letitia Wright was one of my favorites as Shuri, she is T’Challa’s sister and creates most of his tech. Their relationship felt authentic and brought levity to the movie.

As consistently great as the Marvel movies are, one of their problems is that they have trouble making writing good villains for their heroes. Michael B. Jordan completely inhabited the character of Erik Killmonger, and the combination of his performance and the writing made him one of the best Marvel villains yet. He was a character who knew exactly what he wanted, and he pushed past all barriers to skip straight to that.

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Image via The Verge

When he explains his backstory and why he’s doing what he is, you feel for him and maybe even agree. This does what Marvel rarely pulls off by having the audience understand and empathize with the villain. You almost want his ideas to come to fruition because of the perspective he comes from and the way Michael B. Jordan sells the character.

Of course, the movie isn’t perfect. Some of the CGI is overabundant and ends up looking like a video game. This was most obvious in certain parts of a car chase sequence and the final fight between Black Panther and Killmonger.

With those issues aside, I absolutely loved this movie. It’s a giant step forward for diversity in film, and it’s just a great movie from Ryan Coogler. The story is gripping, the cast creates some great characters, and Marvel gives us a fantastic villain, which is rare.

As late as this review is, you’ve probably seen the movie by now, but go see it if you haven’t. The movie has been immensely successful in the box office already, but it still deserves to be seen and supported by everybody.

Rating: A

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Image via Variety

Have you seen Black Panther? If so, what did you think about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Movie News

Riz Ahmed in Talks for ‘Venom’

Looks like the one of the stars of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in Sony’s new Spider-Man spinoff movie, Venom

Image via standard.co.uk

THR reports that Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jason Bourne, and The Night Of) is in talks to be in Venom, the Solo movie for the Spider-Man villain. The report states that he will not play the villain of the movie, Carnage, who Sony is still looking to cast. The movie will star Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom and be directed by Ruben Fleischer. 

The Sony movie movie, Venom, has gone through some confusion as to its involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One moment it was separate, then it was in it, then it was separate again. As of now, it will not take place within the Spider-Man: Homecoming universe. It will be a completely separate story focusing on Venom. Riz Ahmed is a great up and coming actor who will be getting lots of work once he builds up his filmography further. Even though I’m not completely satisfied with Sony’s decision to make this movie, this adds a second great cast member and make me a little bit more optimistic about the movie.

Image via Screen Rant

What do you think about Riz Ahmed being cast? Leave your comments below.
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Movie News

Disney Starting Their Own Streaming Service;Ending Deal With Neflix

Since 2012, Disney has been putting their movies on Netflix once they release on Blu Ray with a deal they’ve had. This will change based on what Disney CEO, Bob Iger, stated.

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Image via Lucasfilm

In an earnings call, Bob Iger announced that in 2019, Disney plans on starting their own streaming service which will have many Disney movies and television shows. This means that instead of like it is now, when we get movies like Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,  and Zootopia, we won’t get any new movies on the service. Netflix replied to a concerned fan on Twitter and confirmed that this deal will not affect the Marvel Netflix TV shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage.

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Image via Disney

This could change the way we view Disney owned movies from now on. We don’t know many details about the service, but there is plenty of room to speculate. If they want to make a profit, they would have to charge a certain amount. With that, they would have to host a worth while amount of movies and TV shows. This will most likely include many older Disney movies, maybe some MCU movies, Pixar, and Disney original animated movies.  If they choose to also add their newer movies, which in 2019 will include Star Wars: Episode IX, Captain Marvel, and Frozen 2, people might not buy them on Blu Ray and digitally.

There are many factors that could affect this like how long the movies will stay, the price of the service, or there could even be ads on the service. Another possibility is that Disney could make exclusive content. They could make a Marvel show on it, a live action Star Wars TV show, or anything they want. Whatever happens, this could go very well for Disney if people are really into this idea. However, people already pay for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so they might be too late to the game with this one.

What do you think about Disney’s new streaming service? Would you buy it? Leave your comments below.

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Movie News

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Begins Production Plus Plot Synopsis Revealed

Marvel has announced that the upcoming Marvel movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp, has started shooting. They released the following video to show fans that they’ve started.

Along with the video, Marvel also released this synopsis for the movie:

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink: “Ant-Man and The Wasp.” In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang (Rudd) grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne (Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

Peyton Reed will return as director while Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly are coming back to star as the title heroes. Michael Douglas, Michael Peña, and T.I will reprise their roles along with Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, and David Dastmalchian. There will also be a few new cast members including Laurence as Dr. Bill Foster (a.k.a. Goliath), Walton Goggins as Sonny Burch, Michelle Pfeiffer as Janet van Dynne, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, and Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo.

The first Ant-Man was a really great movie, despite the silly concept. It was also, in my opinion, the funniest Marvel movie so far. I hope this movie can capture the same elements that made the first one work so well.

What do you think about Ant-Man and the Wasp? Leave your comments down below.

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Movie News

Josh Brolin Confirms Thanos Will Be In Avengers 4

Yesterday, Josh Brolin went to Instagram to let the fans know that he is starting filming for the untitled Avengers 4.

The Infinity War trailer was shown at both D23 and San Diego Comic Con. One of the main thing people took away from the trailer was how great Thanos was. They’ve been building up Thanos since the first Avengers movie. So, it makes since that Marvel would give him all the time he deserves in these next two Avengers movies.

Avengers 3 and 4 were originally going to be called Avengers Infinity War Part 1 & 2. They changed it afterwards because the movies are apparently two completely separate stories, and the dividing it into parts ddn’t reflect the movie very well. I hope the two movies still feel separate, even with Thanos as the villain in both movies. I just don’t want a “To Be Continued” at the end of the first movie.

I can’t wait to see Josh Brolin as Thanos in these upcoming movies. The past ten years have been leading up to this guy, so it seems like it will pay off based on what people say he did in the Infinity War trailer.

 

 

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Image via Dark Horizon

What do you think about Thanos being in both Avengers movies? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Movie News

Marvel San Diego Comic Con 2017 Recap

Marvel had a huge show at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend. I’ve already covered DC’s presentation at the convention, and now I will be going over Marvel’s panel.

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Cate Blanchett talking about Thor: Ragnarok

Like I said in the DC review, I was not at the convention, and I am just compiling all of the news from various blogs and articles. The panel started with a sketch with Paul Rudd and Michael Pena doing a recap of the past ten years of the MCU. (I hope this is released online) They then showed concept art of Ant-Man and the Wasp, and also revealed the logo for the movie. They showed the new suit for Wasp, which apparently looks more yellow. They showed a smaller Ant-Man riding his daughter’s back, Ant-Man growing and flipping a car over, and a giant Scott Lang peeking around a street corner. They also revealed some new casting for the movie: Hannah John-Kamen will play the Ghost, Randall Park is Agent Jimmy Woo, and finally Laurence Fishburne will be Dr.Bill Foster, aka Goliath.

Next, they showed Captain Marvel concept art. They confirmed that Nick Fury will appear in the movie. It will be set in the 90’s, so Fury will have two eyes, and the villains will be the Skrulls. After that, they had the cast and crew of Thor: Ragnarok talk about the movie. Tom Hiddleston said that Loki has been pretending to be Odin for the past four years. Mark Ruffalo said Hulk refuses to be Bruce Banner because he is a popular gladiator on Sakaar. He also said that because he hasn’t changed into Bruce Banner in two years, Hulk has the vocabulary of a two year old. Something I found interesting was that Jeff Goldblum revealed that his character, the Grandmaster, and the Collector are brothers. They are Elders of the Universe, so they are the oldest living being in the universe. Now, he rules Sakaar and puts on fighting games. They did a Q&A with the fans and showed the new trailer.

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Captain Marvel fighting Skrulls

Marvel had the Black Panther cast come on stage and talk their experience, and the whole cast seems to be very invested in this movie. You can find what they said online, but they all seem to understand their characters really well. Ryan Coogler, the director, said he walked into a comic store, asked what he should buy, and was given Black Panther. They also showed some footage, which they made clear would not be released online, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. It’s been described as a James Bond like scene with T’Challa and Okoye tracking Ulysses Klaw, and then fighting afterwards. Also, apparently Klaw has a robotic arm… that’s cool. Then, as expected, they showed that famous trailer for Avengers: Infinity War that they showed at D23.

All of this news is pretty exciting. I guess Laurence Fishburne left DC, because now he’s in Ant-Man and the Wasp. So, don’t expect to see Perry White anytime soon. Seriously though, I am really excited to see the sequel to Ant-Man because of how funny and unexpected that movie was. Captain Marvel being set in the 90’s is interesting, it’ll be nice to see what the MCU was like in that time period. We’ve never had a full movie set in the past. I hope they don’t reveal how Nick Fury lost his eye because I personally want that to stay a mystery, but there is a good chance they will reveal it. I don’t know much about the Skrulls, but it seems like they are a big part of the comics. So, I guess I’ll wait and see.

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New Black Panther Poster

I’m even more excited for Black Panther now. The first teaser trailer got me very excited to see what Marvel could do with the character. I can’t wait to see what Ryan Coogler can do after his work on the phenomenal Creed. The Thor trailer was amazing! I have’t been a fan of the Thor movies thus far, but but this movie looks like a lot of fun. It seems funny, crazy, wild, and Hulk! They didn’t show Doctor Strange, even though they said he would be in the movie. I don’t want them to, I would rather see him in the movie proper. Marvel always does a great job at Comic Con, they haven’t let me down since Thor: The Dark World in 2013.

What do you think of the Comic Con news? What movie are you most excited for? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Movie Reviews

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the first solo Spider-Man movie to take place in the MCU, and the sixth solo Spider-Man movie ever. It is about Peter Parker dealing with balancing his Spider-Man life with his high school life. After his adventures in Captain America: Civil War, he wants to be an avenger, but he might not be ready just yet.

Image via Marvel Studios

I’ve been waiting for a good Spider-Man movie for thirteen years. I believe Spider-Man 2 is one of the best comic book movies of all time, but every installment after that was disappointing. I’m happy to say that Spider-Man: Homecoming gets the character right again. 

I love how this movie has a younger Peter Parker. He’s fifteen in his sophomore year of high school, whereas in previous movies he either graduates in the first movie, or just doesn’t touch on that aspect at all. The main reason we relate to Spider-Man is because he’s just a kid running around saving lives, and he has real world problems. There are instances when he suffers in his real life because of him having to be Spider-Man. Him being young brings a lot of fun to the movie. The movie is really funny, and Tom Holland sells the role so well. You can feel how Peter is just having a blast being Spider-Man. He’s always anxious throughout school to get out so he can swing around and be a hero.

Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best friend, Ned, and their chemistry makes the movie a lot better. We haven’t seen Peter Parker with a real best friend is any of the movies that didn’t bail on him in the first movie. Another neat aspect is that Peter goes to a special math and science school, so Flash Tompson isn’t a typical jock bully to Peter, he’s really just a jerk to him. I liked that because in today’s world, that cheesy type of bullying doesn’t happen as much, it’s more verbal bullying nowadays.

Image via Marvel Studios

Spider-Man is written differently than we’ve seen before in the movie. He’s young, so he makes stupid decisions and learns from them. He also thinks he can do anything because he has powers, but he quickly learns where his boundaries are throughout the movie. This is only the first chapter in his story, so it leaves a lot of room for the character to grow and develop. Tony Stark keeps Peter in check because he made his suit. The trailers made it seem like Iron Man would be in the movie too much, but this is very much Spider-Man’s movie. There isn’t a single moment when you think that he is being overshadowed be Robert Downey Jr. He always comes in when it’s necessary for the story, and the scenes don’t revolve around him.

Michael Keaton plays the villain of the movie, the Vulture, and he’s probably one of the best ever villains in the MCU. You might think that he is silly because of his character in the comics. While he is campy in the source material, they go a completely different route in the movie and it works. It wouldn’t be as good as it was without Michael Keaton. I won’t spoil anything, but there’s a scene in a car between Vulture and Peter that I think is Keaton’s best scene in the movie.

One of my problems with the movie was that it wasn’t as emotional as I wanted it to be. Sure, there are some great acting scenes in the movie, and it is a lot of fun, but during the fight scenes there seems to be a lack of stakes. The movie plays it safe, and doesn’t really take any risks for the character. In the Sam Raimi movies, I still sit on the edge of my seat for the action scenes 15 years later, but in this movie it just seemed cool without feeling much for the character. Spider-Man is a great character in the movie, and the action scenes are good, but it just wasn’t everything I wanted. The third act of the movie also felt very overblown and crazy. I would have preferred it to feel more grounded, but they took a different approach and took the explosion route. It wasn’t as bad as it was in movies like Batman v Superman, but I found it to be too much for a Spider-Man movie.

I would definitely recommend Spider-Man: Homecoming. If you haven’t already you should go see this movie.(I’m so late with the review, you should have seen it already) It’s my second favorite Spider-Man movie of all time behind Spider-Man 2. 

                        Rating: A-             

Image via Marvel Studios

What did you think of Spider-Man: Homecoming? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Also, what movies do you want me to review? Any topics you want me to discuss? Leave those down below as well.

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Movie Reviews

‘Spider-Man’ Movie Review

Welcome to my series of Spider-Man reviews! I will be discussing all three Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies  this week leading up to Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spider-Man was released in 2002, and it was the highest grossing weekend for a movie at the time. This was probably one of my favorite movies growing up, I watched it over and over and over again. I could quote the movie in a heartbeat, and I still can. This time around, I really wanted to analyze the movie and see if it really is a good film. I am happy to say, that this movie holds up almost perfectly.

Spider-Man is a really fun comic book movie that could stand on its own, before everything has to set up a universe. Tobey Maguire is a really great Peter Parker. That first scene of the movie where the camera pans through the bus, then focuses on Peter trying to catch up is a great introduction. He really captured the lonely nerd aspect of Peter, the nerd was best portrayed in the lab scene where he’s so amazed by all this technology. You really root for Peter because he’s a good kid and he makes good grades in school, but he can’t catch a break from Flash Tompson.

Image via Amino Apps

Aunt May and Uncle Ben portrayed by Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson were fantastic additions to the movie. I think they were both used perfectly. Uncle Ben is almost like a cool dad in some ways, he never gets mad because he realizes he’s raising a teenager. Robertson plays the death scene to perfection. I really felt for Peter in that scene. Aunt May is the person who always knows what to do just like she should be, unlike another version of her character that constantly worries about Peter. It’s not heavy handed, but she just feels like a sweet, wise person.

I also enjoyed the relationship between Harry Osborn and his father, Norman Osborn. They have a broken relationship because Harry wants his father to be proud of him, but he doesn’t have the best grades. Norman also clearly likes Harry’s best friend, Peter, much more.  

Image via Sony Pictures

One of the common criticisms of the movie is the Peter Parker and Mary Jane relationship. I think it still works. It might be a little cheesy at some moments, but they really captured what it feels like to have a crush on someone. Kirsten Dunst does a great job in the role with seeming like the popular girl around her friends, and then being very genuine with Peter. 

As for the actual filmmaking, the movie still works. Sam Raimi is used to having a low budget and using practical effects. A lot of the movie is shot in camera, feeling very visceral and real. Especially many of the  scenes with Spider-Man. The montage with him fighting crime shows how he’s this mysterious figure. 

Willem Dafoe is perfectly cast as Green Goblin. One of my favorite scenes is the mirror scene, and they establish this almost split personality that he struggles with. Dafoe did most of the stunt work for the film because of how passionate he was. If you look at his filmography he clearly didn’t need this role, but he put all of his effort into it and it shows on screen. Some people seem to have a problem with the costume as it looks like a power ranger. I don’t have a problem with it because it seems practical. It’s designed for the military, so they would need some type of armor protection. Also, if you think that looks silly, you must not have seen the original costume from the comics with the bright green and purple. I thought that it worked and fit with the fun tone of the movie.

Image via Sony Pictures

We can’t do a review of Spider-Man without talking about J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. He has to be the most perfectly casted person of the whole series. Every scene he’s in is amazing. He just feels like he was ripped right out of the comics.

The movie does has a couple flaws despite it being great. Some of the CGI feels dated, like the scene when he climbs up the building after Uncle Ben dies. Also, while Kirsten Dunst is great, Mary Jane is a damsel in distress in most of the movie. She is really just there for Peter to have a crush on her. She does have some great scenes when she’s just talking with Peter and it feels very authentic, but she gets saved by Spider-Man a lot throughout the movie. For example, the parade scene, the alley way scene, and the final act are all scenes where she just relies on Spider-Man. Even when he asked her to climb down the rope, she just says that she can’t do it. This is one of the only ways the The Amazing Spider-Man improved from this movie with Gwen Stacy. 

All in all, this movie is great. It reminds us about the times when studios could just let the writers and directors make a good movie, and they didn’t have to put their hands in it to make the movies set up an entire universe. It’s simply an origin story about one of my favorite comic book characters.

Image via Sony Pictures

What do you think about Spider-Man? Do you like it? I really encourage you all to comment. I like to hear other people’s thoughts and I’d like to start a discussion down below.

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Movie News

Fox Sets 6 Marvel Movie Dates Plus Website Updates

20th Century Fox, the studio responsible for the current X-Men franchise, has set 6 dates for upcoming Marvel movies. The dates are as follows:

June 7, 2019

November 22, 2019

March 13, 2020

June 26, 2020

October 2, 2020

March 5, 2021

Image via 20th Century Fox

I think it’s safe to assume one of these dates is for Deadpool 3, most likely June 2020. One is probably an X Force movie, and we will definitely get a main X-Men movie. The other three are interesting. We could get the scrapped Gambit movie as one of these dates (which no one wants). James Mangold has said he would direct another movie with X-23, so one could involve that. As for the third, it is way too early to even think about. They set these dates pretty far out, especially the 2021 date. I’m not even sure if they know what movies they’re making.
Anyways, Fox has been showing promise with movies like Deadpool and Logan when they try comic book movies that try something different. I hope the future of the X-Men franchise follows that philosophy.

Image via Entertainment Weekly

What do you think about these dates? What movies do you think they will make? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

I will be incorporating more personal projects on the site instead of doing mainly new stories. This might include review of older movies, rankings, editorials, and more. This will start with reviews of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies this week in anticipation for Spider-Man: Homecoming. I’ll still cover the news, but I want to do more than just that. If you have any suggestions for things I could do, leave them in the comments. I could really use some suggestions!

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Movie News

Venom Will NOT Be a Part of the MCU

The solo Venom movie has gone through some interesting times with its involvement, or lack there of, in the MCU. In an interview with Collider Tom Holland, Kevin Feige, and Amy Pascal all confirmed that the Sony spinoff Spider-Man universe movies, including the Venom movie, will not be a part of of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Image via Google
This is interesting because last week, Amy Pascal said Venom would be in the universe with Spider-Man: Homecoming after Kevin Feige said they were separate. Tom Holland gave the following statement after being asked if Tom Hardy’s Venom movie was separate from his movie:

“Sadly, I think that is true. From my understanding, I think that is the case. I’d love to make a movie with Tom Hardy. If we ever got the chance to make a Venom movie together, that would be super-cool, but his movie would have to take place in the MCU because I’m not giving up my ticket in the MCU.”

He was then asked if Spider-Man swinging past the screen would establish a shared universe:

“It would. It definitely would. And we’ll have to wait and see what happens. If it did happen, it would be very cool, but as of now, I know nothing about it.”

Amy Pascal was asked to confirm if Spider-Man would appear in any of the spinoffs and she said the following:

“For now, correct. All of them are part of the Marvel comic universe. Not all of them are part of Marvel cinematic universe.”

The entire interview with her and Kevin Feige is linked above.

Image via Marvel Studios
This wasn’t completely unexpected because of the look Kevin Feige made in the interview where Pascal said they would be in the same universe. I would rather them be in the same universe, but this is what comes with Sony owning Spider-Man. The only plus side with this is if the movie fails, it won’t be in the MCU, so they can still put Venom in there. However, that might not happen because Tom Hardy signed on to it, and he is known for being picky with the movies he gets involved with.

This just leaves me wondering what Pascal was thinking when she said Venom was in the MCU. Was she confused? Did we just misinterpret what she was saying? Part of me thinks Sony and Marvel talked about it, and Sony took it as them being together. That probably didn’t happen though.

Image via Marvel Studios
Pascal did say “for now” in her quote. Maybe Marvel is letting Sony test this out, and if it works they will announce that they are in the same universe. I could understand this because Sony is known for botching shared universes (ex. The Amazing Spider-Man 2). I really hope the movie is good. I can’t wait to see Venom and Carnage  fight on the big screen!

What do you think about Venom being separate from the MCU? Do you want them together? Leave your thoughts below.

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