The MCUniverse was not enough, and it’s all getting a bit confusing. ‘The Marvel Cinematic Universe’ refers to a shared continuity between a number of different movie ‘worlds’: Iron Man, Thor, Dr Strange, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, and soon Spider-Man (the third reboot in a decade!) and Black Panther. This allows filmmakers to craft fun team-up stories leading to the big team-up stories in the form of The Avengers.
Naturally, managing all these characters is difficult for writers, and some franchises are separated into their own ‘universes’ where the Avengers aren’t an all-powerful force. Deadpool and the X-Men have received this treatment, granting them license to tell their own stories, at their own pace, without audiences asking, “Why doesn’t Iron Man show up? Where’s Thor?”
And now, two more names are set to join the ranks of non-canonical, separate universes: Venom and Silver & Black, tentative steps into the realm of villains and side-characters as protagonists. If they perform well in the box office, Marvel has a bottomless pool to draw from: countless secondary roles from decades and decades of comic books.
As a knock-on effect, these movies’ financial success (or failure) may affect the budgeting and marketing of the upcoming Sinister Six movie, another Spider-Man spinoff.
Venom will be directed by Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame, while negotiations are in progress for Silver & Black’s directorial role.