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Venom: How to watch Tom Hardy's Marvel anti-hero in release and chronological order

Want to get started on watching Marvel's Venom? Here’s how to do it!

Venom poster cropped
Image credit: Sony Pictures

Get ready to sharpen your teeth and extend your tongues, because it’s time to get Venomized. Eddie Brock was a disgraced reporter before he bonded with the Venom symbiote. Once they came together, they became an anti-hero with a thirst for violence. Have you ever had a friend who was a bad influence on you? Imagine what it would be like if that friend was permanently bonded to your body, and that should give you an idea of Eddie Brock’s relationship to the alien symbiote. On the plus side, the symbiote augments Brock’s strength and agility. Plus, it makes him look cool.

Venom was originally created in 1988 as an antagonist for Spider-Man. Since his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #298, the anti-hero has exploded in popularity. This has led to a blockbuster film series, starring Tom Hardy as Venom. Are you ready to sink your teeth into Hardy’s Eddie Brock? Then follow this guide, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know before you watch Venom.

How to watch Venom in release order

Tom Hardy as Venom
Image credit: Marvel

Tongues out, it’s time to get started on the Venom film series. If you want to watch Venom in release order, here is how you would do it.

Note: Venom’s appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home is limited to a post-credits scene. However, it sets up a plot point that might become important in future films. The next Venom sequel is currently scheduled for 2024.

How to watch Venom in chronological order

Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote
Image credit: Marvel

If you prefer watching Venom in chronological order, or you’re just curious about when each film takes place, follow this handy list.

  • 1996: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (opening flashback scene)
  • 2018: Venom
  • 2019/2020: Venom: Let There Be Carnage (note: Andy Serkis stated that the film takes place approximately 16 months after the first film.)
  • 2024: Spider-Man: No Way Home (note: According to Marvel Studios, NWH takes place in 2024.)

Other movies that reference Venom

The Spot meets Mrs. Chen
Image credit: Sony Animation

The 2022 film Morbius contains a few references to Venom. An FBI agent refers to “the thing from San Francisco,” and Morbius scares one of his victims by calling himself Venom. According to director Daniel Espinosa, Morbius takes place in the same cinematic universe as the Venom films. For more on Venom’s shared continuity, please refer to the next two sections of this guide.

Mrs. Chen, a supporting character from the Venom movies, appears in the 2023 film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The convenience store owner is seen when a character called the Spot uses his portals to travel to different universes. One of those realities turns out to be the live-action universe that the Venom films take place in. Mrs. Chen has a brief exchange with the Spot before the villain departs.

Is Venom part of the MCU?

Venom licks an image of Spider-Man
Image credit: Sony Pictures

Yes and no. Confused yet? Don’t worry, we’ll explain it.

Venom does not take place in the same reality as the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He can’t visit Stark Tower or journey to Wakanda. Venom’s films are produced by Sony Pictures. There is a Marvel logo at the beginning of the films, due to Marvel Entertainment’s involvement. However, the logo doesn’t mean the films are part of the MCU, so don’t expect any Chris Evans cameos.

While Venom isn’t a part of the MCU, he is connected to it. Venom: Let There Be Carnage ended with Eddie Brock being transported to the MCU. His trip there was brief, and he warped back to his own universe during a post-credits scene in Spider-Man: No Way Home. This established that Venom’s universe is part of the MCU multiverse.

So, while Venom’s films aren’t technically canon to the MCU, they are part of the larger Marvel multiverse – which means they’re kind of canon, depending on how you look at it.

What universe does Venom take place in?

Venom at a rave
Image credit: Sony Pictures

The official name for Venom’s film universe is Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. This designation was first used by Sony during a 2021 presentation at CinemaCon. Prior to the convention, fandom referred to the cinematic continuity as the Venomverse or Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (which is a mouthful). If you’re curious, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse revealed that its numerical designation was Earth-688.

In addition to the Venom films, the SSU also consists of Morbius, the upcoming films Kraven the Hunter, Madame Web, and a series of other films in development. Due to licensing deals Marvel conducted decades ago, Sony Pictures has the cinematic rights to Spider-Man and all Spidey related characters in the Marvel Universe. This means that Sony Pictures can’t produce their Captain America film, but they can make a Black Cat film, as that character is considered part of the Spider-Man film rights package.

Sony Pictures is using these characters to build their own superhero universe. Interestingly, although the continuity is known as Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, the Tom Holland Spider-Man films and the animated Spider-Verse films aren’t part of that reality. As of now, we haven’t seen a Spider-Man operating in the SSU, but future films might explore that concept.

What about Topher Grace’s Venom?

Topher Grace as Venom in Spider-Man 3
Image credit: Sony PIctures

Tom Hardy isn’t the first actor to portray Venom in a live-action film. In 2007 Topher Grace, the actor best known for playing Eric Forman on That ‘70s Show, donned the symbiote in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Grace’s Eddie Brock acted as a rival photographer to Peter Parker, before bonding with the Venom symbiote. He battles Spider-Man, but ultimately perishes in an explosion.

Sony Pictures briefly considered bringing Grace back for a solo Venom film, but ultimately went in another direction. Grace’s Venom has no connection to Tom Hardy’s Venom. He isn’t a part of that continuity of films and should be considered a separate entity. Simply put, you don’t need to watch Spider-Man 3 to understand the Venom films.

Where can I watch Venom?

Venom on a couch
Image credit: Sony Pictures

You don’t need an alien symbiote to watch the Venom film series, but you will need some streaming memberships. The 2018 Venom film is currently available on Disney+. As of this writing, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is not available on any streaming services, but it can be watched as part of some live-tv packages, such as Sling TV. The film is expected to make its way to the Disney+ library as part of a recent deal between Disney and Sony. Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently available to Starz subscribers. However, it is also expected to make its way to Disney+ at some point in the future, thanks to the previously mentioned deal.

This should give you everything you need to enjoy the Venom film series. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some good old-fashioned symbiote violence.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Joshua Lapin-Bertone: Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.


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