“The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters.” Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? But I’m willing to accept an awkward name for Sony’s collection of Marvel tales if it means we get to spend more time hanging out with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his symbiotic partner Venom (also Tom Hardy)—and we do! Sony has greenlit a third Venom film, which is absolutely no surprise given the buckets of money the first two have raked in at the global box office.
Sony announced a few other bits of SPUMC news at CinemaCon, a convention for theater owners, including the addition of a new comic book hero to their lineup: Bad Bunny will play El Muerto in a standalone film set for 2024.
Bad Bunny is the stage name of musician Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, who Variety notes “will be the first ever Latino actor to headline a live-action Marvel movie.” El Muerto (real name Juan-Carlos Estrada Sanchez) is a wrestler, the latest in a long line of wrestlers who possess a mystical mask that gives them super strength. The film sounds very much like an origin story; Variety reports that “Sony brass suggested Ocasio will portray an antihero on the verge of inheriting his father’s power.”
Sony also gave theater owners a sneak peek at a highlight reel that included Kraven the Hunter footage—and showed the first fifteen minutes of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which takes place in six universes and apparently wastes no time getting to Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) and another Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, voiced by Issa Rae.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will be in theaters June 2, 2023; its sequel, newly titled Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, is set for March 29, 2024. El Muerte is scheduled for January 12, 2024. No release date was announced for Venom 3.