The MCU brain trust has been incredibly calculated in crafting their super-powered universe, and no hero has required more finagling from these higher-ups than Tom Holland's Spider-Man.
Seeing as Spidey's big screen rights are still owned by Sony Pictures, and that studio continues to pump out entries into its own Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSMU), Marvel Studios has had to walk the tight-rope of playing nice with the webhead's rights-holders and using the character in their own story.
Up to this point, Holland's wall-crawler has yet to properly appear in an SSMU film (aside from some recycled footage in Venom: Let there be Carnage), and, apparently, that is for no lack of trying on Sony's part, with Vernon's Tom Hardy saying he "would do anything to make [a crossover] happen." But Marvel Studios has seemingly dug its heels in, going as far as to nix any potential cameo for the hero up to this point.
Marvel Studios Shut Down a Tom Holland SSMU Cameo
According to a report from Heavy Spoilers on YouTube, Marvel Studios restricted Sony Pictures from using Tom Holland's Spider-Man as a cameo in 2018's Venom.
They report that "Tom Holland was meant to feature in [Venom]," but "Marvel Studios pulled the plug on it and said, 'No way.'"
It was noted that "one of the stipulations" in Marvel Studios' new deal with Sony (signed in 2019) was "that the franchises connect to the MCU," something that fans have seen play out in very small ways.
This allowed Kevin Feige to "basically [yank] the Venom symbiote and put it in the MCU," something that was featured in Spider-Man: No Way Home's post-credit stinger.
Leaving a Spidey-Sized Hole in Venom
One of the biggest questions fans had going into 2018's Venom, was "does this actually connect to Tom Holland's Spider-Man in any way?" While the answer to that (at that point) was a resounding 'NO!', it still made audiences think about if there was a Spidey in this VenomVerse.
And it is fascinating to know that Holland's web-slinger was almost that Spidey. This would have sent people into a frenzy, officially connecting, what would become, the SSMU to Marvel Studios' MCU.
But this all seems like a case of Kevin Feige and co. just simply not feeling ready for their take on Spider-Man to make the jump elsewhere. Since then, members of the SSMU have popped up - albeit briefly - in the MCU, and, as evidenced in this year's Morbius, MCU characters have shown up on the Sony side as well.
This new deal seems to benefit both sides though. Sony Pictures seems amped to include anything even tangentially related to the MCU in their films, and Marvel Studios gets to continue to play around with Spidey, and now, the Venom symbiote, something that will almost surely come into play in Spider-Man 4.