Many would agree that the mystery surrounding Venom's place in the MCU has been intriguing, and there has been substantial evidence to support the confusion.
For starters, it wasn't directly established that Venom was set within the confines of the world where the Avengers exist considering the first film didn't reference Earth's Mightiest Heroes or Thanos' global scale invasion. When the credits rolled, it was strongly hinted that Venom was a self-contained adventure.
Despite that, it was previously rumored that Sony Pictures wanted more crossovers with MCU characters, especially after Venom's box-office success. Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis then opened up about the sequel's connections to the MCU, admitting that he was "unaware" of potential cameos and Easter eggs.
The confusion was further amplified after Morbius' first trailer acknowledged Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes aka Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming, leading to more theories that Sony's Marvel universe is slowly being integrated into the MCU.
This is on top of Sony Pictures President Sanford Panitch's tease that "there is actually a plan" for a crossover, and it will be "more clear for people" when Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters.
Now, it looks like speculation for a potential Venom/MCU crossover will run rampant once again due to a new report.
J.K. SIMMONS RETURNS IN VENOM 2
Twitter users @spidermanworrld and @knight99_death unearthed evidence that J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson will appear alongside Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, mainly due to a leaked synopsis from Vue Cinema.
In the synopsis, a rundown of the film's cast was included at the tail-end, and it showed Simmons' name as part of the main ensemble:
"The impressive cast also features Michelle Williams (Venom, The Greatest Showman), J.K. Simmons (Justice League, Whiplash, Spider-Man: Far From Home), Naomie Harris (Moonlight, No Time To Die), Stephen Graham (Line of Duty, Rocketman, The Irishman) and Tom Hollander (Bohemian Rhapsody, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle). "
DOES THIS CEMENT VENOM INTO THE MCU?
J.K. Simmons' J. Jonah Jameson made his triumphant return in the mid-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home by announcing the identity of the famous web-slinger to the world. Now, it looks like his Marvel comeback is not a one-off as evidenced by his inclusion in Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Despite this, it's reasonable to assume that Simmons' Jonah Jameson in Let There Be Carnage could be an entirely different version of the one that he portrayed in Far From Home. This is due to the confirmed existence of the multiverse in MCU lore.
On top of that, the first trailer for Let There Be Carnage also included a major Easter egg that ties it to Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. At one moment in the trailer, a Daily Bugle newspaper with a similar logo and layout from Maguire's Spider-Man films was featured.
This strongly hints that Simmons could be playing the Sam Raimi version of the character from his Spider-Man trilogy, and many would agree that this is a welcome return due to the actor's impressive and comic-accurate portrayal then.
On the flip side, it's also possible that Simmons is playing the same character from Far From Home, and this could further cement the fact that Venom is set within the world of Tom Holland's Spider-Man.
Simmons already confirmed that he will appear in "Spider-Man land" again after Far From Home, and it's safe to say that he is referring to Let There Be Carnage. While it's also likely that Simmons will appear in No Way Home, it looks like his presence in the Tom Hardy-led sequel will finally set the record straight on whether a showdown between Venom and Spider-Man is in the cards.
Fans will find out if Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock lives in the modern-day MCU when Venom: Let There Be Carnage premieres in theaters on October 15, 2021.