Bring On Venom! Sony Moving Forward With Venom Spin-Off!
by Alex Billington
July 30, 2008
It seems increasingly obvious that Hollywood is interested in focusing more on villains than anything. Fueled by the success of The Dark Knight, which used the Joker in marketing more than Batman, Sony has decided to move forward on developing a spin-off Venom project following the character's introduction in Spider-Man 3. Hollywood Reporter confirms that Sony is currently developing the project, with a draft originally penned by novice screenwriter Jacob Estes, but they've since decided to go "in a different direction" and are looking for new writers. While neither Sony nor Marvel would comment any further, this is undoubtedly exciting news for Venom fans! Does this mean Spider-Man 4 in 2011 is doomed?
Back in February, we actually wrote about the possibility of a Venom spin-off as a rumor as revealed by IESB. While this news today only really confirms that rumor from February, they also add the bit about Sony throwing out Estes' script in search of a new idea. I can only hope that they're looking for someone who can write a dark and intense story in the same vein as The Dark Knight yet still inspired from the Spider-Man universe that was so successful for them. I imagine Sony was a bit pissed off when The Dark Knight topped Spider-Man 3's opening weekend box office record and now they're looking for a way to give them a real fight. And I'm sure Venom might be the one to do it!
On top of all of that news, we also learn that Sony has decided to ditch Topher Grace from Spider-Man 3 in favor of someone who could actually topline a big superhero movie on their own. I personally didn't mind Topher as Venom, but for once Sony seems to be listening to the fans who were all quite upset with the third movie and the way Venom was treated. Keeping on the subject of Spider-Man, back in June, producer Laura Ziskin confirmed that we would be seeing Spider-Man 4 in 2011. It sounds like Sony is squeezing as much juice out of their deal with Marvel as possible. But if this means we get to see a Venom spin-off, hell, I'm all for it! It's about time they realized Venom's potential!
While I have a forthcoming editorial looking at Hollywood's interest in villains, I think it's appropriate to start up some discussion on the idea of focusing on villains as the main characters. Not that movies like Iron Man are bad, but The Dark Knight was more of a movie about the Joker and the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is being sold as more of a movie about Voldemort and Tom Riddle. However, a Venom spin-off presents so many intriguing questions, such as: Who will Venom be fighting if Spider-Man is still getting his own movies? Will Venom be the hero or just someone that another hero must deal with? Who could play a better Venom than Topher Grace? Would it be better to recreated the look of Venom or stay with the style in Spider-Man 3? Have at it - there is much to be discussed!