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Bring On Venom! Sony Moving Forward With Venom Spin-Off!

by
July 30, 2008

Venom

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!

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  • Keith
    Ugh, I don't want to think about it. All I see when I think of Venom is the cheesy character from the 90's cartoons. How they will be able to make a movie where the protagonist is a villain that you can't sympathize with is beyond me. I don't see how this can turn out good. I await evidence to the contrary.
  • AJ
    Not sure how they would make Venom Movie with him being the main character, I never read a lot of Venom of Spiderman comics but from what i have read and seen etc. I never really saw or heard of Venom as ever being a hero even one that walekd the thin line like Ghost Rider does. So I'm not sure how they would make movie. As far as the actor goes it matters what direction they want to go with him. I am glad Topher Grace won't be Venom he was horrible in SPiderman 3. He's better in the goofy comidic roles. If they want o go with someone imposing physically then I'd say Vin Diseal possibly. OR maybe Jason Statham. Another actor I would could see doing it because he plays dark and disturbed very well is Stuart Townsend I know they want a big name actor but I'd like to see maybe Benjamin McKenzie he does borrding very well and he is a well built guy too.
  • Breach
    To hell with this, they couldnt make Venom badass in Spiderman 3. You had your chance t, and failed. So f*** you, stop ruining it more.
  • http://www.thetylerhayes.com Tyler Hayes
    As much as I agree that Hollywood seems to be focused on villains right now, there really are still no villain stand-alone movies. Even in Batman, the Joker held a significant amount of focus, but it was always kept in proportion to Batman's story arc, personality, and character development. Having said that, I would LOVE to see a true villain's story told with as much effort as was put forth by Christopher Nolan; then again, as much as I really do love Sam Raimi, he just doesn't have the same kind of focus on his movies as Nolan, taking a much more hokey approach (as we're all aware from his Evil Dead movies' influence on the Spiderman series). Beyond all that, the Joker is one of the only villains (besides maybe Lex Luthor, who has always deserved a better actor in any Superman movie/show) I can think of in comics that really stands opposite from a major superhero, which is 100% necessary IMO to develop a full, engrossing story. If someone is to play Venom, Topher Grace as great as he is just won't be the right choice. Best option? Probably someone fairly unknown, or at least up-and-coming/out-of-the-spotlight (i.e. Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, etc.). As far as character design goes, it seems fairly hard to go wrong with getting Venom right, as long as he's menacing, malicious, and maligned. I might end up writing a full article on this now! Can't wait for your full editorial...
  • movieraider321
    I really don't like the fact how everyone seems to hate Spiderman 3. In fact I will dare say this, I enjoyed the movie. Sure it wasn't as good at the first or the second but at least they still did what Spiderman does best. ALso speaking from the fact that Venom is my all time favorite villian, I believe this is going to be a good movie and really portray the sinister fiend with style. It will be good, I'm sure of it. Regarding the new of Spiderman 4, the only question I have is....who is the next villian. That is all I care about at this point. Bring it on Hollywood. Bring it on...
  • The Delightful Deviant
    for a good while Venom was a anti-hero at best, running around with the "Lethal Defender" tagline, with Venom there are 3 possible enemies. Carnage is the easiest bet but there is also the Jury, a group of ex-prison Guardsmen wearing advanced armor (ala Ironman) who want revenge on Eddie Brock and the Venom Symbiote for killing of of their own. Scream is a female Symbiote from a forced extraction of one of the Venom Symbiotes spawn, so she can also be used as a enemy.
  • Daniel
    I don't see how they can do that. I mean in Spider-man 3, you see him become Venom, and die, Venom. It's not possible. But I would still see it.
  • P
    Oh yeah, it's just not possible that they could bring a character back from the dead to be in another movie is it??
  • Viral
    honestly does anyone care after spiderman 3? i think the spider man series is dead and for good reason... in spidey3 he dances, prances, pouts and cries on a freaking bridge! and dont get me wrong i am all for guys crying on screen but that scene just made me throw up my dinner... i have read all this nonsense abt spidey 3 being this great comic book movie.. i beg to disagree simply cause it made a bunch of money it does not mean it was good.. case in point pirates 3! but please OH! please bring back nolan and bale for batman 3... it would be cheating to not do so...
  • Joshua
    There's no way in blue blazes a Venom spin-off movie can come close to beating the dark knight. Did you forget they did venom already? Spider-man 3? You're speaking as if a Venom spin-off movie would be more successful than a venom vs. spiderman movie.
  • P
    I can see how they could make Venom a sort of 'Riddick'-like anti-hero, but you're right, there's no way this could even compare to a more down to earth 'super' hero movie like Dark Knight.
  • big r
    I would def. see this movie. I agree with #6, they should have him fight against carnage. If not i can see carnage being in spiderman 4. What if spidey makes an appearance in venoms movie? Anyone?
  • http://movieguyreviews4u.blogspot.com Ryan
    I never heard of Venom since Spider-Man 3. How is HE getting a movie? There are PLENTY of more recognizable villains to go for and they choose Venom?????? Is Sony turning into Fox :)? Where is SCREAM 4 now???
  • Josh
    i think im the only one who loved spiderman 3, liked venom and topher, and am glad that they're making this movie
  • http://www.theaterhopper.com Tom Brazelton
    Venom without Spider-Man? Why bother?
  • http://www.filmikhabar.com Filmikhabar
    Alex: Johnny Depp as Riddler in Batman 3 and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. Checkout this news: http://www.rediff.com/movies/2008/jul/31depp.htm
  • dave13
    I too will admit to enjoying Spiderman 3. Was it a very well done movie? No, but damn heck I sure enjoyed it and refuse to jump on the bandwagen bashing my favorite superhero. As for a Venom movie... didn't they do a Venom straight to video animated feature back in the late 90s? I know they've done story arcs with little or no Spiderman, and focused on Venom, Carnage, etc. However, as a Spiderman fan who thinks Venom is one of Spiderman's best villians, I can't see this movie doing well. I can't see them doing it well either. If they can, then it'd be very impressive.
  • LW
    Maybe it will be a horror/super villain movie? *Shrug*
  • Carlos
    Dude! A Venom movie sounds awesome :D I was kinda dissapointed with Venoms screen time in Spiderman 3, he only got like what...20 minutes or somethin?... Plus, Spiderman 4 can probably focius on CARNAGE or somethin... :1
  • Viper
    (I apologize for such a long post...) I skipped most of the comments because you people don't know what you're talking about. Venom is awesome. I can't focus my happiness that this movie is moving forward correctly so I will list my points in simple sentences hence forth. Venom in Spider-Man 3 sucked horribly. Topher Grace sucked at acting the part, he looked nothing like Eddie Brock, and the CGI for the symbiote was really, really bad looking. It looked like melted plastic, not a living creature. (@ Alex) To say Topher Grace did fine is blasphemy. We Venom fans deserve an apology, and giving Venom a solo movie is the ultimate way of doing that (as long as it's good). Marvel just recently got their act together, post Spider-Man 3 development. Hopefully they will have more input on this Venom. Just because Venom "dies" in Spider-Man 3 doesn't mean he can't have his own movie. Why does it have to be in continuity? Saying Venom can't work without Spider-Man is ridiculous. Looks like someone should go sift through some back issues in the V section. Of course a Venom movie would not compete against The Dark Knight, and I seriously doubt it's meant to. This one is important...VENOM ISN'T A VILLAIN. Yes, he was a villain at the beginning for several story arcs, but ever since he has been an ANTI-HERO. He fights crime and true villains just like Spider-Man, but he has no qualms about killing the criminals. The only time he teams up with other villains is when he gets to fight Spider-Man because he HATES Spider-Man. Eddie Brock hates him because of the newspaper job, and the symbiote hates him because he abandoned / got rid of it. (@ #19) It's likely that Carnage will show up in Venom's movie instead. Then Venom will be the anti-hero going after the villain, Carnage. The movie better be rated R if this is the case. One of my favorite story arcs is from the Venom ongoing series (as opposed to all the mini-series) where Venom has been captured (removed from Eddie or Eddie is dead, I can't remember) and he is kept in an underground facility in northern Canada to help keep the symbiote on ice. But some idiots decide to go illegally find out what's being held in the base and they release the symbiote. It then becomes almost like Carpenter's The Thing as the symbiote moves from host to host, killing the humans. Eventually the symbiote takes over a hawk and then a wolf as it starts heading south. That's the end of that particular story arc, but the series continues with Venom coming across Wolverine in one bad-ass fight in the snow and several other encounters. I don't know why I told that last paragraph. I guess I'm excited about Venom so I had to tell about my favorite story with him. Obviously, I don't think that would be a good movie. It should stick with Eddie Brock and the city. I have all of these... Venom (18 issues) Venom: Along Came A Spider... (4) Venom / Carnage (4) Venom: Carnage Unleashed (4) Venom: Finale (3) Venom: Funeral Pyre (3) Venom: Lethal Protector (6) Venom: License To Kill (3) Venom: Nights Of Vengeance (4) Venom: On Trial (3) Venom: Seed Of Darkness (1) Venom: Separation Anxiety (4) Venom: Sign Of The Boss (2) Venom: Sinner Takes All! (5) Venom: The Enemy Within (3) Venom: The Hunger (4) Venom: The Hunted (4) Venom: The Mace (3) Venom: The Madness (3) Venom: Tooth And Claw! (3) Plus some Carnage and Toxin comics. If they were to make a trilogy based solely on the huge story arc Maximum Carnage and made it as true to the comics as possible, I would be ready to die when I left the theater after watching the third movie. Ok, maybe not die.
  • Nate
    @Viper Totally agreed buddy.
  • Venomfan
    awesome news! I hope it's not bad. And spider-man 4 is not doomed at all since they still have Lizard and Kraven to use.
  • http://hollywood-the-game.com HollywoodGame
    Pulling Venom away from the Spiderman movies and recasting him will make this another Catwoman. Big mistake IMO.
  • moldybread
    a waste of time comparing this Venom business with the Joker from The Dark Knight...Heath Ledger not only stole the show, he effectively made the Joker the most entertaining character in the film...Batman, by comparison, was quite a bore...it would be so nice if they(Hollywood) would stop wasting so much time and $$$$ on the children's comic book movies or at least keep them on the same intelligence level as The Dark Knight...the result would a great many more movies we could actually look forward to...jmo...
  • big r
    @24 You are absolutely right. TDK really set the tone for how movies (comic related) should be. It was such a great movie. But they could pull off a venom movie i feel. If they took it seriously and really thought about what they were doing it could work. Ill wait to hear more news on this before i make any further judgements, but it does not seem like a bad idea. @20 kudos!
  • Chris
    I think it would turn out alright, as long as the actor for Venom isn't Topher Grace...He is too Damn small for the role.....in the comics he was always a HUGE overpowering figure! Also if they wanted to make the movie dark like The Dark Knight, Venom is the ONLY character that could do that!!! As much as I would like this idea, they couldn't top Heath Ledger's "Joker".
  • http://podcastx.blogspot.com Courtney
    I am so excited about this movie and it's merely an idea at the moment. I love villains and they're finally getting the respect they deserve in movies as of late. The Joker, Voldemort and now Venom, it's a good time to be evil!
  • Jason
    a venom movie would be awesome. as long as the actor is a big guy, not a pip squeek. +1 for a venom vs carnage movie.
  • Jason
    I say make the Venom movie. I think spider-man 3 was shit, but, they can take it in another direction. I think if they put in a new actor (Stuart Townsend) as Venom and a new actor (dare i say it? Jake Gyllenhaal) as spider-man. Yes I think Jake G. should be Peter Parker in the new Venom movie. He has more of a spider-man build to him and I think he could pull off jokes during fights. In my opinion the first 3 spider-man films did not happen. So why not start fresh in this Venom movie. I meen it's like handing Sony a second chance on a silver platter and they would be stupid not to take it. If you agree send me an email at thetopmerc@yahoo.com.
  • wagner contreras
    I was very disapointed in Venoms character in spiderman 3. I mean first of all, Venom wasn't the same size as spiderman. Venom was at least twice the height of him. in the next spiderman movie they need to push the envelop. No more of the dancing spiderman....I mean come on!!!....Stop trying to get a different demographic...lol....us geeks & nerds rule!!! So start listening to us because we are the one's who took the time to really know the characters and became timeless for us. actually get people look the part and can act, not big names....ok at first i didn't think Mr. downey jr was gonna play a good roll but i admit i was wrong but guess what...that's not gonna happen for all of them!!! So we know what the hell we're talking about (i'm rambling lol) VEnom...the symbiote has to be more of a liquid substance instead of the strands. Then there's the sound of venom....we all remember the sound of venom in our saturday morning cartoons....well i guess it's just me lol...in the cartoon sounds like a cross between the a psycho and a lion....in the movie he sounded like a F@#$ing velociraptor...STOP USING JURASTIC PARK SOUND BITES!!!!.... and stop getting directors who don't know shit about the characters....lead example....x-men 3....no gambit!!!! .....and he switched the powers on diffrent mutants, and future villans ...apocalypse....onslaught....Mr. sinister...shall i go on!!! and what happend to colossus vs juggernaut....i was sooooo waiting for that!!!!....Well just fix Venom that's all i say....check out the comic books and the cartoons why don't ya!!! It would be of the hook if we had a say in the movies....i mean have some kind of contest to see who's the biggest fan and let'em work with the director in the next movie!!!!
  • McGangster
    whoever says there shouldn't be a venom spin off is a tard....come on he fuckin owns in spiderman........hasta be one of the best villains of all time next to the joker and magneto..........if your looking for an actor gerard butler would be perfect in size and rage that he could portray....think of 300 but with a giant tongue and black suit hahah...........as far as storyline goes why not have him face carnage throughout the movie have spiderman come in near the end for a small cameo and introduce it into spiderman 4 or the reverse have spiderman 4 end with carnage and venom coming back.......this seriously shouldn't be hard to write there's enough possibilities to play around with and ppl for him to fight against.....keep him an anti-hero and make it an R rated movie because venom is definitely not a little bitch.....i don't actually recall him dying in spiderman 3 just him disappearing into thin air after the bombs went off, i could be wrong though........JUST MAKE IT R RATED AND HAVE GERARD BUTLER AS VENOM!!!
  • Amanda
    McGangster(#32) you know how to make a very good point and I have to agree with ya completely. Venom definally desevres his own movie. I believe its gonna be great when it comes out. Whoever doesn't like the idea of Venom gettin' his own movie can go cliff jumpin'. All in all, I can not wait to see it.
  • My Name is Pat
    I agree with just about everything #20 said....he makes good points and at least you know what your talking about man...so good for you Venom isnt a villian....the real villian is Carnage and with Carnage in mind i think the person that can pull of Kletus (or Cletus) Cassady is..... none other than Jim Carrey...Ive been discussing this movie with my sister and we both agree that the only way to make this movie even near as good as The Dark Knight is to have BOTH Venom and Carnage in it and make it stick to the comics I am SOOO excited to see this movie and i think its going to be amazing Until Next time
  • Nic
    I actually find it amusing. The first time a villian onscreen isn't portrayed exactly the way some people," expect" to have Venom act/look/etc and suddenly there's enough complaining and crying over it that even so the movie is called out like trash. Go make a better movie since so many critics pick out these flaws they don't like. I do want to see Cletus Cassady/Carnage because on his killing sprees I remembered a friend told me spiderman and venom had to chase him down. Cletus pushed his grandmother down a set of stairs to her death when he was a kid, yeah he's a psychopath. And Carnage bonded into Cletus' blood again as a good friend of mine once told me. I'm glad to have a copy of the dvd of spiderman 3, cause if they change Venom it could be great or it could be the other way. The liquid active Venom was twisted. Since I've read lots of articles, if there's another Venom, chances are some new guy will be cast, a whole different Venom likely altogether. It's for the better though, Sam Raimi knows what he's doing. A few people that watched the 3rd movie thought it was the end of eddie brock/Venom, but that wouldn't be right at all. He's far too powerful. Whatever future movies are released, I can't wait to see them.
  • Kara
    Topher Grace wasn't given an opportunity to portray Venom in the way that fans would've liked. Blame the screenwriters, not the actor. They wanted Venom to be the opposite of Pete...a slick ladies man. Grace gave them what the production wanted. Basically, we got 20 minutes of Grace acting like a preppy doofus and 2 minutes of him actually portraying Venom. Personally, I would love to see Grace in a Venom spin-off. But on conditions that he's not portrayed as an Eric Foreman and is actually allowed to explore the character in the ways the FANS seem appropriate (as screenwriters and directors don't seem to know their stuff). I think the problem with Spiderman 3 was that the focus was on Pete's adolescent-like personal battles. I'm sorry, but 5 minutes of him dancing in the streets was unnecessary. It was like an indie-movie nightmare. The writers tried to fit too much of a storyline into a couple of hours. In the end, we got a lopsided amount of Mary Jane+Pete, few minutes of Sandman, and a couple of minutes of Venom. Show us some good action! Quit focusing so much on the good guys! I agree with 29. Gyllenhaal would probably be a better choice for Spiderman. I really don't understand why Tobey Maguire was chosen. He's chubby, squeaky...errgh.
  • ruiner
    okay... i have checked out many sites tonight reguarding this topic and im psyched i gotta tell ya BUT INSANELY irratated at everyone not noticing the glaring contradiction in venom's spidey 3 "death" he was "killed" with one of the goblins bombs, one of which earlier in the film exploded INCHES from harry's face, which he walks away from perfectly fine just a lil uglier. and you mean to tell me that one of these "deadly" devices could destroy AND completely disintegrate eddie AND the symbiote? good god come on guys. There was also the huge open not yet built gap in the wall directly behind venom when it detonated which was on the opposite side of the building as the huge crowd watching the final battle. am i the only one to notice this crap? venom is not dead. maybe eddie but not the symbiote. and "venom" doesnt necessarily need to be eddie im spent
  • disciple
    I think a Venom movie would be outstanding, depending on the story, character, and antagonist! I really would like to see him as an "Anit-Hero" and have Topher pull it off.......which i think he could if given the proper script. But who knows? Venom Kicks A$$
  • dillon
    Don't you all know that venom is a hero?he saves people all the time. The only people he hates are certain heros
  • Scorpion
    The only reason they are making a Venom movie was because of how bad a job Sam Raimi and Topher Grace did in Spider-Man 3. I still don't know what they were thinking by casting Topher Grace as Venom, he was in every way possible the worst choice. So far that has been the hands-down worst character-actor lineup in comic movie history. They turned a big, mean, 6'3" drooling lunatic into what he wasn't: a 5'10"ish scrawny little cry-baby. So maybe this is their chance to do Venom right.

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