Gary Ross May Take on Matt Helm Before Directing Venom

October 12, 2009
Source: The Playlist

Gary Ross - Matt Helm

Back in July there were some rumblings about Steven Spielberg directing a film called Matt Helm, the story of a pulp-fiction swinging spy but without all the Austin Powers parody humor. The writing/producing team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were pushing the Paul Attanasio adaptation of Donald Hamilton's 27-book-series, but when Spielberg took Dreamworks from Paramount, executives weren't too keen on giving him Matt Helm. Now it looks like the project has life again as The Playlist reports writer/director Gary Ross might end up directing Matt Helm even before he jumps into the Marvel universe with Venom.

Apparently their sources say that Venom isn't exactly being fast-tracked and Matt Helm is being scheduled to shoot in the summer of 2010 if everything falls into place. The Playlist also mentions that Bradley Cooper is on the top of the list to take on the titular role after George Clooney (who this was originally developed for) and Jon Hamm turned away from the project. Matt Helm has had a couple iterations in the past with Dean Martin playing the womanizing spy in a series of films in the 1960's, and a television show starring Tony Franciosa in the 1970's. This new project will be updated to take place in present day.

In the past, Gary Ross has been involved with lighthearted, uplifting fare like Big and Dave. Though Ross showed a more dramatic side with Seabiscuit, his foray into both Venom and now Matt Helm show that he's ready for something completely different, and I'm excited to see what he can bring to the table. Ross has a way of taking simple yet unbelievable stories and adding various layers of depth around them, even if they aren't subtle. One such example is his directorial debut with Pleasantville. Though the premise is hokey, the film takes a sharp turn, as the stunning visuals and symbolic undertones become the focus of the story.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Ross can do with both Matt Helm and Venom, whichever comes first.

Find more posts: Movie News, Opinions



I've never really heared of Gary Ross but he sounds like a decent writer and director, my only problem is this Venom film, is gonna ruin the entire character, They want to make him an anti-hero, no I'd rather see him go full villian. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel I guess, Venom does in the spidey universe become a anti-hero. But I want it too be a hard film, Venom is a great villian, and I want this film to do justice for the character. as for Matt Helm I for one would love to see Bradely Cooper in the lead.

Xerxex on Oct 12, 2009


Oh one more thing, and I know this is off topic, but who here would love to see Venom fight Carnage? anyone? anyone?

Xerxex on Oct 12, 2009


#2 I would like to see that. 🙂 I'm with you on that.

Joseph S. on Oct 12, 2009


I'd much rather see Carnage battle Anti-Venom. I think they could use the Venom film as a vehicle to take the character into dark places of the Marvel Universe and have him rise as the villain fighting Anti-Venom.

klaus_komix on Oct 12, 2009


a valid suggestion #4

Xerxex on Oct 12, 2009


this means they will find another director by the time they are ready to make the film because he'll be wrapped up in other things.

M-Cat on Oct 12, 2009

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