The unfolding of Sony’s Venom film is like being glued to a live police chase. You don’t know exactly what’s happening. New details swerve onto the scene any given moment. But mostly, the viewer anticipates the chase will end with either justice being served, or a collision on par with Blues Brothers. With Sony Executive Producer Amy Pascal dropping a bomb right next to Marvel Mac Daddy Kevin Feige, it’s like a baby carriage suddenly popping up in the middle of the highway. Lo and behold, Spider-Man will now appear Sony’s Venom movie. Reunited, but for Spider-Man, it probably won’t feel so good. Venom has been in development hell for years, and adding Spidey into the mix complicates and already overly-complicated situation. Even more horrendous is the name of this transaction: tropical storm Sony’s Spider-Verse. Salt, meet wound.
They’re supposed to start shooting this thing in September, right? That now seems like a pipe dream ready to fly straight off a cliff. Until Sony can answer any of the growing questions and concerns, here are the top six things we the people rooting for Venom want to see in his movie.
6. Topher Grace…
… and his interpretation of Venom in Spider-Man 3 to be as far away as possible. I trust Tom Hardy. Maybe not with my life, but he’s a solid actor. 2015 in particular showed off his down-in-the-dirt grit with Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. Even though he wasn’t the one mauled by a bear or who ate raw bison river, he received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. Hopefully, director Ruben Fleischer encourages Hardy to embrace this character’s menacing darkness while also keeping his humanity. That’s a tall order, however, it’s not like Hardy’s Venom has a lot to be compared to.
5. More Venom, Less Brock
Allow me to elaborate. Perhaps this stems from my personal distaste of Spider-Man 3, a distaste shared by many. One of the most frustrating aspects of Topher Grace as Venom has nothing to do with him. It’s all in the editing. Whenever he talks, his Venom face is pulled back and the audience is left with Grace’s face mugging the shot. It’s a frightening image in itself, though not in the way Sam Raimi intended. A Venom film should, at the very least, be half Venom and half Eddie Brock, although the film’s being called Venom and not “Eddie Brock.” Also, the filmmakers should make Venom look like Venom, not just Hardy in a cat suit and CGI mask. Tom Hardy, it’s time to pump (clap) you up!
4. A Movie About the Movie, Not the Franchise
Gone are the days it seems when a superhero film could just be about its titular hero. The Venom film is already seen by Sony as a catapult for its new Spider-Man villain universe. There’s talk of a Black Cat and Silver Sable spin-off or the Sinister Six film Sony has been itching to do. Even poor God of the nerds Joss Whedon couldn’t handle the pressure of Avengers: Age of Ultron. He had to cram in setting up Infinity Wars, Thor 3, Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow-Hulk left field romance, leftover Loki stuff, and, oh yeah, the plot of Age of Ultron. This movie hasn’t even been written yet, and it’s already supposed to do this, do that. It’s like planning the career and wedding of your spawn while it’s still growing inside you. It’s a sad day for cinema when the politicking overshadows the story.
3. Hard R Rating
Give me an R! What’s that the spell? The rating Venom should aspire to. With Deadpool and Logan striking box office and critical gold, R rated superhero movies are now all the rage. Considering its source material, it is a must for Venom. This is a character and film that warrants that rating, and all the gore and cursing that comes with it. Whichever direction filmmakers chose to go with Venom’s origin, a nice place to start might be with the classic “Hunger,” in which the symbiote needs to survive off of a diet of human brains. There’s a lot of drama and a lot of gore to be had.
2. Venom Vs. Other Symbiotes
Headline: Sony Studios continues to feed the 24 hour news beast, revealing Carnage, alias Venom on crack, to be Venom’s villain. There’s a not-so-funny running gag in all Spider-Man films thus far of Peter Parker somehow being connected to all the villains. The addition of Carnage into Venom is an excellent decision because it makes sense these two characters would not only run into each other, but also try to completely annihilate the other. Further than that, if filmmakers want Venom to be the anti-hero of their dreams, why not pit him against not just Carnage, but explore the other symbiotes in the universe. Hell, they have their own planet. Though, it’s probably not a popular intergalactic vacation destination.
1. How Spider-Man Will Fit Into The Sony-Marvel Puzzle
That is the multi-million dollar question. Potentially billion dollar question.
I do not envy Venom screenwriters Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenburg, other than for their wealth and success. They were probably writing the finishing touches on their latest draft. They probably felt really proud of it. Maybe, just maybe, it was to be the last draft. Then out of nowhere, the car from the police chase earlier comes crashing into the living room. Bam! Now they have to add Spider-Man. Seconds later, bam! Now the police cruiser’s in the kitchen, and with it comes Carnage. It’s up to the movie executives from Marvel and Sony to find the balance of using Spider-Man in a Venom-centric film. However, it’s Pinkner and Rosenburg who have to deal with the headache.
Hopefully they have plenty of aspirin, because this Venom drama is most likely far from over.
What do you think of the latest Venom news? Do you think Pinkner and Rosenburg can put the production drama into the script? What do you want to see in the film? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!