When asked about why the Venom movie – at least, their version of it – failed to get any further along in the development process, Paul Wernick chalks it up primarily to bad luck and circumstance:
“You never know exactly why something works or it doesn’t, and it’s never your call. I mean so many times our job is about convincing people to trust us. You never really know why a project goes forward or it doesn’t. You clearly don’t nail everything you ever write; we do think we bring a pretty high level of consistency to our writing, and at some point the movie gods either frown on you or they smile on you.”
Finally, Reese and Wernick described a particular action sequence that they had in mind for the movie, which was part of the pitch that they made to the studio:
Wernick: “Imagine a symbiote traveling across a city at some point in the movie, jumping from body to body as it goes, and each person that it inhabits ends up becoming really violent and striking someone else and then it jumps to the next person. There was a really cool sequence like that in there.”
Reese: “We gotta use that at some point.”
Wernick: “We do have to use that, except it’s pretty specific to the symbiote.”
The scene does sound like it could work very well on the big screen, though it might not necessarily be restricted to a Venom plotline. It bears certain similarities to a sequence from the 1998 Denzel Washington crime thriller Fallen, in which the killer was a supernatural being capable of jumping from one body to the next with a single touch. It could also work if they ever make a movie out of the video game Prototype, which was also about a cheerfully sociopathic symbiotic creature capable of absorbing a person’s DNA and disguising themselves as that person.
Deadpool may still be in limbo due to the R-rated nature of its script, and Venom may be more or less dead in the water, but with the growing popularity of comic book movies about superheroes fighting for all that is good and right with the world, is there room on the rosters for an anti-hero franchise? There’s not much that is family-friendly about morally bankrupt or psychologically alien character, so there is an inevitable challenge that comes with pitching such a character to studios like Fox or Sony. It’s a challenge that I’m hoping Rheese and Wernick will be able to overcome, though; I’ve always found that amoral characters are more interesting than heroes.
Would you like to see more of Venom, or do you agree with co-creator Tod MacFarlane’s belief that the character just can’t work as the hero of his own film? Could Reese and Wernick, who have reportedly done an admirable job on the Deadpool script, have written Venom well enough to give the audience empathy for him? We might never know, unless the Venom draft gets leaked online as well, but tell us your thoughts in the comments below.