The press junket for Amazing Spider-Man provided producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach with an opportunity to discuss such topics as the Venom movie spinoff, and how it will imitate TASM's modernized, grounded portrayal of the Spider-Man universe.
Arad and Tolmach also hinted at their intention to follow Marvel Studios' example and maintain narrative continuity between all upcoming Spider-Man films (similar to the planned DC superhero universe). Furthermore, Marvel's Avengers success has increased the likelihood of a cross-over featuring Spidey, according to Arad.
Here's what Arad and Tolmach told Crave Online, with regards to the Venom spinoff:
“As you know, Venom [in the comics] is defender of the innocent. The only guy he really, really hates is Peter Parker, Spider-Man. The reason you didn’t see more development on Venom in the comics is because this power that he was given, he knew who Peter was, he knew who Spider-Man was, so go kill him already. We always struggle with storylines and you see the new Venom books. It’s Flash in Iraq. We know that if we put him in a certain position and concentrate on the human, not on the creature, which I thought was a really good beginning in ['Spider-Man 3].”
Spider-Man 3 was heavily-criticized by fans for not devoting a sufficient amount of screen time to developing Eddie Brock/Venom. It didn't help that the character was watered down into a stereotypical sleazy photographer, motivated by his own self-interest - instead of the over-ambitious journalist whose suicidal and vengeful desires fuel the Venom symbiote, after he is disgraced in the original "Amazing Spider-Man" comic book storyline. Tolmach conceded as much during the interview:
"The truth is he also deserves his own movie. We’ve been sitting around in a room talking about Venom stories and it’s a really full bodied complicated character, Eddie Brock and this character. Maybe people feel there wasn’t enough of a chance to unravel it, but we’re all in on him.”
Previous reports that Chronicle director Josh Trank was circling Venom has helped to generate positive buzz, and inspired hope for a more nuanced iteration of the Eddie Brock/Venom character - similar to the anti-hero/villain who defends "the innocent" in the comics. Although that stone was left unturned during their TASM interview, Tolmach and Arad did offer assurances that Venom will "stay close to the bible, stay close to the emotional story" of Eddie Brock.
However, Arad also alluded to the idea that Venom will modernize the character, saying (in a separate interview with Hollywood.com):
"[Pseudo-sceince] is becoming science. All these tidbits about webs, artificial webs, is a huge industry now. Spiderwebs have unique qualities that will be huge for communications, fibers, and so forth. So we have taken the approach that we want to make the huge amazing movie about Eddie."
Arad's comments are worth noting, as it's been pretty much acknowledged by now that Amazing Spider-Man primarily draws from the more contemporary "Ultimate Spider-Man" comic book continuity. Yet, in spite of that, the decision for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) to utilize self-made web-shooters seems like more of a throwback to the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko Spider-Man comics from the 1960s. That is, unless you look at it from the perspective that Arad mentioned.
That the worlds of Amazing Spider-Man and Venom will "make sense with one another" in terms of tone and their comparatively realistic design, is essentially a given (according to Arad and Tolmach); hence, the two universes could organically mesh together in a future Amazing Spider-Movie sequel. Arad also offered a glimmer of hope for fans who've been hoping that the web-slinger could show up in a future Avengers sequel:
“Everything is possible. If something like that happens, it’s great for Disney, it’s great for Sony. If the right story comes in, we are now working on 'Venom' first. It’s our first out. So our thinking is in the right direction. 'Avengers' to me was an expected success so I never looked at it because 'Avengers' was successful.”
Will Sony make a serious push to get in on the billion-dollar pie that is Marvel's Avengers franchise? The financial incentive is certainly there - and, as everyone should know by now, that's ultimately the bottom line in Hollywood.
To cap all that off: check out a recent featurette for The Amazing Spider-Man, focusing on Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard:
The Amazing Spider-Man swings into theaters around the U.S. on July 3rd, 2012.