In an exclusive chat, Venom producer Avi Arad reveals his regret over the character’s appearance in Spider-Man 3. Venom has been a fan-favorite character since his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man comics, and they eagerly awaited his first live-action appearance. Unfortunately, director Sam Raimi wasn’t a big admirer of Venom and didn’t really understand the character’s appeal.
This naturally created an issue when Raimi was essentially forced to include Venom as an antagonist in Spider-Man 3. In the movie, the symbiote first attaches itself to Peter Parker and preys on his darker impulses, until Peter finally rips it off and it attaches itself to his rival Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) instead. Raimi’s lack of passion for the character is apparent throughout Spider-Man 3, and he makes for an underwhelming villain in the climax. Fan disappointment in the character was so vocal, a planned spinoff was quickly scrapped.
In the years following Spider-Man 3’s release, Raimi has been forthcoming about the film’s faults and how he feels he was the wrong person to tackle Venom. With a new take on Venom starring Tom Hardy due for release next week, producer Avi Arad opened up to Screen Rant about what he learned from the character’s previous appearance and why he was wrong to insist on Venom's inclusion.
Screen Rant: Avi, you were involved with a previous incarnation of Venom. What did you learn from that Venom that you either wanted to stay away from or add to this version of Venom?
Avi Arad: I think we learned that Venom is not a sideshow. In all fairness, I'll take the guilt because of what Sam Raimi used to say in all of these interviews feeling guilty that I forced him into it. And you know what I learned? Don't force anybody into anything. Therefore, (Sam) wasn't interested in the inside to make how is Venom like us? How do we deal with the Venom, and Marvel is all metaphors.
Venom was very much a side character in Spider-Man 3, and while the symbiote suit wa an interesting way to explore Peter’s darker side, much of the execution was somewhat goofy. It didn’t help Spider-Man 3 already felt overstuffed with characters and subplots and that Sam Raimi was clearly more interested in focusing on Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) as the primary villain.
Venom has had a bit of a journey coming back to the big screen in the years since. Following the cancellation of the Raimi-verse Venom spinoff – which was penned by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – the character was supposed to appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, followed by a solo movie. Channing Tatum expressed interest in playing the role, but the subsequent cancellation of that series again cast Venom into limbo.
Venom finally puts the character front and center, but after being previously pitched as an R-rated, uncompromising take on the iconic villain, it appears Sony have compromised on their original version. The movie is now confirmed as PG-13, a move intended to encourage future crossover opportunities with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the movie is due to be a hit, time will tell how the audience takes to this watered-down take on the character.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018