The Venom movie is drawing inspiration from the works of the most famous body horror filmmakers. With nearly $500 million worldwide racked up as of this writing, Spider-Man: Homecoming represents a new age for the wall-crawler in cinema, and the dawn of a new lucrative partnership between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios. Of course, that doesn’t mean Sony is just sitting by while Marvel does its thing. The studio made clear a few months back that they are pushing forward on a solo movie starring popular Spider-Man villain Venom. with Tom Hardy set to play the lead and Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer directing.
While it’s been stressed that Venom will not be part of the MCU directly, it is still supposed to take place “in the same reality,” although what exactly that means for Venom’s origin story remains anyone’s guess. Venom’s origin is of course classically tied closely to Spider-Man, but Marvel and Sony executives have made conflicting statements as to whether there’s any chance of Tom Holland’s version of Spidey appearing in Sony’s attempt at its own Marvel cinematic universe.
Sony has described Venom as a horror/sci-fi film, with plans to shoot for an R-rating. With that in mind, a statement given to Variety by Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch sheds some light as to what type of horror/sci-fi movies that Venom will draw inspiration from. Panitch says that Venom will be inspired by the work of legendary horror director John Carpenter and the genre work of David Cronenberg, in particular.
Carpenter’s horror films are famous for aspects such as the director’s distinctive unsettling atmosphere, and his tendency to isolate characters when it’s time to face whatever otherworldly foe awaits. For examples, one need only watch Halloween, The Fog, or The Thing. While now a much more mainstream drama director, Cronenberg established himself via his penchant for body horror – films which see characters undergo bizarre mutations or transformations. Top examples of that include The Fly, Videodrome, and The Brood.
The Cronenberg influence especially makes sense, as Eddie Brock’s bonding with the alien symbiote that transforms him into Venom can easily be interpreted as a tale of body horror. With Sony’s stated desire to have each of their Marvel solo spinoffs carry a distinctive tone and style, the Carpenter influence also makes a lot of sense, as few directors within the horror genre put such a creative stamp on their films. There’s a reason tons of later horror films have aped Carpenter, and that’s because the man knew what he was doing.
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