Those still pining for the now-canceled Spider-Man 4 will remember that at the time of Spidey 4's early development there was also talk of a spin-off film based on iconic Spider-Man villain Venom, who was featured in Spider-Man 3.
Well, fans upset about the new Spider-Man reboot film The Amazing Spider-Man are probably still wishing for Sam Raimi version that almost was - but they may end up getting at least some of what they wanted, as word is in that the Venom movie is still alive, and may even have a director in the form of Josh Trank, whose found-footage superhero film Chronicle has been a breakout hit for Fox this year.
The earlier version of this Venom movie had Gary Ross, the director of The Hunger Games attached to it- but that all went out the window when Sony opted for the reboot route. Ross also did work on a script for the film, which would've painted Venom as the antihero he became during his solo run in late '90s Marvel comics, instead of just a straight villain from the Spider-Man rogues gallery. According to the source the LA Times has, a new writer will be brought on to rework Ross' screenplay.
Aside from being a genuinely engaging, exciting, and clever superhero origin tale (read our review), Josh Trank's Chronicle also demonstrated that the director has good insight and ideas about how to realize a superhero story onscreen (and all the superpowers that come with it). Better yet: under the restrictions of a small budget, Trank nonetheless showed strong tact in how he incorporated digital effects with live-action - an important asset when trying to bring a character like Venom to the screen. The director was also recently rumored for the Fantastic Four reboot (which is owned by Fox), but those have ultimately panned out as being false.
For those who don't know: Venom is one of Spider-Man's most iconic (and favored) foes. He wears a suit that is actually a living parasite, and struggles to maintain conscious control of his gelatinous "other's" often malevolent impulses. Suffice to say, the version of the character played by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 was a shallow realization of the character's potential.
The larger question here is how this Venom movie would fit into the continuity of The Amazing Spider-Man reboot (if at all). As we've pointed out before, ASM is borrowing several key elements from the modernized Ultimate Spider-Man comic book continuity - elements that already foreshadow the eventual debut of the Venom character in later ASM sequels. On the one hand, seeing the character in his own film would be great; on the other hand, going straight to a spin-off film instead of giving the character a fresh re-launch in an Amazing Spider-Man sequel could be putting the cart before the horse.
Sony would be wise to avoid the missteps of, say, Fox, who confused fanboys and non-fanboys alike with their so-called "prequel/reboot" approach to (sort of) re-launching the X-Men movie franchise with X-Men: First Class. XMFC caused so much confusion about continuity that it took a slow-burn, word-of-mouth progression all the way through home video to convince many people that the film was worth their time. When it comes to launching something like Venom, success could be all in the timing.
We'll keep you updated on the status of Venom, starting with whether or not Trank takes the directing job.
Source: LA Times