The leaked Sony emails reveal that Venom hasn't changed quite as much over the years as we'd perhaps have believed. Avi Arad has been interested in developing a Venom movie for over a decade now, and his fondest dreams are finally coming true. On the surface, the film has changed shape substantially; after several attempts, by 2014 Sony envisioned the spinoff as part of Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man franchise. They initially hired Alex Kurtzman as director, but he was replaced by Ruben Fleischer. For all these changes, though, there's strong evidence that the overall shape of the movie has remained pretty much the same.
Sony was hacked back in Christmas 2014, and a wealth of email correspondence was dumped online. That included details of exec discussions about the future of the Spider-Man franchise, including details for more films in The Amazing Spider-Man series and even the proposed deal between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures that would ultimately see the wall-crawler join the MCU. These leaked emails also hint at the studio's original ideas for Venom.
Here, we'll look at those basic ideas and show how they laid the foundation for the final theatrical cut of Venom. As we'll show, the core concept of Venom was established all the way back in 2014 - and the finished product seems very true to Sony's initial vision.
- This Page: Sony's Original Plans for Venom
- Next Page: 2018's Venom Is Still Part Of The Plan
Sony's Plans For A Spider-Less Venom In The Early 2010s
Avi Arad had always believed that Venom had the potential to be a box office hit for Sony. It was Arad who pushed Sam Raimi into introducing Venom in 2007's Spider-Man 3, and he publicly admitted to considering a possible spinoff film for the tongue-slavering symbiote. There was one simple reason Arad loved Venom: the symbiote is popular was with kids and teenagers. Arad was an executive producer on the 1990s Spider-Man animated series, and he'd noticed how the character seemed to resonate. As the years passed, his instincts continued to suggest that Venom would be a major win. In one email from early November 2014, Arad pointed to the Toys 'R' Us circulars as evidence; Disney Infinity's advertising featured Venom, and he cited that as evidence even Marvel and Disney knew the character appealed to a younger demographic.
By 2014, Arad and Amy Pascal were pushing for the Spider-Man franchise to change shape. Taking a tip from Marvel Studios, they aimed to create an entire cinematic universe centered around Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man. First up was a Sinister Six film, heavily set up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2; Sony planned that to be followed by a dedicated Venom movie, which they initially planning to release sometime in 2017. It would only be after these two movies that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 would release. The potential scale of the franchise is hinted at in an email from Juan Capdet. He proposed an ambitious slate of Spider-Man spinoffs, ranging from Venom to Kraven the Hunter to Black Cat. In his view, the movies should build up towards an Avengers-style crossover featuring Carnage as the main villain. However, it's unclear how seriously Sony took his suggestions; there's no email trail beyond the initial pitch, which was at least shared among key figures in the studio. Presumably, they took the discussions offline.
Venom was originally intended to link into the Amazing Spider-Man films, but with something of a modernized origin. Several Sony figures pointed to the Ultimate Comics version, where the Venom symbiote was a genetically engineered protoplasmic "suit" designed by Richard Parker and Eddie Brock Sr. Even at this stage, Arad was convinced that origin story could be sufficiently rewritten to remove Spider-Man. Pascal, for her part, wasn't so sure; she felt the symbiote's interaction with Peter Parker was a key part in its story. Interestingly, there are a couple of email threads in which Pascal told other Sony staff about Venom's supporting characters, most notably his ex-wife Ann Weying and Flash Thompson's Agent Venom. Sony clearly felt both these characters had some sort of potential.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018