Back in February of last year, we received the wonderful news that our beloved Spider-Man will join The Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the first time. After much negotiating, and a persistent North Korean hacking team, Sony struck a deal that gave creative rights back to Marvel, thus putting to an end to Sony’s somewhat average reign over our favourite web-slinger. They can’t hurt us anymore, right?
Wrong. Sony are reportedly gearing up to produce a Spider-Man spinoff film in the form of Venom, one of Spider-Man’s biggest and most popular adversaries since he was introduced in 1988. The character of Venom is an alien symbiote that needs a human host to survive, granting the host superpowers in return. Details about Sony’s plans are scarce at the moment but they are rumoured to have commissioned Dante Harper (Edge of Tomorrow) to write a script, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach set to return in producer capacities.
Sony have long been trying to make a successful adaptation of the character for the big screen, possibly derailing other projects in their pursuit. Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man Trilogy, reportedly butted heads with Sony over their insistence to shoehorn Venom into Raimi’s third film as another villain, feeling that it would steal focus away from Sandman, the main antagonist, and crowd the film with too many villains. And that is exactly what happened but Sony were ever determined, ruining Spider-Man 3 and killing any future Raimi Spider-Man films. There were also plans for a Venom franchise before the Spidey deal was struck, but it was swept under the rug along with a Sinister Six movie and an Aunt May movie (!!??!!) as they were closely tied to the defunct-shared Spider-Man universe.
However, this new film is reportedly set to be completely independent from the soon to be rebooted Spider-Man, as Sony attempt to carve out their own cash flow that they aren’t forced to share with Marvel, which is surprising. It had long been assumed that Marvel now had access to all of Spider-Man’s characters, Venom included, to be used in any of their cinematic ventures. If Sony go ahead with these plans then that would surely mean that Marvel wouldn’t be able to use the character in any future Spider-Man movies, and with popularity of Venom ever growing, it would be a huge blow to fans not being able to see Spidey and Venom go toe to toe in a GOOD film.
I mean, I’m all for more comic book movies, but Sony trying to launch an individual franchise around a character so closely connected to Spider-Man seems shortsighted and contrived. A big part of Venom’s character is that the symbiote has a love hate relationship with Peter Parker, as it strives for revenge against its former host, and taking that away might detract from a very interesting aspect of the character.
Of course, nothing is confirmed at the moment and if it were to be true then Sony might do something wonderful and original with the character that renders his connection with Spider-Man void. Just, no more dance numbers please.