Sony had plans to create a movie about Spider-Man‘s famous archenemy, Venom. But it was previously held on corporate hiatus. However, Sony recently came out to tell us that plans for a Venom movie are still moving forward.
For those of you who don’t know, early last year Sony and Marvel struck a deal to finally include fan favorite superhero, Spider-Man, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the shared movie continuity best known by The Avengers (but does not include the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four franchises). This plan also involves a reboot for Spider-Man in 2017, played by Tom Holland.
But this deal apparently excludes Venom. Now if you haven’t heard of Venom before, he is essentially the character polar opposite of Spider-Man, right down to the black spider-suit. He is an alien symbiote that bonds with a human host (typically Eddie Brock) that feeds off the host’s negative emotions. Venom, in most cases, has a singular goal to either either destroy Spider-Man or take him back as host.
Venom had a semi-important, and rushed, role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. He also appears in many animated TV shows. But Venom always appears next to Spider-Man, to provide both an origin for Venom and that classic dark mirror for the protagonist. Venom starts with Spider-Man, so how do you create a film separate from him? Why would you?
From a corporate standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Spider-Man is a huge, hot property with fans worldwide. Which to Sony means money. And here we have Venom, essentially a second Spider-Man (at least in looks and powers, just dark and evil). If Sony can bring this character up to the fame of Spider-Man, then they have a moneymaker of their own that they won’t have to share with Marvel.
But fans and critics are asking why? From a storytelling point, Venom starts with Spider-Man. His origin is directly with Spider-Man. There isn’t a big enough following for the character to where viewers will understand who Venom is without explaining his backstory/origin. Which if Venom’s movie exists outside of Spider-Man’s, then how would this work?
Venom is a bad guy, not an antihero or a redeemable monster. He is just a monster. A villain. An enemy. People, or at least the majority, don’t want to see a superhero movie about a villain doing evil things. And fans don’t want to see a famous Spider-Man villain become lowered into a troubled, redeemable hero. It’s too much of a 180 for the character.
That’s not to say a good movie from a villain’s perspective can’t work; just look at Maleficent. And it’s too early to say Sony can’t turn Venom into a popular name. But it just seems unnecessary. Venom works best as a villain and evil character foil to Spider-Man, not as a solo hero.
People don’t really want to see this, and it feels just like a milking of the Spider-Man franchise so Sony can make more money. And by associating it somewhat to Spider-Man’s image, Sony wants to make Venom big. It seems too corporate and not really in the interest of the viewers or fanbase.
But what do you guys think of this? Leave some comments below for you thoughts on Venom! And for more movie goodness, come back here to Cinemaniacs!