Josh Trank has dished details on his pitch for an R-rated Venom movie. This comes to us from ComicBookMovie.com and Polygon, both of which recently interviewed the filmmaker about his new movie, Capone. It stars Tom Hardy as famed gangster Al Capone. Coincidentally, Hardy also stars as Eddie Brock in the Venom film that Sony decided to make. Trank’s version would have been much different.
The news of Trank’s R-rated pitch was first revealed by Polygon. The report dug into what happened to the filmmaker’s career after 2015’s Fantastic Four bombed. Trank, at one point, pitched the R-rated Venom to Sony, which producer Matt Tolmach was not a fan of.
“I didn’t like how Matt Tolmach was coming at me in that situation, because it felt very kind of authoritative,” Trank said. “Well, if you don’t like what I’m doing, and you’re telling me that I have to do something along the lines of what you want, and you’re going to tell it to me in this way — sorry, but I have other things I can be doing.”
So that was that. But in another interview, Trank dove a little deeper on the subject, explaining his take on the Spider-Man villain.
“I’m a huge fan of Todd McFarlane in general and Venom was just a character I’ve always loved,” Trank said. “I immediately thought about The Mask. This could be like a really cool synthesis of everything about The Mask that I loved, but infused into the lore of this iconic Marvel character. I definitely miscalculated being within the studio system with that kind of aesthetic,” Trank said. “I thought this was an opportunity to make something really character-y, uncomfortable, and break ground in terms of having this super nuanced uncomfortable character story with the branding of a massive four quadrant superhero film. We turned in the treatment, and they didn’t like it. That kind of says everything.”
“The fact Tom and I are so in sync with each other, it makes sense he would go into that using the perfect Jim Carrey as The Mask template type of character for Eddie Brock and Venom. I’m so happy it did as well as it did as it’s cool to know everyone loves Tom Hardy for that, and he’s one actor out there who’s really gonna go there while at the same time having real bona fide potential as an action star. It’s so rare.”
Venom, released in 2018, was panned by critics but proved to be a huge commercial success. The film grossed $856 million at the global box office. A sequel, titled Venom: Let There Be Carnage, is set to arrive in theaters next summer.
Here is the official synopsis for Venom.
“The evolution story of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass character – Venom! Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a broken man after he loses everything including his job and fiancée. Just when his life is at its lowest, he becomes host to an alien symbiote which results in extraordinary superpowers – transforming him into Venom. Will these powers be enough for this new lethal protector to defeat great evil forces, especially against the far stronger and more weaponized symbiote rival, Riot?”