The announcement that Sony was moving forward with the Venom movie was probably the biggest surprise so far this year, but it’s left many fans bewildered. They’re bewildered because the studio's plans for a Spider-Man shared universe fell apart when the deal with Marvel was made, and you can't simply make a Venom movie without a Peter Parker connection.
Some fans are bewildered, but many others are actually looking forward to seeing this flick. Whether it’s an MCU Spider-Man side story or not, it’s all the same. As one of the web crawler's most notorious antagonists, Venom deserves proper treatment on the big screen, especially after Sam Raimi (at the same studio's request, of course) cast Topher Grace as Venom in Spider-Man 3.
What can we expect from this exciting new project? What should we know about this awesome villain, who over time has become an anti-hero? Well, check it out here!
If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that the Venom announcement came out of nowhere. Everybody’s entitled to be a bit leery about it; there are so many unknowns that no one would blame you for believing that it would have to be a mess.
As it turns out, Sony never dropped their plans to release the movie (although it seemed otherwise). While production listings should be taken with a grain of salt, they indicated that shooting would begin during the fall of 2017, which was much earlier than expected. But without casting announcements or a director (Yes, we know that Alex Kurtzman was attached to direct, but that was ages ago.), it seems implausible.
But, given the release date (October 5, 2018), the studio must have been prepping for the project for some time. Otherwise, it would indeed be a mess, right?
According to the same production listings, Venom is set to be an action/sci-fi/horror hybrid. As far as we’re concerned, that’s the proper way to go with such a character. However…
For mature audiences
Like any comic book supervillain, Venom has killed quite a number of his fellow characters, because the Symbiote enhances the emotions, making them definite character traits. We even saw this happening in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 (yes, even that weird emo phase).
Taking this into account, the Venom movie would work brilliantly as a story intended for mature audiences. Of course, this being a business, Sony would want to make the most of the character, so they’re likely to push for a PG rating.
Nonetheless, Fox’s huge success with Deadpool and Logan makes us wonder whether Sony will stay true to the character by making an R-rated flick or turn him into a watered-down anti-hero in his very first outing. If there’s no connection between Venom and the MCU, the former could happen.
And that would be great! Venom would be the first supervillain/horror flick ever! We want to be terrified by such a character, and we want to learn afterward (in sequels, which are almost certainly being planned) that there is another side to this character.
Again, we think it would be impossible for Sony to make a Venom movie without binging Peter Parker into the fold, especially if the studio decides to use the Eddie Brock version of the character. And that’s because Brock's story as a supervillain begins because of Spider-Man (as many other supervillains’ stories also began).
The comics revealed that Venom used to be Eddie Brock, a journalist with the Daily Globe. When he confuses a compulsive confessor with a dangerous villain, and Peter Parker gets the story right, Eddie Brock blames him.
Depressed and trying to find solace, Brock is bonded with the Symbiote, who feels his hatred toward Parker and Spider-Man. This is when Brock takes Venom as his name. Disgraced as a journalist, he starts writing sensationalist pieces for venomous tabloids.
So it would be pretty difficult for Sony to have the Eddie Brock version of the villain without Spider-Man"¦
However, the Symbiote has had plenty of other hosts. It was recently revealed that Deadpool was the original host, and that he became a villain because bonding with the Symbiote drove him insane. To separate the story from Peter Parker’s, Sony could consider any such host.
While these other hosts are also connected with Spider-Man (or other heroes that aren't owned by Sony), the studio could move forward with the Flash Thompson version of the character. After high school, Thompson's story could be told without mentioning the web crawler.
Writing Venom as a black-ops agent for the government would set him up as an anti-hero. Incorporating events from Flash’s life (such as his military career, the loss of his legs, his severe depression, his alcoholism, and so on) could earn the movie a rating for more mature audiences.
Of course, there will be a twist, especially since Flash wouldn't be able to wear the Symbiote for more than 48 hours. But this would be a great way for Sony to introduce their other characters.
We’ve already mentioned that Venom is actually a parasitic life form from outer space. As his name suggests, he bonds with a host, granting it extraordinary powers. Unfortunately for the host, the symbiote takes control and slowly consumes the host’s body and mind.
You may remember that Sony had the opportunity to actually present a Venom prequel in Life, with the alien arriving on Earth from Mars. This didn’t happen, but it was a neat concept.
If the Spider-Man connection doesn't exist, and the studio won't touch the character’s comic book origin, here’s an idea: What if a team of astronauts brings this alien creature back to earth as in Spider-Man 3? The studio shouldn't even use the name of the race from the comics (Klyntar), unless that’s the name of one of the discovering astronauts.
While this sort of repeat story might anger some fans, general audiences who are unfamiliar with Secret Wars (the Symbiote’s first appearance) would most likely be fine with it. This would grant Sony some freedom, since they wouldn’t need to use any other Marvel heroes or villains from the storyline mentioned above.
As far as we’re concerned, this kind of detail could be kept back for sequels. It would be interesting to see a Venom movie in which he is hunted by the Xenofage, an alien species that finds the symbiote a delicacy.
The Lethal Protector
We don't know how this would work in the absence of Spider-Man, but Venom could be presented as a Lethal Protector in the very first movie. The movie would take place in San Francisco rather than New York, with the Symbiote establishing itself as a violent vigilante. This could work, especially if we consider the fact that the alien exacerbates the negative impulses its host feels (insert dramatic back story for the host here).
In the comics, Venom leaves New York after reaching a truce with Spider-Man. If the movie had no connection to the MCU, that would be for the better, even though this part of the storyline would be kept out. That way, Sony could move forward with the rating everyone wanted.
Of course, things wouldn't go according to plan, since Venom would have to face superpowered villains, summoned by the father of one of his victims. This type of plot does sound appealing, and it would also be an opportunity for Sony to introduce other characters to which it still holds the rights (we suspect).
Of course, the Symbiote invasion of New York would be connected to Spider-Man. In the comics, Parker makes Eddie Brock doubt his decisions and, in turn, Brock instructs the Symbiote to leave him. In despair, the Symbiote attracts others of his species, and they plan to build a portal that would basically mean the beginning of an invasion of Earth. The plan is foiled when Brock once again bonds with the Symbiote and defeats the invaders.
Such a story could be adapted without involving Parker, even if it means leaving out quite a few details from the comics.
As far as action, sci-fi, and horror are concerned, this premise sounds amazing, since it would also mean detailing the Symbiote’s back story. Furthermore, his rejection by the host could also be explored, giving the alien a more humane personality (if we may say so).
Of course, these are just assumptions. What do you think?
And now, you can't mention Venom without his most well-known offspring.
At this point, we believe that Carnage should be introduced in a sequel, because, barring Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, general audiences may not know who or what Venom is. So the first movie should focus on Venom and his back story.
This doesn't mean that Carnage shouldn't be teased in the first movie. There are plenty of ways Cletus Kasady could be introduced, no matter what story Sony decided to adapt in the first Venom flick.
Sure, Maximum Carnage should be considered for a Venom vs. Carnage movie. In the comic book, the supervillain recruits an army of his peers to take over New York, only to be stopped by Spider-Man, Venom, and other superheroes and anti-villains.
However, there are other storylines that could be adapted, even if it means removing Spider-Man.
As Spider-Man’s enemy, Venom should be a pretty strong supervillain, right? As a matter of fact, he’s one of the strongest, thanks to the species’ natural abilities. The Symbiote does indeed exacerbate the host’s negative emotions, but also grants super-strength, super-agility, super-durability, a healing factor, and the powers of previous hosts. This always comes in handy, since Venom can use Spider-Man's powers on any other host.
Furthermore, the Symbiote can expand himself to any size, meaning that he can regenerate even lost limbs (remember Flash Thompson).
Again, the Symbiote retains some of the previous hosts’ powers. Like Spider-Man, Venom can also produce an infinite amount of webbing. And this should come in handy, even if there’s no mention of Peter Parker in the flick.
But, just like any character, Venom also has weaknesses.
In the end, just like any comic book character, the Symbiote also has weaknesses that should be explored in the movie. Spider-Man 3 revealed he’s sensitive to loud noises and sonic waves, which he discovers as he climbs a bell tower.
The Symbiote also fears fire, since his amorphous form collapses if overheated.
But there is one other fear we should explore. The Symbiote fears drifting away in the vacuum of space without a host to feed upon. This is a psychological fear that leads to separation anxiety, and it could cause audiences to further empathize with Venom.