Sony's VENOM to be a Horror Movie?

Written by Andrew Pollard Monday, 27 March 2017

Movie News

Earlier this month, Sony Pictures moved ahead and announced an October 5th, 2018 release date for their long-mooted Venom, and now comes an interesting new titbit of news related to that particular picture.

According to the usually reliable My Entertainment World site, Venom is being listed as an “action/horror/science fiction” movie. Given how some of the greatest moments of Venom’s comic book history, particularly his early years, had him positioned as a truly terrifying, unstoppable and violent character, giving the Venom film a horror-heavy edge would be an interesting and clever move from Sony.

In a world where Deadpool and Logan have pushed the superhero/comic book movie dynamic to its extremes in terms of adult themes and edginess, going all-in on a dark and twisted Venom could well be a wise move for a film that many are cautious and uncertain about to begin with.

Sony has previously confirmed that Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner are the duo tasked with penning this Eddie Brock tale. Rosenberg is best known for his work on Pain & Gain and Jumanji, while Pinkner has previous with Wall-crawler-based shenanigans, having been involved with The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

To give a little background on this whole thing, you may remember that a Venom picture had been in development for a little while a few years ago. At that point, ahead of their release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony made the bold move of announcing The Amazing Spider-Man 3The Amazing Spider-Man 4, and spinoff films in the shape of The Sinister Six and, you guessed it, Venom. Of course, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a huge, huge disappointment and promptly killed off that franchise and its planned spinoffs.

Since then, despite Tom Holland’s new incarnation of the beloved Wall-crawler debuting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - a move that happened due to a joint agreement between Sony and Marvel/Disney - plans soon emerged that Sony were still looking at doing that Venom movie, supposedly in a way that wouldn’t tie in with the MCU whatsoever. It seemed a little bit of a strange plan to many, but Sony Pictures were determined to get something out of the Spidey character that would mean they wouldn’t need to share any profits or creative decisions with the big boys over at Marvel Studios. And then it all went quiet… until a few weeks ago.

By confirming a release date and writers for Venom, clearly Sony again reiterated that they mean business. Whether it’s good business, we’ll have to wait and see, for one argument would be to let the MCU Spidey develop a little more before then exploring your options. As it stands, it seems a little foolish to throw Venom – one of Spider-Man’s greatest foes – out there in his own solo picture while Tom Holland’s Web-head is still very much in his infancy; essentially, it could well be a case of putting the horse before the cart.

Either way, Venom is indeed happening, although it will happen separately to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which houses Holland’s Spidey. In addition to that, Sony is also developing a Silver Sable and Black Cat team-up movie that will also exist away from the MCU and seemingly in the same universe as Venom.

To be honest, we’d likely say it’s best to keep Venom separate from the MCU at this stage, for, as we mentioned, it just feels far too early to have the Venom character introduced to the world of the current cinematic Spidey when ol’ Web-head is still at such an early stage of his superhero career. Even if this take on Venom exists outside the MCU, many fans are still going to associate it with Holland's Wall-crawler.

This won’t be the first time that Venom will be appearing on the big screen, of course, for Topher Grace played the character in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. While hope was extremely high once it was revealed that this fan favourite villain was to make his big screen splash, that hope was soon dashed when Grace was cast in the role. Nothing against Topher Grace, for he’s certainly a talented fella, but to many fans he was a strange choice to play the hulking role of meathead Eddie Brock. As it happened, many were left hugely disappointed by Venom’s live-action debut, and that film indeed proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Tobey Maguire-starring franchise.

The comic book roots of Venom can be traced back to 1984’s The Amazing Spider-Man #252, which saw Spidey wearing a new and swanky black costume that was essentially an alien symbiote. Down the line, once Parker realised the costume was causing him to act erratic and aggressive, the Wall-crawler got rid of the getup – only for the symbiote to bond with Eddie Brock. A photographer with a huge grudge against Spider-Man, Brock was the perfect host for the symbiote, and thus the two merged to become Venom. Initially depicted as a scary-as-shit villain who Spidey simply couldn’t escape, be it as Spider-Man or just as plain old Peter Parker, over the years Venom was depicted more as an anti-hero or even, dare we say it, a flat-out hero at certain points in time. And Venom wasn’t the only symbiote-based character to turn up in Spidey’s world, for the likes of Carnage and Toxin would follow down the line. In addition to that, the Venom symbiote and moniker itself has not just had Eddie Brock as its host, and more recent years have seen Mac Gargan, aka Scorpion, and Flash Thompson become Venom.

As ever, expect to hear a whole lot more on this as it all develops, but in the meantime you can catch the next outing for Tom Holland’s Spidey when Spider-Man: Homecoming hits screens in July.

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