Despite inking a deal with Disney to add Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe just two years ago, Sony has announced out of the blue that they are planning a live-action Venom movie for a release date of October 5, 2018. Talks of a Venom film have been batted around for years and Sony notoriously shoehorned him into Spider-Man 3, hoping to bank on his popularity.
This move comes as Sony is already planning an animated Spider-Man film featuring Miles Morales, the Black-Hispanic successor to Peter Parker in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics Universe.
Jeff Pinkner, who helped write The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as Scott Rosenberg,
have turned in a draft for the film. Alex Kurtzman, famous for his work with J.J. Abrams, but with a checkered past as a writer and producer, is rumored to direct. Avi Arad, who produced every Marvel Studios film throughThe Incredible Hulk, before breaking with the studio and joining Sony on The Amazing Spider-Man films, will produce the movie alongside Matt Tolmach. Amy Pascal, known infamously for her role in Sony’s leaked email scandal, will also serve as a producer on the film.
As Venom is a character whose stories have always been deeply connected to Spider-Man, it will be insteresting to see how Sony handles this risky adaptation. Recently in the comics, the Venom symbiote bonded with Peter Parker’s former bully, Flash Thompson, who became a black-ops agent for the United States government and later a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. If Sony were to pursue a story more akin to what the former brain-eating villain has been featured in as of late, it could free him from many of the constraints that might possibly be placed on him in a regular Spider-Man film.
As it currently stands, this sudden announcement worries me to no end, not only because of the surprisingly short timetable, but also because of the many people behind the camera. Venom has languished as a character for many years and an unexpected take could reinvigorate the symbiote for a new generation.