Is Sony betting on black in a bid to jump-start its aging "Spider-Man" franchise? That's the news coming out of Hollywood as the studio reportedly develops a spin-off around Venom, the menacing alien symbiote featured in "Spider-Man 3” that bonded with both Peter Parker and disgraced reporter Eddie Brock.
Introduced to the Marvel Universe more than twenty years ago, Venom has provided a variety of hosts with enhanced powers, always with devastating effects as it perpetrates a reign of terror. As one of the most villainous characters in the Marvel arsenal, could this pile of extraterrestrial goo really transition to leading man?
"I think Venom could headline a good movie on his own, but it would be tricky and would depend in large part on the script," Venom's creator David Michelinie told MTV News. As the "Amazing Spider-Man" writer behind the origin story depicted in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3," Michelinie argues the film's success would depend most on who's inhabiting the suit.
In "Spider-Man 3," Venom fused with Eddie Brock (played by Topher Grace), but Brock's climactic and seemingly conclusive death scene leaves an open slot for the symbiote's host. "If Eddie's still dead from "Spider-Man 3," stated Michelinie," "the story and the success of the movie would depend almost entirely on the personality of the character who would combine with the symbiote: his motivations, his background, his methodology...his heart and soul."
Giving the film a heart will be one of the biggest factors towards a successful Venom film, said "Incredible Hulk vs. Venom" author Peter David. "The trick is making sure that there's a sympathetic character for the audience to identify with," he said. "In a Venom film, that could be anyone from whoever Venom's antagonist is to whomever the symbiote possesses."
Writer/artist Kaare Andrews, whose "Spider-Man: Reign" pitted Peter Parker against Venom in a shadowy future, calls the thought of a theatrical leap exciting. "I'm hoping this version of Venom will be the big beast of an alien from comics and not as wimpy and whiney as the last movie." Andrews, for his part, hopes Spider-Man remains the hero at the other end of the mutant battle. "They are so great as opposing forces, and as a fan I feel a little cheated from 'Spider-Man 3.'"
If a Venom film does move forward, one thing is clear. As the first superhero movie with a supervillain as its star, fans will expect a certain tone...and it's not sunshine and flowers. "It'd be cool if they made it the darkest and most disturbing 'Spider-Man' movie to date," mused "Spider-Man: Venom vs. Carnage" writer Peter Milligan. "A real journey into the dark side of the inhuman soul. But that won't happen."
So what do you think...should a Venom film move forward? What does it need to succeed? Tell us below.