We Are Venom?
Well, apparently Sony has decided to move forward with their Venom spin off film. This is a surprising (and pretty dumb) decision on their part, because Sony’s Venom film will try to use the character without any connection to Spider-Man. Much has been made about Spider-Man’s inclusion into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and many people know of Venom because of Spider-Man. So why the hell would Sony be interested in trying to get this movie off the ground in the first place?
Well, it probably has something to do with Avi Arad.
Yes, the producer who helped bring Spider-Man to the big screen all the way back in 2002 is the same one who believes they can bring Venom into cinemas without a connection to Spider-Man. There have been a lot of rumors about Arad’s place in the Spider-Man franchise after the Sony and Marvel Studios union, but they all have one thing in common: Arad, who once had a major say in Spider-Man’s movies, no longer has a creative say. Naturally this has given Arad quite the chip on his shoulder, and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if the Venom news is directly from Arad wanting to have control over some aspect of the Spider-Man franchise just out of spite.
Using Venom on his own seems like it would be a no-brainer for Sony…..until you realize that everything about Venom, from his powers to his appearance, is based in part on the fact that the alien symbiote costume was first on Spider-Man. Since it’s probably not possible for Sony to try and cram all of that information into the beginning of a Venom movie, odds are that they’ll try to find some new way of spinning the symbiote on its own. Sure, this COULD work, but I highly doubt that the end result will be better than anything we’ve seen in the comic pages.
If Spider-Man: Homecoming had come out and underperformed I would understand Sony’s decision to move forward with Venom (and apparently Black Cat and Silver Sable), but their first joint movie with Marvel Studios hasn’t released yet, so why go through with these plans now? It also seems suspect from a business standpoint as well. As I said before, a lot of people are talking about the deal Sony struck with Marvel Studios to put Spider-Man into the MCU. Now, by going forward with Venom, Sony could put some doubt into the relationship they have with Marvel. I can’t imagine that Kevin Feige and other Marvel execs are happy with Sony’s decision, and while they can’t tell them not to do it; they could make their feelings well known in public, which would start some pretty bad early buzz for Sony (which can already be glimpsed with Homecoming director Jon Watt’s reaction to the Venom news).
It’s strange to me that Sony would push forward with this idea, well before they get the box office results of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Perhaps if Homecoming’s inclusion into the MCU proves to be a massive success for Sony they’ll change their tune. After all, money is what truly talks in Hollywood, and they are the first studio to make this kind of high profile deal with Marvel. Here’s hoping Homecoming is a big enough success to kill this Venom movie dead in its tracks. If not, we could see the beginnings of a comic book movie implosion.