I'm a huge fan of Venom, but I have to say I was extremely skeptical a few months ago when Sony announced their plans to move forward with a Venom film. As much as I love the character, having a film focus just on Eddie Brock and the tale of the symbiote would be incredibly difficult to pull off and even harder to sell to the general audience. However, now that I've seen (and enjoyed) The Amazing Spider-Man, I think a Venom film actually makes a lot of sense in this newly established world and hopefully it will help us forget all about his lackluster appearance in Spider-Man 3.
Based on a few select quotes from the people involved, it sounds like the movie will merge elements from Venom's history in the 616 universe (that's the regular one you know and love) and the Ultimate (1610) universe. The Amazing Spider-Man's producer, Avi Arad, told Hollywood.com, "It's an Eddie Brock story," and added, "We want to be as close to the comics as possible. Especially in Eddie Brock's story. But again, pseudo-science is becoming science." So far it's definitely looking like everything in The Amazing Spider-Man's universe is revolving around science. Needless to say, having an alien symbiote randomly crash land in the Big Apple wouldn't fit very well with the tone. That would be like giving Bane his luchador looking costume in Christopher Nolan's dark and gritty Batman movieverse. It just wouldn't work. In order to give the symbiote an organic fit in this universe, they'd need to connect it to a more realistic means, and it just so happens that's exactly the case in the 1610 universe.
In the Ultimate universe it's not called the Venom symbiote, but instead it's dubbed "The Suit." The dark substance was created by none other than Peter Parker's dad, Richard Parker -- yeah, the guy The Amazing Spider-Man established as having a mysterious past with groundbreaking experiments. Peter's papa worked diligently with Eddie Brock Sr. to create a suit that would cure cancer, but Trask Industries (conveniently replace this with "Oscorp" for the movie) thought it could be used as a weapon and took control of the project. Sometime later, both are killed in the plane crash.
Now we have a scientific approach to the slimy substance, but what about the man under the suit? In the 1610 world, Edward Brock Jr. is a college student attending Empire State University. He worked with Dr. Curt Connors to continue his father's work on The Suit. Pete wanted to destroy The Suit (after wearing it for a bit and losing control), and this didn't sit well with Brock at all. He thought The Suit was all he had left of his father and loathed Peter for wanting to destroy it. This could be translated extremely well into Oscorp - especially if it takes place before Connors turns into the Lizard - but there's one key problem: the producers implied they want Eddie Brock to more like his 616 counter-part.
"He was a journalist. He had the wrong story, he got in trouble for it, he got fired," says producer Matthew Tolmach about the classic Spider-Man villain. 616 Brock has a totally different story than his 1610 doppelganger. Brock reports on the villain called Sin Eater and makes a story announcing the identity of the serial killer. But, shortly later, the real Sin-Eater is captured by Spider-Man. Brock's life ends up in the gutter. He loses his job (and reputation), goes through a divorce and instead of blaming himself, he points the finger at Spider-Man for all of his troubles. Seeing as we know the Daily Bugle exists in The Amazing Spider-Man's world (spotted a newspaper by the subway entrance and they have a TV news station), it's possible the story could follow Brock working as a reporter there.
The story of Ultimate Venom's powers meshes well with the science oriented world of Amazing Spider-Man and Eddie Brock can fit perfectly into the already existing Daily Bugle. From there, it's up to the magical minds of the screenwriters to have The Suit slither onto Brock after Spider-Man reveals the true identity of the Sin Eater (or does something else to prove his story false and turn Brock emotastic). And speaking of Spider-Man, I'm confident that Andrew Garfield would be up for sharing some screen time in the film (after all, he said he'd love to appear in Marvel's The Avengers). No matter how popular Venom is among comic fans, they simply can't sell this to the masses without Spidey's oh-so familiar face thrown into the mix. So it's likely the emphasis will be on Brock and we'll get a side dose of Spidey. Plus, who wouldn't want a well done Brock vs Parker battle on the big screen?
I know a lot of you want to see Flash Thompson under the symbiote, but after Avi's comments it seems clear the flick will be all about Eddie. But, that's no reason to frown! The Amazing Spider-Man clearly gave some extra attention to Eugene; molding him from a generic bully into a decent dude and a Spider-Man fanboy. So, having the symbiote smother over him could absolutely make for some interesting twists in future films, especially if it retains the knowledge that Pete is the Wall-Crawler. It's probably not likely, but there's the potential for that to take place in a Venom follow-up if it rakes in enough cash for Sony.
Sony was eyeing Chronicle director Josh Trank to direct the movie, but unfortunately Fox has snagged the man first. He's now behind the Fantastic Four reboot. I don't know who else they have in mind for the task, but I'll be sure to update this if/when Sony dishes out more details.
After seeing The Amazing Spider-Man, do you agree or disagree that a Venom solo film is a good idea? Also, how do you think they're going to transfer the story of Eddie Brock and his transition to Venom on the big screen?