According to Hollywood.com, the long-in-development Venom movie currently being worked on by Chronicle director Josh Trank will tie directly into the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, creating a continuity between the Sony-owned film franchises.
The move, of course, apes the success that Marvel Studios and their new parent company, Walt Disney, have had with the films leading up to and now including The Avengers. That film hit theaters last month and has shattered dozens of box office records, including besting the previous record for highest-grossing opening weekend by nearly another half.
A previous big-screen iteration of Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote costume appeared in Spider-Man 3, Sam Raimi’s final film before stepping away from the franchise. Among the many elements of that film reviled by fans and critics, the handling of Venom topped the list. Producer Avi Arad, who has had a key hand in almost every Marvel film to date, says they’re looking to make a Venom film that’s closer in tone and spirit to the comics than what fans saw from Raimi.”What I’m trying to say to you without giving anything away is hopefully all these worlds will live together in peace someday,” Amazing Spider-Man producer Matthew Tolmach told the website of the Marvel properties housed at Sony.
“It’s an Eddie Brock story,” Arad is quoted as saying in the article. “We want to be as close to the comics as possible, especially in Eddie Brock’s story. But again, pseudo-sceince is becoming science. All these tidbits about webs, artificial webs, is a huge industry now. Spiderwebs have unique qualities that will be huge for communications, fibers, and so forth. So we have taken the approach that we want to make the huge amazing movie about Eddie.”
The producers note that the core of Brock’s origin story–that he was a reporter who got a story wrong and was humiliated and punished for it–is a very human story with broader appeal than reinvented origins that have been attached to the character in the past, including in Spider-Man 3.
Though Eddie Brock was primarily a Spider-Man villain who occasionally had some antihero qualities (depending on the situation and the writer), the fan-favorite character does not currently appear in Marvel’s Venom stories, which star Spider-Man’s old high school bully Flash Thompson as a version of the character who uses the symbiote to conduct clandestine military operations.
Whether Sony might decide to include Ghost Rider, another Marvel character to which they own the rights, in any future “crossovers” is unclear. After two flops, and considering that his tone doesn’t fit what we’ve seen so far from The Amazing Spider-Man, it might be a hard sell–but if Sony goes too long without exploiting the property it may revert back to Marvel, something the studio obviously doesn’t want to see happen.
Spider-Man, Venom and Ghost Rider all starred together in the Spirits of Venom crossover back in the ’90s, which actually featured both Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, the second Ghost Rider, who was active at the time.