Earlier today, Exhibitor Relations broke the exciting news that Sony Pictures' Venom spin-off movie is scheduled to be released on October 5, 2018. And while they also initially reported that Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) would direct Venom, Sony later informed them that Kurtzman won't be at the helm.
Furthermore, Sony let it be known that Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, the screenwriters behind Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's Jumanji movie, have brought on to pen Venom. They replace Edge of Tomorrow scribe, Dante Harper, who was tapped to write it one year ago.
Although it appears that Sony will actually make a Venom spin-off movie this time around, it isn't the first time the studio has planned a feature film for the Spider-Man villain-turned-anti-hero. Click on "Start Slideshow" to check all of the previous times a Venom movie was in the works.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast features Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green, and Marisa Tomei.
The film is being directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car), based on a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Vacation reboot) and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on July 7, 2017.
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David S. Goyer's Venom
Years before Sam Raimi directed Sony's Spider-Man (2002), New Line Cinema actually had the rights to the character. While not much is known about that unmade film, we do know that David S. Goyer — the screenwriter behind the Blade trilogy (also directed 2004's Blade: Trinity), Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder's Man of Steel — was hired to pen the script, and it would've featured Venom as an anti-hero and Carnage as the antagonist.
Gary Ross's Venom
In July 2007, nearly 20 years after Venom first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988) and three months after he made his cinematic debut (portrayed by Topher Grace) in Spider-Man 3, producer Avi Arad revealed that Sony was developing a Venom spin-off. Jacob Estes penned the first draft, but by September 2008, he was replaced with Zombieland and Deadpool screenwriters, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. Then, in October 2009, Gary Ross — the writer and director of Seabiscuit (2003) and The Hunger Games (2012) — was hired to direct and rewrite the script.
Josh Trank's Venom
In March 2012, a month after Chronicle was released in North America, Sony entered into negotiations with Josh Trank to direct Venom. And while, yes, he never officially came on board the project, he was reportedly close to saying yes. What stopped him? Trank was a hot commodity at that time, so 20th Century Fox also went after Trank hard, offering him Fantastic Four. How'd that work out again?
Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man Universe
In December 2013, six months before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released, Sony officially announced plans to expand the franchise with Venom and Sinister Six movies. As for the former, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Ed Solomon were announced as the screenwriters and Kurtzman (The Mummy) would've directed it. That would've marked his directorial debut.
Before it was officially canned, Kurtzman talked about how he viewed the character and his approach to the spin-off. "Venom is sort of the flipside," he explained to MTV in September 2014. "There are certain lines that Spider-Man won't cross, because he's Peter Parker, and Peter Parker will only do certain things. And Venom is an entirely different character." Kurtzman added, "Venom in a weird way is the representation of every line that will get crossed, so he's a much darker character. I wouldn't even really say more complicated, because I think they are both very complicated characters. I think the attraction for me to Venom is that you can do things that you can't do with Spider-Man."
Producer Avi Arad wanted the film to delve into the character's moral ambiguity. "Venom hated only one guy – Spider-Man," he told SFX (March 2014). "He wasn’t innately bad, he was a shortcut guy, not really into fighting hard for achievement. That’s the Venom story. Can he also be a good guy? As you know, Venom was also called ‘lethal defender of the innocent’. We had a great history with him, especially caring for the homeless, which is a very sensitive issue and something that many of us are very concerned with. Our villains all represent a different side of the misunderstood, and some of them unfortunately turned to the dark side. Venom happened to be a phenomenal character. With Eddie Brock, or if you do Flash Thompson, it doesn’t matter who is going to be inside the suit – what’s important is that a man like him is going to realize there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say 'How did I get here? There must be a better way.'"