Venom: Josh Trank Details His Plans for Scrapped R-Rated Film

Earlier this week we got our first details of what Venom almost looked like on the big screen before actor Tom Hardy could take the part. After the success of Chronicle in early 2012, filmmaker Josh Trank became attached to a variety of high-profile projects including being given a chance to develop Venom for the big screen. One report summed up his pitch as being simply inspired by the Jim Carrey movie The Mask, but now Trank himself has opened up about his plans for the film, including how big of a fan he is of the character's co-creator Todd McFarlane and how the whole thing came crashing down.

"I'm a huge fan of Todd McFarlane in general and Venom was just a character I've always loved," Trank told ComicBookMovie in a new interview. "I immediately thought about The Mask. This could be like a really cool synthesis of everything about The Mask that I loved, but infused into the lore of this iconic Marvel character."

He adds, "I definitely miscalculated being within the studio system with that kind of aesthetic. I thought this was an opportunity to make something really character-y, uncomfortable, and break ground in terms of having this super nuanced uncomfortable character story with the branding of a massive four quadrant superhero film. We turned in the treatment, and they didn't like it. That kind of says everything."

Trank admits he hasn't seen the version that made it to theaters in 2018, but that he and star Tom Hardy had a funny encounter when the actor (who stars in Trank's new film) spoke about the project, saying: "The fact Tom and I are so in sync with each other, it makes sense he would go into that using the perfect Jim Carrey as The Mask template type of character for Eddie Brock and Venom. I'm so happy it did as well as it did as it's cool to know everyone loves Tom Hardy for that, and he's one actor out there who's really gonna go there while at the same time having real bona fide potential as an action star. It's so rare."

Hardy will return to the character next year for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the highly anticipated sequel that will see him taking on Woody Harrelson as Cletus Cassidy/Carnage. Originally set to arrive in theaters this year, the film is now scheduled to arrive on June 25, 2021.