Five Things We Know About Sony’s ‘Venom’

Five Things We Know About Sony’s ‘Venom’

No matter what anybody says about this, it looks like Sony’s definitely going through with their plans for a Spider-Man cinematic universe that perplexingly won’t star Spider-Man.  The production is starting to come together, the release date is set, and now we have nothing to do but sit back and see just how momentously titanic a failure it’ll turn out to be.

I guess they can pull it off — in an “everything’s technically possible” sort of way — but it’s not likely, especially considering their historic track record with this particular franchise.  Don’t believe me?  Consider what we know about the production so far.

1) Starring Tom Hardy — Say what you will about these Sony-verse movies being completely unnecessary, but they’re nailing their casting about as well as DC.  The biggest — but by no means only — problem with Spider-Man 3 was the man that they chose to play Eddie Brock: rom-com mainstay Topher Grace.  Even before fusing with the Symbiote, Brock was always a bit of a muscle-headed goon: touting the kind of old school masculinity that flew in the face of Peter Parker’s internalized guilt and intellectualism.

This time around, however, Sony seems to have learned their lesson.  Instead of an ineffectual pretty boy, they chose Tom freaking Hardy.  If any actor was born for this role, it’s hardy.  His most iconic roles — from Bane to Mad Max — exude the exact kind of caveman machismo that Brock was built around.  The fact that he’s really, really good at what he does is just an added bonus.

Five Things We Know About Sony’s ‘Venom’

2) Carnage — While plot details are still a little scant at this point, there are a few details that we do know about.  In addition to focusing on Eddie Brock — rather than the more modern version of the character embodied by Flash Thompson — we know that he’ll be facing off against his most popular rival: Carnage.

In a lot of ways, Carnage is pretty much just red Venom.  His powers are a touch different from our black-clad anti-hero — most often allowing him to reshape his body into axes and blades — but it follows Marvel’s tried-and-true method of making the villain’s powers a direct foil to the hero’s.  And Carnage’s host, the deranged Cletus Cassidy, is basically Marvel’s psychotic stand-in for the Joker.

Five Things We Know About Sony’s ‘Venom’

3) The Meaning of ‘Life’ — One of the more bizarre stories to come out surrounding this film is how Sony plans on introducing the title character.  And by “plans,” I mean that it supposedly already has.  This year.  In an otherwise completely unrelated movie.

Life was a modern day take on Alien, where a crew aboard the International Space Station recovers a dormant Martian lifeform, revive it and are then killed off one by one.  The alien ends up planetside, where it implicitly went on to wipe out all life on Earth.

Sony, however, has begun to insist that the movie is really a Venom prequel and that its extraterrestrial beastie, Calvin, is the Venom symbiote.  It’s a stupid marketing decision that doesn’t make a lick of sense and only serves to cheapen an otherwise great film in retrospect, but that’s where we are in this whole affair.

4) From the Man Who Brought You ‘Zombieland’ — Sony genuinely is pulling out all the stops for this movie.  It’s almost as if the future of their film division depends on it producing at least one blockbuster hit in the foreseeable future (hint: it actually does).  As such, they’re doing everything within their power to make people actually want to see it.

Ruben Fleischer is a good choice to direct.  While few people will recognize the name, most will doubtless recognize his work.  Best known for directing Zombieland — along with a couple other so-so comedies — it breathes at least some hope into the idea that this won’t be the grimdark 90’s revival that it otherwise could have been.

Five Things We Know About Sony’s ‘Venom’

5) Coming to a Theater Near Your — The best part about Venom is that you won’t have to wait very long to find out if it’s any good or not.  Although the project has taken a full decade to get any kind of traction, Sony’s fast tracking this thing to make sure it comes out post-haste.  It’s set to release October 5, 2018: two months before the company’s animated Miles Morales movie.

Especially with how belabored this whole affair has been — from Sony’s first attempt to film Venom utterly ruining Spider-Man 3 to its shared universe ambitions doing the same to The Amazing Spider-Man — I can’t help but feel that this is all going way too fast.  I mean, the studio can’t even decide if they want to connect it to a mid-level horror movie hardly anybody’s seen, how can they be expected to tie it into a larger, more ambitious cinematic universe?  And really, after the last three Spider-Man movies they put out, I don’t want them anywhere near this franchise.


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