What if Topher Grace Had Never Played Venom?

Topher Grace as Venom in Spiderman

It’s so easy to blame an actor for the failure of a movie, even if it’s a group effort and one actor couldn’t possibly tank it for everyone. Topher Grace has taken a lot of flak however after playing the character of Venom in Spider-Man 3. Let’s face facts, a lot of people couldn’t see the guy that played Eric Forman stepping up to bat and taking Venom anywhere but in a downward spiral as quickly as possible. It might be almost impossible to take everything from the comics and make it real but sometimes there’s not as much effort put into each role as there needs to be in order to make it seem plausible enough for fans to accept. That’s when the rumor boards and gossip mongers start coming out of the woodwork and calling for people’s heads due to the undesired results that come from not sticking closely enough to the source material. To be honest it wasn’t all Topher’s fault that this role fell so flat, but he did have a hand in it.

The Initial Mistake

If Topher Grace had never taken the role of Eddie Brock/Venom then movie might have still tanked, but his reputation would have been close to the same it seems. So many people are down on Topher, or were, for having taken this role that some even blamed the failure of the movie entirely upon him. To be quite honest it was nice to see Venom in a Spider-Man movie finally but it was done in a way that was only close to accurate. If you look at the upcoming Venom movie starring Tom Hardy vs. the appearance put in by Topher you should see the difference right away. Here, let’s take  a look:

See how Venom is big, hulking, and just flat out nasty? This is the character from the comic books, and this is the way he needs to look in the movies. Eddie Brock is definitely being represented better by the stockier and much more forceful presence of Tom Hardy. He exemplifies the unstable nature of the character and has shown in the past that he can have the level of aggression that Venom needs to exist onscreen.

In comparison Topher’s take on Venom was more like another Spider-Man, albeit with teeth and a really nasty attitude. You can argue that this is pretty much who Venom is, but in truth he’s a lot more than that. Topher would have been better off refusing this role and moving on to something else than taking it and trying to make it work. In fact the only person that seemed to work in this movie aside from Kirsten Dunst was Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko/Sandman. He played his role beautifully and didn’t have a lot of struggles trying to integrate his character into the story. He was out for one thing, a way to pay for his ailing daughter’s treatments, and his story just happened to coincide with Spider-Man due to past and current events.


Post Spider-Man 3

Topher Grace’s reputation and career wasn’t ruined by this movie. Spider-Man 3 was an ill-advised attempt at keeping the franchise going, but it didn’t exactly ruin anybody that was involved with it. If anything the movie was a minor speed bump, a ‘whoopsie’ that won’t be forgotten but can be moved past at least. Topher’s role as Eric Forman on That 70’s Show kind of cemented him in the fabric of pop culture, and it was just a means of finding more roles that he could fill after that. So far it looks like he’s been seen to fit into direct to DVD movies and other smaller films that don’t warrant much attention, but he has been in films like Predators, where he got to play the psychotic character of Edwin.

Speaking just for myself, Edwin is probably one of the only two good roles he’s had since his time in That 70’s Show. Edwin is so out of place in this group that one has to wonder just why he was included for much of the film. But when it’s revealed that he’s a doctor you can almost forgive the writers since warriors will need someone that can patch them up and identify what’s wrong with them on occasion. But for a hunt like this a doctor hardly seems plausible. Then however you get to find out exactly why he was chosen. He can be invisible in his own way since buried beneath that intellectual facade is a dyed in the wool killer, which is something the Predators would recognize and no doubt see as worthy for their game.

The only other role that was great because of him came in Ocean’s Eleven when he played himself and showed just how inept celebrities can be at poker. Playing opposite Brad Pitt for just a few minutes was kind of amusing, but it was also one of his best roles to date.

If nothing else this was a very amusing scene and could have made a lot of people feel just a tiny bit superior to celebrities that really don’t know how to play the game. Come on, didn’t a lot of us learn to play in our childhood years?

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