Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick Talk About Their VENOM Script, Which They Describe as “Dark and Soul Searchy”; Say It’s Unlikely to Move Forward

     March 26, 2013

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One of the most popular and widely known characters from the Spider-Man universe is undoubtedly Venom.  When Sam Raimi’s feature film adaptation of Spider-Man hit theaters in 2002 and become a massive success, fans started speculating about when/if we would see the Venom character pop up in a subsequent sequel.  Despite Raimi’s reluctance to use the character, Venom eventually made an appearance in Spider-Man 3, after which Sony started working on a spinoff film for the villain.  Though the pic has yet to actually come to fruition, a few scripts for a Venom movie have been written, including a couple drafts by Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

Steve recently spoke with Reese and Wernick in anticipation of the release of the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which they wrote, and the duo talked about their proposed Venom film.  The two talked briefly about their take on the character and how it’s unlikely that their iteration of the script will get made, also teasing a pretty great sequence from their proposed Venom movie.  Hit the jump to read on.

venom-comic-coverReese and Wernick were tapped to pen the script for a Venom film in late 2008, but Gary Ross subsequently boarded the project as director in 2009, taking a stab at the script himself.  Most recently, Chronicle director Josh Trank signed on to take the helm of the film last spring, but Venom is currently in second position to his Fantastic Four reboot for Fox.

When speaking with Reese and Wernick, Steve asked the duo if they did, in fact, tackle a script for a Venom movie:

Paul Wernick: We did.  A long time ago, and it likely will not become a movie in that form.  Too many things have happened in between now and then and different people have been involved, and it’s just likely not to happen in the form that we wrote it, unfortunately.

Though their iteration of the script is unlikely to move forward, the two did talk about the tone of their take on the character:

Rhett Reese: [It was a] realistic, grounded, a little more dark take on the character.

Wernick: Yeah it was definitely kind of dark and soul search-y.  We love it and we’re proud of it.

Reese: Eddie Brock was a conflicted character, and so I don’t think it could’ve been Peter Parker.

venom-movieReese and Wernick revealed that they actually pitched their own take on the story rather than having Sony dictate a specific Venom story that they had to use, and they teased an exciting sequence that was part of their script:

Wernick: Imagine a symbiote traveling across a city at some point in the movie, jumping from body to body as it goes, and each person that it inhabits ends up becoming really violent and striking someone else and then it jumps to the next person.  There was a really cool sequence like that in there.

You can watch the portion of Steve’s interview with Reese and Wernick regarding Venom below, followed by a full transcript of the conversation.  Look for Steve’s full interview with the screenwriters later this week.

If you missed what Reese and Wernick told Steve about their Deadpool script, click here.

venom-movieSteve: If I’m not mistaken, you guys did a draft of Venom.

PAUL WERNICK: We did.  A long time ago, and it likely will not become a movie in that form.  Too many things have happened in between now and then and different people have been involved, and it’s just likely not to happen in the form that we wrote it unfortunately.

I’m definitely curious though, was your take on it in the tone of the first three Spider-Man films or was it a more realistic and grounded take?

RHETT REESE: Realistic, grounded, a little more dark take on the character. 

WERNICK: Yeah it was definitely kind of dark and soul search-y.  We love it and we’re proud of it. 

REESE: Eddie Brock was a conflicted character, and so I don’t think it could’ve been Peter Parker.

Did you guys walk away from the script and say,”We nailed this?” Or were you like “We got pretty close?”

WERNICK: I think we felt like we got pretty close, I mean no script ends perfectly— 

REESE: Except Deadpool.  We nailed Deadpool. 

WERNICK: (laughs) Deadpool is the one we really did nail more than any other.  That’s our favorite script.  But Venom I thought we got darn close.  You never know exactly why something works or it doesn’t, and it’s never your call.  I mean so many times our job is about convincing people to trust us.  You never really know why a project goes forward or it doesn’t.  You clearly don’t nail everything you ever write; we do think we bring a pretty high level of consistency to our writing, and at some point the movie gods either frown on you or they smile on you.

venomDid you have a synopsis that was given to you by the studio or did you come up with your own take?

WERNICK: We pitched it.  We pitched it just like we did G.I. Joe.

Eventually one day you’ll have to tell me what it was.

WERNICK: Imagine a symbiote traveling across a city at some point in the movie, jumping from body to body as it goes, and each person that it inhabits ends up becoming really violent and striking someone else and then it jumps to the next person.  There was a really cool sequence like that in there. 

REESE: We gotta use that at some point. 

WERNICK: We do have to use that, except it’s pretty specific to the symbiote.

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