It looks like Sony is putting the fast-track on on their Venom movie. Last year, we learned that the studio was putting the wheels back in motion on their long-developed cinematic spin-off for the iconic Spider-Man villain. Now, per Exhibitor Relations, Sony has added the film to their release calendar for October 5, 2018.
That’s a pretty fast timetable for a spectacle-oriented film, especially one that will require as many VFX as Venom, so it’s possible they’ve already got some talent lined up. If not, expect updates to come fast as that’s an imposing deadline to meet.
The last update we got on the Venom movie came last spring when we learned Sony was reviving the project with a script from Dante Harper. At the time, it was reported that the new incarnation of the project exists apart from and unrelated to the studio’s rebooted Spider-Man saga and the MCU. We don’t yet know if plans have changed in the development process, but last we heard, long-time Sony Spider-Man producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach were spearheading the project with no mention of Feige. Arad and Tolmach have overseen the Spider-Man feature film franchise since it kicked off with Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man.
The Venom movie has traveled a bit of a rocky road to production. Back in 2014, before the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony was deep in development on a series of interconnected superhero films pulling Spider-Man, their sole comic book property. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was set to be followed by a third Spider-Man installment, which would lead into the villain-centric Sinister Six to be directed by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). Alex Kurtzman’s (Welcome to People) spinoff Venom was intended to follow Sinister Six, but after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 debuted to dismal reviews and lowest global box office of any Spider-Man movie yet, Sony went back to the drawing board. Plans for
The studio toyed with a few ideas expanding on the Spider-Man brand (including a female-centric Spidey pic to a film focusing on the adventures of Aunt May), but then came the unprecedented deal with Marvel Studios that rebooted the character from scratch once again with guidance from Marvel boss Kevin Feige as a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which is how we ended up with Tom Holland’s web-slinger in Captain America: Civil War and that MCU touch on the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.
It’s unclear if Sony still intends to keep their Venom franchise separate from the Spider-Man universe and the MCU brand, but it’s not hard to see why they would want to build a comic book franchise that belongs solely to them. However, if Venom is steering clear of Spidey territory, that leaves some interesting questions about what incarnation of the comic book character they’ll be looking to as the lead for a major franchise. I think we can safely assume it will be rather different than the incarnation we met in Spider-Man 3.
What do you guys think? Are you interested in a Venom movie that’s separate from the Spider-Man franchise? How would you like to see the property handled? Are you buying into the theory that Life is a Venom prequel? (It’s almost certainly not.) Sound off in the comments.