Chronicle director Josh Trank is in negotiations with Sony Pictures to take on bringing Venom to life in a stand-alone film. With the success of the found-footage, teens-with-powers Chronicle, $104 million worldwide on a budget of $12 million, it makes sense that such a delicate story be put in the right hands: the protagonist is essentially evil, acting out of self-interest and a hatred for Spider-Man.
On the development of a Venom film to date:
The film would center on the gooey villain who was a mainstay of the Marvel comics and was a nemesis, incarnated by Topher Grace, in the third “Spider-Man” picture in 2007 [written about here: Film Review: Spiderman 3]. (The character attaches himself to a human host and becomes as powerful as the web-slinging superhero.)
A Venom film has been long-gestating at the studio, dating back at least to 2008 and preceding plans for this summer’s Marc Webb-Andrew Garfield take on the character. Gary Ross negotiated to direct a Venom film back in 2009 but moved on to other projects, including the upcoming “Hunger Games.”
Jacob Estes (“The Details”) wrote a draft of a “Venom” script several years ago, but producers are seeking a new writer, said the source. (The Ross version was to craft Venom as less a villain than an antihero.) The film also would be seeking a new actor; Grace is not expected to reprise the role.
On the comic book character Venom:
The creature that would become Venom was born to a race of extraterrestrial parasites, which lived by possessing the bodies of other life-forms. The parasites would endow their victims with enhanced physical abilities, at the cost of fatally draining them of adrenaline.
According to the Planet of the Symbiotes storyline, the Venom Symbiote was deemed insane by its own race after it was discovered that it desired to commit to its host rather than use it up. The Symbiote was then imprisoned on Battleworld to ensure it didn’t pollute the species’ gene pool.
The first and most famous Venom, Eddie Brock, is a reporter for the Daily Globe before it comes to light that he has fabricated a story revealing the identity of the Sin-Eater. Shortly after the story was published, Spider-Man catches the real Sin-Eater, disgracing Brock as a news reporter and costing him his job and then his wife. Now writing for cheap gossip magazines, Brock centers his frustration on utter loathing of Spider-Man, which only escalates when it is revealed that Brock has cancer. In response to this news, Brock begins working out, bringing his body to levels of amazing athletic performance. Still unable to cope with his misfortune, Brock contemplates suicide and goes to a church to pray for forgiveness. Meanwhile, the Symbiote, having recovered and needing another human host in order to survive, finds itself psychically attracted to Brock for both his increased adrenaline and mutual hatred for Spider-Man.
In The Amazing Spider-Man #298, they formed into the first version of the dark, villainous creature known as Venom. Venom first appeared at the end of issue #299, which led into the first Venom story in issue #300. The name Venom originally applied to Brock, rather than the Symbiote—which Brock refers to as his “Other”. Over the years, as the Symbiote gained more intelligence and moved to additional human hosts, the name began to apply to the Symbiote as well as its hosts.
I hope they go the villain route with Venom and not the anti-hero one. There is only one Richard B. Riddick and no one wants to see a watered-down Venom.