We've just caught word that Sony has decided, once again, to get a solo movie based on the Marvel Comics villain Venom off the ground, according to The Los Angeles Times. They're reportedly in talks with Josh Trank, whose low-budget found footage superhero film Chronicle turned heads this February thanks to its strong profit margins and even stronger reviews, like our own. It's a step down from the previous rumor that Trank was in talks to reboot The Fantastic Four, but still a big opportunity for the talented young director, even if we're unclear why the film would exist in the first place.
Years ago, before Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie got off the ground, New Line Cinema was going to produce a Venom movie written by David Goyer. Think about that for a second: there was going to be a Venom movie before a Spider-Man movie. Didn't make sense.
Years later, in 2007, after Sony reacquired the rights to the character, Venom was the big bad in Spider-Man 3, a financially successful film that Sony expected to be popular enough to warrant a Venom spin-off movie, to be directed by The Hunger Games' Gary Ross. Made sense.
Then that movie made a lot of money, but at the cost of the audience's good will, so the Venom spin-off shut down. Eventually Sony decided to reboot the franchise to a time before Venom was even introduced with this summer's Amazing Spider-Man. And yet now Sony is looking to jumpstart a standalone Venom movie again anyway, even though non-comic fans (still most of the movie-going audience) only know the character from the previous, aborted franchise, and even though - unless there's a major twist involved - the Venom doesn't appear in Amazing Spider-Man.
We guess Venom could work as a standalone film, in which a protagonist chances upon the alien symbiote, gets corrupted and ends up fighting Carnage or something, but it seems like a dangerous proposition. As in, "The Parts of Spider-Man 3 Nobody Liked: The Movie." We're confident that Josh Trank could do something fascinating with the material if he's given his druthers, but you have to admit it's an unusual and risky project to begin with.
What do you think? Do you still love Venom enough to watch a solo film that has nothing to do with Spider-Man, or even one that plays off of the Sam Raimi movies even though Sony has otherwise abandoned them?
CraveOnline will be back with more Venom news after we get our own ill-advised mini-series.